Tag Archives: digital rhetoric

Diagrams, exemplars, bootstrapping in #PLENK2010

Ergonomic Workspace Planner, Workstation Installation ToolLooking through some diagrams of PLEs at edtechpost has given me the impetus to create a diagram of my own, and the permission to really goof with it. Exemplars.

To my mind, these diagrams illustrate what happens when a straightforward exercise is approached with a PLE attitude. Given the variety of diagrams, it looks like learners chose their own terminology, media, and modes to work in. The diagrams become semiotically supercharged. The titles, the terminology used, the contexts represented, features of the model overall (eg: where the learner is placed in the model and how represented; how links, knowledge, services, contexts are represented, and the like), as well as the choice of media and mode (whiteboard, big paper, concept mapping software, illustration software, t-shirt) all signify as choices.

The variety complicates easy reading of each diagram and of the collection, but that’s appropriate for the issue. The diagrams become the ground and impetus for another turn. That is, they have to be actively interpreted, worked with, in order to become personal knowledge.

Which opens us into critical literacies. Interpreting these diagrams demands an approach – for, me a semiotic approach. Bootstrapping again. This would be the point where I would look into social semiotics social semiotics as a way of making sense of the diagrams.

Composed at the office, Target, and in the front garden. Posted using BlogPress from an iPad

teacher in your pocket

What I really like about this Apple email ad is how it quietly suggests that to learn, you need an iPhone. Buy the phone and get the content for free.

Having just bought an iPhone and committed myself for two years of at&t, I couldn’t agree more. I need a good ROI.

Forever curious.
Learn more
From lectures to documentaries to museum tours, iTunes U lets you learn anything, anytime, anyplace.
Now your favorite destination for music and movies is also a great place to entertain your brain. iTunes U in the iTunes Store offers free audio and video content from top universities, famous museums, public media stations, and other cultural institutions. So whether you want to learn from the world’s leading thinkers, get a sneak peek at the latest MoMA exhibition, or simply brush up on your Spanish, iTunes U makes it easy. To see for yourself,watch the tutorial.

This is an interesting ad for a close read. Teacher – and teaching – has been iPhoneized: captured, in the phraseology of knowledge management, to be processed later. The technology dominates, even to the extent that the professor – pictured at the business end of his own concrete tether – is now captured on screen, for access – or not – anytime, anyplace. Play, pause, rewind. The copy, too, glosses over any human construction or creation of content or ideas. Content comes predominantly from universities, museums, public media stations (BBC and NPR I guess). “Learn from the world’s leading thinkers” is the only nod.

Anytime and anyplace because the content is recorded. Perhaps the obvious use of the iPhone (or any 3G phone) for on-the-spot-just-in-time teaching and learning from a teacher/mentor is just too obvious to mention. Anytime anyplace is pretty hackneyed. Come to think of it, so is “entertain your brain.”

But really the ad promises no more than you could get from a local library: books and magazines. A good parody for reading would play on this matter. Use books for iPhones, adjust the copy just a little, or use it against itself, and link visit your local lending library. Get outside. Meet people. Have a coffee. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask someone.

Or call me. I still have to justify my new phone for teaching.

special friday exercise: authenticity

What makes this authentic?

From Captology Notebook: MoveOne uses video to persuade (not text)

January 23, 2008
MoveOne uses video to persuade (not text)Today MoveOn started using online video to persuade supporters. For years they’ve relied on text.

However, with the U.S. election heating up (and perhaps declining response to email), MoveOn has created a persuasive video message, re: the link below. It’s about one minute long.


The age of persuasive video is just beginning. The success of video will make text seem old fashioned.

My advice to persuaders: Get out your video cams and start practicing! (And be sure to learn what works: brief, authentic, direct call to action. MoveOn does it well.)

–BJ Fogg

The video is brief (about a minute) and makes a direct call to action (two of them, by my count).  But what features make it authentic?

View the video a few times and make some notes.  Look at the usual stuff: setting, composition, cuts, but also listen to –  even better,  map out – the words and the spoken delivery.  As a start, to what extent does the delivery sound scripted?  To what extent spontaneous?

There are other elements and affordances to take note of, so don’t stop with one.  What, for instance, do you make of the final gesture of the speaker pointing out of the video and towards a url on the web page?