Posts Tagged ‘Microblogging’

Language & Literacy……

Chat, IM, Microblogging & Polling

We have been introduced to a number of Web 2.0 tools over the past few weeks and Mark asked us what tools we personally prefer, namely discussion boards, blogs and wikis. At the start of my blog I mentioned I am an anti-techno person, however am required to become accustomed to these online tools if I am to succeed in the educational profession. I personally don’t prefer any, however I can see the benefits of each and will use them when required, as outlined in previous posts, in my teaching profession, if I pass this unit!

I found this weeks tutorial interesting and could relate to some aspects of it. Yes, amazing isn’t it?

We discussed the place of print literacy in a digital era. I believe there is still a place for traditional literacy through books if we continue to teach its importance, however we now have an added dimension to literacy that has its own place in our digital world, digital literacy. Digital literacy is learned through video games and other virtual mediums such as chat, instant messages and microblogging.

What do all these terms mean? Chat is an online conversation in which you are able to send a message back and forth immediately. It doesn’t cost anything if you have internet access. There are three common chats; Instant Messenger, ICQ and IRC.

Instant Messenger is one of the most popular and is usually between two people, however you can be chatting to more than one person at a time. There are a number of services that allow you to set up chat. Yes, although I am not a techno person I do have chat. I use Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Skype. Facebook, a social network site, also has an IM chat facility and I also have a Facebook account. With these services you use a nickname to be identified by your friends.

ICQ (I seek you) allows you to send files as well as chat. ICQ is slightly different to IM services as you are assigned a number rather than a nickname.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) difference is it is not owned by any company but by many networks separate from each other and to use IRC a client program and can only chat with someone if they are on the same network as you.

Microblogging is a networking service that allows mobile phone users and other Internet connected devices to stay up with the latest within a group by receiving frequent published updates, typically of 140 characters or less. Text messages are uploaded to a microblogging service such as Twitter, Jaiku and others, and then distributed to group members. All parties subscribed in the targeted group are instantly notified of the microblog, enabling groups to keep tabs on one another’s activities in real-time. A Microblog can also be public, with arbitrary subscribers joining and dropping microblogs at will.

Another form of digital literacy is text speak. Can you understand the following text language? I can’t!

“2 b, r nt 2 b dat iz d Q wthr ts noblr n d mnd 2 sufr d slngs & arowz of outrAjs fortn r 2 tAk armz agnst a C f trblz, & by oposn nd em?”

“To be, or not to be: that is the question: / Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them?”

(Hamlet, Act Three, Scene One)

http://pspacer11.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/abbreviate-that-you-f/

YO LTNC, HRU?

WL I JST GT BK FRM CRTE. ND WZ XLNT. GT UP2 SO MCH FRU OT D 2WKS. 1ST WK WNT FST. . WNT 2 RSTRN LKN OVA D HRBR, D SCNRY WHR WE STAYD WZ MAZIN I RLXD FRU OT D 2WS. DA WEVR WZ LUVLY AD NA RAIN! WNT 2D BEACH KPL TMZ ND SPNT MST OFD HOL SUNIN MSLF. ONLI WNT RD NM LOL :$ GT BK 2DYS GO ND AV ALRDY BN SHPIN ND GN 2 WRK ND WNT 2GR8 PRT WZ SAL. <0-). IZA OGNIZIN BBQ 4 AL MI M8S NXTWKD ND WIL B OFF NOTHR HOL IN 2WKS WCH WIL B GD FC, HP 2CUSN.

ATB, BFN XOXOXOXOX

Translation can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/voices2005/txt_spk.shtml

I discovered these on the internet and found it amazing that anyone could understand it. If someone is sending this the recipient must be able to read it! It’s like a language from out of this world, very algebraic in form.

Check out the videos that I found explaining the acronyms. See if these help you work out the message!

When I was first at University 10 years ago I had a tutor who was not happy with some of the younger students in the class. A number of assignments were handed in with text speak throughout their whole essay! He was not impressed since it was a Public Relations unit!

Although I find it hard to read when I receive texts or IM written in text speak I found the video with David Crystal, an authority on language, very interesting and has changed my view on those who use the language.

The final term polling was one I and a number of others in my class were familiar with. As we would all know the term polling refers to the number of votes cast in an election, survey, etc. Polling has now become web-based allowing participants to vote through their phones by text, a clicker device or the internet. Results can sometimes be seen instantly. I have used this type of polling at University in a lecture when asked our opinion on a subject and as we voted we could see the results instantly on the screen. A great indicator for the teacher to assess how students think! I have to admit to also using my phone to poll by sending a text to vote for a contestant on the X Factor!

How can all these tools be used effectively in education? The main advantage with microblogging and chat is that the teacher can set these up without the help of the IT person or if the school doesn’t have an IT specialist these tools are easy to work with, even I can do it!

All these tools encourage literacy as the student is engaging with language and the more a student writes the better their literacy becomes. The added benefit of chat and microblogging is the collaborative aspect as students are engaging with others in conversations and although they may use text speak to communicate the ideas are still being generated, which can only be a good thing.

I like the idea of polling in education as the teacher can conduct surveys in the class and the students are able to see their results immediately. Children of this generation don’t like to wait and Web 2.0 technology allows for this instant response they enjoy. By being instant it allows time in the class for discussions around the results, stimulating metacognition.