Blog Post

Is That What You Meant?

What a pleasure it is to read a piece of scholarship and have the opportunity to share your responses with the author or authors and of course with others too. This semester, I'm teaching a class called Writing Technologies. I have been thinking about different ways of having learning extend beyond the classroom. I'm writing today to discuss an effort in that direction.

After reading Chip Bruce and Maureen Hogan's The Disappearance of Technology: Toward an Ecological Model of Literacy, our class created movie posters using Photoshop that attempted to capture a central them of the reading.One of issues we've been exporing is how best to get the attention of your reader, while honoring the complexity of the particular piece of research. (We are currently reading Lanham but that's another post.)

The result of this effort is available here:

Students' reflection on their work and posted their thoughts on the class blog:

I then sent links to Maureen and Chip who gratiously responded.

Maureen Hogan, Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, send me an email that provided many good insights and raised some new questions. With her permission, I am providing an excerpt below:

Thanks so much for sharing this! I love the movie poster ideayour students seem to have really taken off with the ideas presented in the article in creative and meaningful ways.

Here in Alaska, technology issues are always in the forefront of my mind. My graduate seminars are always available by distance, and though we have many new technologies with which I can teach and connect, we still have bandwidth issues (uneven access) in this large state with many small, remote Alaska Native communities, as well as considerations about cultural relevance and the preservation of AN traditional cultures and languages: How does technology affect culture? How does it fit into AN epistemology, which is always tied to land, place, and nature? How does it either thwart or enhance goals of self-determination and de-colonization? What kinds of generational differences are there? If we agree that ideology is always embedded in technology, then these are important questions indeed.

Even with these new technologies (including various forms of videoconferencing and synchronous web-based tools like e-live), the most reliable technology for me to connect to ALL students is still the phone. And even then, a windstorm or power outage in western Alaska can make that problematic. So, technology can construct abilities for some, and disabilities for others, depending on where you live and what is available to you.

Can I teach a three-hour graduate seminar when even one person is not gaining access to one of the newer technologies? I dont think so. Thats why I still rely primarily on audio conferencing and asynchronous tools like Blackboard.

So while for some technology is disappearing and becoming a rather seamless part of participating and learning, for others it is still a huge barrier, not only technically but also culturally and generationally (many of my students are older, non-traditional students).

Of course this all depends on design, access, use, intentionality, interpretation (uptake) etc. in specific contexts, which is the big idea of our article.

Thanks again for sharing!


And Chip Bruce, Professor of Library and Information Science, wrote about the posters on his own blog:


We're planning to return to this assignment later in the semester to think about what we saw and what we didn't. I appreciate the generosity of these scholars and the potentials that happen when the author is listening in on the conversation.







What a great assignment!  Please feel free to invite your students, as well as authors you are reading, to respond in this space, using the comments section to post their responses and feedback.  I'm sure others would love to be part of this process, to be able to read your exchanges.  In the meantime, thanks so much for sharing this and good luck with the remainder of the course.


Thanks so much Cathy. I think I will do that.