The final assignment for the course, “Metaliteracy: Empowering yourself in a connected world”, is to create a digital artifact of some kind — a story, video, podcast, etc. — tied to the theme of metaliteracy, metacognition, and the topics of the previous 3 weeks. The goal is to help teach some aspect of it to someone else. For me, one of the most interesting areas of metaliteracy falls into the area of ethics. And I think I have something unique to say.
Metaliteracy and Ethics
It’s quite interesting that so many people talk about the “ethical use of information” on the internet and in journals, on talk shows and in lecture halls. Yet none of them seem to stop to ask themselves what they mean by ethics? In most cases, the explanation is quite simply “do no harm” or “don’t do bad things with the info”. It is akin to Google’s slogan, “Don’t be evil”. » Read the rest
This week’s materials are all about preparing a digital story. It starts with a simple example of telling something personal, maybe including some primary materials, adding in some secondary materials, doing research, planning, and ultimately creating the story in some form.
It takes the view that digital storytelling encompasses lots of different tools — text, pictures, video, etc. — and gives examples of how to do that creation, find the relevant materials, and shares a lot of examples from StoryCorps of how to do that creative process.
I have to say that I found it rather basic. Too much of it is about the tools you can use to tell your story, and not enough time is spent on what the story is…for me, all storytelling starts with the arc. A beginning, a middle, an end. And some sort of purpose to the story — or to sharing the story. Long before I figure out what I’m going to use to tell the story, I need to figure out what story I want to tell. » Read the rest
When I started the Metaliteracy course 18 months ago, week 2 was originally about “creating and sharing a social identity” which included some revelations of what you find by googling yourself, thinking about what others might think of what they find without a larger context (i.e., if an employer was to search), etc. At times, it seemed more like a Grandmother telling you to watch what you post online. One of the resources walked you through the googling process and the “types” of things you might find. Since I share the same name as a US politician, almost all of Google is dominated by his links. If you add “Ottawa” to the search, then I come up with my Twitter feed listed first. It made me think about whether I should (for branding and transparency) more accurately label my website, but I don’t feel the need to shout it out. » Read the rest
I finished taking my first MOOC on Understanding Video Games (#50by50 #32 – Complete a MOOC – Understanding Video Games) and next on my list was one related to Metaliteracy – Empowering Yourself in a Connected World. The description was pretty good, talking about being a bit more reflective about our online work, and it was offered through Coursera. The downside to that is that I’m really only interested in “passive learning”, watching the videos, etc., not actively engaging online with fellow students. That might seem like a cop-out of sorts, but I like the idea of a curated course that pulls together interesting material in a professional manner. It would be nice to be able to afford all The Great Courses library and work my way through those, and I have managed to snag a photography course through them (still in progress) plus two new astronomy titles (they were having a sale!). » Read the rest
As part of my #50by50 posts, I repatriated all my videos and pictures from SmugMug, threw them into Piwigo, and (mostly) completed a good layout and design for my online photo gallery. I had tried integrating directly into WordPress, but the biggest and best (relatively speaking) gallery called Next Gen Gallery just didn’t play well with some of my other plugins, and I couldn’t get it to work right. I tried various other WP tools, but nothing was jiving for me. Piwigo worked, I found some themes I liked, I tweaked some stuff, called it a day. Then proceeded to put a LOT of time and effort into uploading 12755 photos and videos of various types and sizes.
I made it as good as I could, but it was far from “perfect”, if there is any such thing. For example, Piwigo likes to play with different size images. So it would take the original ~13K photos and make a thumbnail for each one. » Read the rest