Monday, January 30, 2012


I just wrote a paper called 'Mobile practices in everyday life' - and now, stepping back from that work I find myself wondering about that hook the 'everyday'. It's been useful for a number of us working in new literacies to use the idea of the 'everyday', the quotidian, in making a distinction between what people do informally in spaces that are not structured by the institutional regimes of education or work and what they do in schools, worklife and all the rest. Colin and Michele use it as a subtitle to New Literacies - it's even the title of their blog...and I know they will often make reference to deCerteau 'The Practices of Everday Life'. Apart from reminding me of the Buddy Holly song (above), I'm now wondering about the shortcomings of the 'everyday' as a concept. Firstly, although it's useful in identifying an often neglecting aspect of literacy (neglected, at least, by educators) it does set up a dichotomy. What we increasingly witness is practices that cross the divide, that blur those boundaries, The everyday leaks into institutional life. Secondly, there's a danger that we over-generalise. maybe a lot of everyday practices are actually those of the affluent, or to put it another way, the everyday is itself segmented and diverse. Anyway that's just completely undermined my own hard work...but virtual literacies will not be so easily undermined. In fact there's every indication that it may be slowly making its way from the virtual realm into the...into the.... everyday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where have I been?

My blog is like an old friend - I like to keep company with it on a regular basis - even if it's just to give narrative fragments of my (mostly) working life it seems important. Tamboukou (2010: 79) has this idea of 'nomadic subjectivities' which seems to me to capture that movement in and away from the activity of posting. So I've been at full stretch completing my part of the 'Virtual Literacies' edited book (watch this space for further details). It should be published by Routledge later this year. So, I had it mind a critique of this re-telling and privileging of book fiction, but I missed the boat; I also wanted to comment on the mixed messages of Gove's opinions on technology in education. But the moment has passed. But I was delighted to get urbanroller's permission to use his photograph. There's a genre - but this such a good version! Permission was given 4 years after my initial request. Ah, the age of instant communication.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Canada's digital literacy

In everyday uses of the word, literacy associates with being able to read and write. But making meaning, by locating, organizing, and understanding information are also implied, along with critical engagement. So literacy involves both the production and consumption of meaning. Reading Canada’s Information and CommunicationsTechnology Council’s white paper on digital literacy is interesting in this light. Just add the words digital and technology and you come to their definition Digital Literacy which is 'taken to mean the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and create information using digital technology for a knowledge-based society. It involves a working knowledge of current high-technology, and an understanding of how it can be used. Digitally literate people can communicate and work more efficiently, especially with those who possess the same knowledge and skills.'