21st Century Literacies

Digital Literacy, Identity and a Domain of One’s Own

Thursday, September 15, 2016 Comment arm

I must have about 10 domain names. That’s a lot less than some people I know, but 10 more than most people. Two of the domain names are those that I own on behalf of other people (my children) while the rest are for various projects and things I’ve done over the years. My doctoral work neverendingthesis.com is on one of them. I’ve got projects I share with other people (tidepodcast.org). And, of course, I have a canonical domain which includes my first and last name (dougbelshaw.com). Ten years ago, if I knew someone primarily through


Mockingbirds and Thing Explaining: Knowledge Shared and Consumed in Today’s Classrooms

Thursday, March 31, 2016 Comment composite image of two book covers: 'Thing Explainer' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

Let’s talk about how knowledge is valued and dispersed in schools today: last week, two stories percolated in online media that related to the kinds of texts that students will encounter while in schools. First, notable web comic author and best-selling author Randall Munroe’s work will be excerpted in forthcoming textbooks for high school students. As the author of the recent “Thing Explainer,” Munroe’s simplistic illustrations function exactly as their title implies; using basic vocabulary and clear line art, Munroe’s book explains things. From a submarine (i.e. “Boat that goes under the sea”) to the Large


How a Digital Pen is Turning a Museum into a Library

Thursday, June 25, 2015 Comment wall projection poster of digital pen being used in museum person holding pen

Right now, in New York City, a digital pen is turning a museum into a library — a 21st century library, that is. And, its potential impact across civic and cultural spaces offers considerable lessons for those interested in participatory and digital learning and the future of museums. If, like me, you work in a museum you’ve probably already guessed what I am talking about, as it’s all the buzz: the newly renovated Cooper-Hewitt’s Pen. The Cooper-Hewitt is the Smithsonian’s design museum located in NYC within the stately Andrew Carnegie Mansion. After a six-year renovation project,


MOOCmania

Monday, January 21, 2013 Comment infographic illustration explaining what a mooc is

MOOCs, it seems, are driving us to distraction. The objects of so much current investment, fiscal and psychological, if MOOCs (massive open online courses) haven’t reached you yet, they are just a click away, coming to a screen near you soon. Cathy Davidson caused a stir last week by arguing that, if humanists are unable to convey compellingly to various publics what we do and why it is important, we will be replaced by a screen; she had MOOCs in mind. It turns out that the challenge has had a longer history in cultural consciousness: “mooc,”