Earlier in the year, I wrote about a workshop I attended that introduced participants to the metaliteracy framework. At the time, they had also announced a Metaliteracy MOOC that would take place in the fall. How quickly the time passes!
I have enrolled in this course and joined a study group with some of my colleagues, but one of the things they recommend is engage in the course by participating via blog. Since the research log part of my site has fallen by the wayside (as drafts accumulate in my dashboard), I thought this would be a good time to revive it.
The readings for Topic 1, which runs from September 2-15, include the following:
Mackey, T. P., and T. E. Jacobson. (2011). Reframing information literacy as a metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries,72(1), 62-78. Retrieved from http://crl.acrl.org/content/72/1/62.full.pdf+html
Mackey, T. P. (2011). Transparency as a catalyst for interaction and participation in open learning environments. First Monday, 16(10). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3333/3070
I’ve written at length about the first reading—both my initial reactions and updated understandings. My conclusion at the time was that categorizing objectives by learning domain was overkill when integration of technology already presented some challenging issues.
At the same time, I thought that from a design perspective, already-mapped learning domains are very helpful. In fact, I’ve been slowly integrating metaliteracy objectives into the credit courses we teach. Despite any misgivings I had, I was convinced enough.
I look forward to jumping back into the theoretical foundation though because—yes, I know how this sounds—I haven’t thought deeply about its underlying concepts since May. With an hour to go before the first session (at the start of writing this), here I begin, with a bit of a rushed beginning.
And by rushed, I mean I took some very quick notes as I read the second article over lunch. I’ll have to revisit this later since my explanation here isn’t going to be nuanced. But the reading is essentially an argument for transparent technologies used for teaching and learning. What does transparent mean? Well, Mackey (2011) defines a set of seven characteristics (with open education exemplars of each in the article):
- Flexibility – friendly user-interface
- Interactivity – varied functionality when it comes to searching, sharing, communicating, collaboration, etc.
- Fluidity – ability in interface to go beyond “traditional boundaries”, for instance, by sharing via social media or blogging
- Visualization – exactly what it sounds like; visual content and views
- Collaboration – the actual space for dialogue that affords collaboration and sharing
- Production – the ability to create or contribute content; wikis definitely offer this
- Publishing & distribution – exactly what it sounds like!
One of the primary bases he uses for the argument is an interesting theory of communication systems by Yochai Benkler and extended by Lawrence Lessig that describes three essential layers:
- Physical – technological infrastructure, which now includes mobile devices; this sounds like hardware to me!
- Content – Lessig calls this “the actual stuff that gets said…” In communication theory, this would be the message.
- Logical – this is the “code layer” that includes the tools and resources enabling communication – software / applications?
I need more time to process, but in my own courses, I’m increasingly trying to incorporate the “physical” aspect of digital communications into the course. Understanding the way things work makes the computer seem less like a magic box that intimidates users to a tool that they are empowered to use.
Alright, and I’m out of time! Will report on the first session later.