The idea of Tech:nature literacy is one that is very interesting to me because i have a love for both nature and technology. From what i understand, Tech:nature literacy is about finding a balance of one’s natural desire to be in touch with nature and the inability to do so literally because of their technologically consumed lives. This may sound as if i am giving such a life a negative connotation, but that is not the case. I think a great connection has been made in the book Technobiophilia because as the author said, this is the reality  we live in, so what ever we need to do to  satisfy that natural desire of connecting with nature than that is what needs to be done. This need could be satisfied by simply setting a picture of the forest as the background screen on one’s computer. 

The reading about this topic on MOOC talks about the many metaphors we use in our daily technological language that refer to things in nature such as clouds, surfing, streaming, bugs etc. When i read this i was shocked that i had never recognized the connection before. When surfing the net in class or at home or talking about a virus i got on my computer i had never related the world of technology with the world of nature because in my mind the two  were opposites. Even last week when Tor streamed the video on Digital Storytelling for our class, i would never have put the two together.

Many of these class assignments are broadening my way of thinking about  the technological world. I think that the point of these topics, tech:nature literacy and digital story telling in particular, is to do just that. I am learning to think about the world of technology in  a new light with every topic and how much more technology is integrated into my daily life than i had thought. Now that i am getting this new information i will be able to better carry out and understand the purpose of metaliteracy.I see now that by using these ideas, for example broadcasting on twitter or posting pictures of nature on Tumblr, like i do in my daily life, i am becoming more metaliterate because i am taking information and spreading it in all different ways. Thinking back to our first assignment on writing about what we think metaliteracy is i can now say that i understand what exactly being metaliterate truely means.  









MOOC talk on Digital Storytelling

I found the MOOC talk on Digital Storytelling that was hosted by Bryan and Nicola to be very helpful in broadening my understanding of the topic. I thought that I had learned all I need to know about Digital  Storytelling from the blog we were asked to write last week in  class and the work I’d been doing for my website on the topic until Bryan brought me back to the roots of storytelling in general.

Bryan beginning with asking the question: “What is a story”, and seeing the many responses in the chat that listen many examples made me think deeper in to his following question, which was, “what is not considered a story”. The chat came up with  a list of examples that they thought would not be considered stories, however, Bryan explained to us all that even a recipe can  be a story. One person mentioned that writing in the chat at that very moment created a story. So I started thinking, when, throughout our day, throughout our lives, are we not actually telling a story? I instantly thought about math because it was the most opposite thing from storytelling that I could think of. Then I  thought of how one solves a math problem, how there are steps and calculations and sometimes a problem that arises where one would need to go back  and check their work, all in order to get to a solution. It seems to me now, after the MOOC discussion, that even a math problem can tell  a story, it has the same concept, doesn’t it? It has a sequence of events that one needs to work through in order to reach the ending. Then I thought about going to the grocery store. Does writing a list of groceries mean one is telling a story? Well, what if the list is made into a poem, or what if it is simply telling someone (the reader) a story of the person’s life who wrote it. What is written on the list gives insight to the “character” who wrote it does it not? So this leaves me with the question: what is a story and what is not?

I believe that the answer to this question  is open for interpretation to each person individually and what they  consider to be a story. Telling a story digitally is proof of this because it allows people to  think about other ways of expressing their stories.




Metaliteracy and Digital Storytelling

Seeing as Digital  Storytelling is the topic I chose to research in class, I was exited to learn that is what this weeks blog post was about. Digital Storytelling, from what I’ve gathered thus far is being able to tell a story, whether it be short or long, about your own life or some one else’s, through pictures, videos, writings on the internet for the media world to see.

There are many key components to accomplishing this idea. I think that one of the main purposes of digital storytelling is to communicate or express yourself to those around you even when you don’t have the words. The idea of digital storytelling is to make something relatable, or universal even, by making your story accessible to those who would not be able to relate if it was written down on  a piece of paper, like in a diary for example. It is a way for the world to communicate with each other by not only finding topics or experiences or feeling that we can all relate to, but do it in a way that is relevant to the times we are living in; whether we like this fact or not, it is apparent that technology is the way  of the world.

Researching this topic in class these past couple of weeks I have learned quite a few things. Even by completing the article assignment from last class I learned of a new perspective in which digital storytelling could be thought about. The article I read talked about it in such a different way than I was thinking, which made me realize that digital storytelling could really be incorporated into many aspects of life. Education, for example, as talked about in many of the  articles I reviewed when asked to do the researching exercise in class,  is even  incorporating this idea into their curriculum because teachers have found it more effective to keep children’s attention with  methods that are up to  date and relevant to the kid’s lives. In todays world, most kids lives include some form of technology.

Digital Storytelling is executed in so many ways that people don’t even think about. I myself, for instance participate in digital  storytelling when I post a picture on Instagram or post an album on Facebook. People who use Tumblr, Vine, Twitter etc. are all participating in digital storytelling. I believe that a lot of the time people look at technology in  a negative light because it comes with the misconception that it will eliminate the ability to be social. I however, look  at it as a way for everyone to have a voice and connect with  each other on an even deeper level  than they would in  a face to  face conversation. For instance, a link on MOOC brought me to a website called Flickr which allows someone to tell a story in 5 pictures. This website can allow people to  tell the world something meaningful about their lives that they would possibly not be able to say otherwise, and the beauty of it is that the pictures are what make it relatable. Expressions  and feelings are universal, so when any person sees those in pictures they can feel  what a person is feeling or understand what point they are trying to get across without having to know them. What I’m saying is, digital storytelling is a way for people to have an outlet and normalize experiences in their own lives if that’s what they’re looking for. My friend, for instance struggles with  an eating disorder and uses digital storytelling to tell her own story because she can’t do it any other way. She also finds people with the same issues that she can relate to using these methods.

I think making a website on digital storytelling is one great way to let people know that they are utilizing this form of communication daily and therefore, we are enforcing the idea behind metaliteracy because the concept behind that and digital storytelling is very similar: connect with people through information.



Blog post 2

There is no doubt that the democratization of social media has impacted the way we receive our news. John Delano said, “The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever”. The wave of technologies that ordinary people have access to allows anyone to broadcast the news. In my opinion, there are both pros and cons to this reality.

One pro in people becoming more active in news media through the means of social media is that news can be spread much faster to a vast population of people.The article, Citizen Journalism, for example, states that people spreading news through social media is actually faster in terms of relying information than professional broadcasters. In my personal life for example, almost every piece of news I come across is learned through social media. Even extremely tragic and significant events like the Boston Bombing or Sandy Hook shooting I learned of through posts on twitter. Twitter, as argued in the article, Twitter Literacy, is obviously much more than a place to express every pointless thought one has, but actually a means of relying useful information to the world, which I can personally attest to because of my own experiences with it. Another pro of people participating in the news or “citizen journalism”, according to Citizen Journalism, is the fact that we are receiving information in many different perspectives and hearing many different opinions. We are not learning about something from one person or source who delegates what we hear and how we hear it. The beauty of citizen journalism in my eyes is that perspectives from all different kinds of people from all over the world are being heard. This is also such a good thing because it allows not only for other peoples opinions to be heard but further enforces a free speech society where you can feel the freedom in expressing your own opinion/perspective. One example of this is writing this blog for class. Although we are being asked to do this as an assignment, the result of using social media to produce information through our perspectives remains the same.

There are also cons to such a way of learning about the news. One con is that with so many people broadcasting the news, misinformation is bound to happen. This past week in class for example, we talked about how Wikipedia may not always be a reputable source of information but I know a lot of people still use it as a primary source of gaining information. I myself have been guilty in the past of researching news related material on this website and have realized later that my fact may not have all been correct. Another con would be the idea of leakage. By this I mean that too many things that should not be broadcasted in the news are because of all of the social media, including mobile services, that allow it to be broadcasted. For example, footage of violence, invasions of privacy (especially concerning the lives of celebrities) or even situations that put national safety in jeopardy are things I personally deem unnecessary for being publicized in the news.

Howard Rheingold wrote in Twitter Literacy, “It’s not just about knowing how. It’s about knowing how and knowing who and knowing who knows who knows what”. I think that the best way to look at this subject is through the lens of metaliteracy, so we can know how to gain access to the news, the legitimate news, and then knowing what to do with the information learned.


What is Metaliteracy?

What is Metaliteracy and what does it mean to me? Well to be frank, I still don’t fully grasp  the concept of Metaliteracy in all of its entirety, but hey, I’ll give it a try.

I believe the concept of Metaliteracy is one of great complexity because it encompasses so many pieces to it’s puzzle. I look at it like a web in the sense that all of its elements link together and work off of each other to create this general big idea. Basically, I think that Metaliteracy is the idea of taking all of the information in the world and learning how to use it to create something even better from it (general, I know). This can be in the form of published works that one can physically hold in their hands, or it can be through the advancing world of technology. Looking at the Metaliteracy model on MOOC helped me to better paint the picture of this web in my mind. One of the things I found most interesting about  the model was the emphasis put on sharing the information and how to use it with others; this piece of Metaliteracy is what I  can  relate most to my own life because of how the model shows consumers go about it.

It seems that one of the main concepts of Metaliteracy is sharing the information we are provided with others, along with our knowledge of how to use it. I can relate this to my own life through experiences with social media. I myself have witnessed how fast trends like Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Instagram all catch on and how quickly they all they all fizzle out as well. Looking at the Metaliteracy model I can recognize how fast the information on these sites can be shared all over the world and how each new technological advancement that shares information, like the ones listed, are developed even further than the last one.

Becoming more Metaliterate through the knowledge gained in this class will impact how I will function in my career in the future. The world is getting more dependent on technology, so I what I hope to get out of this class is to learn how to gain information through advanced technology and actually know how to use it. Then to share my knowledge, as the model suggests, with people who are also struggling with not knowing what to  do with all of the information out available to us.

Getting people to connect with each other and other information, through information- that’s what I’ve got on Metaliteracy thus far.