INF533 Assessment 4: Digital Storytelling Project

A Visit to the Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum

The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Part A: Context for Digital Storytelling Project

A Visit to the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is a blog on the free Tackk site. It contains an original video and story with enlarged text and colourful images. The podcast of the story is in English and Korean. A link to Google Translate allows the story to be translated into Korean or other language. There are over 80 languages to choose from. The project runs from 3 – 5 minutes and is suitable for 3 – 5 year olds.

The intended purpose is to introduce young children to a fossil and mineral museum, provide access to digital technology and to develop literacy skills. The blog meets the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) in the following area: Outcome 5 – children are effective communicators (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009, pp. 38 – 41).

  • Children “develop confidence in using digital technology” (p. 38).
  • Educators “value children’s linguistic heritage and with family and community members encourage the use of and acquisition of home languages and Standard Australian English” (p. 40).
  • Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts (p. 41).

 

The digital storytelling project is flexible and may be utilised for a preschool or childcare group provided an interactive whiteboard is available. In the Northern Territory the preschool and sometimes childcare centre is in the school grounds and school library visits may be available. This would be an excellent time for the early childhood class to view the digital storytelling project on an interactive whiteboard if the classroom does not have one. Alternatively, a small group, including children in a family day care setting, may view the blog on a computer, laptop or tablet (2-3 children per device).

The supervising adult can encourage preschoolers’ memory and language development by playing the video then asking open-ended questions such as What did the family see? Prior to reading the story, the adult can show the images and ask open-ended questions such as What can you see in the picture?

Developing children’s visual literacy skills assists them to formulate and express ideas. Listening to the story “supports semantic language processing” and develops the imagination (Oliver, 2015); and allowing children to ask questions when reading to them aids brain development (Walker, 2014).

The blog is compatible with a variety of devices and may also be viewed at home to reinforce new concepts. Here, the digital story becomes a collaborative activity both at home and in the early childhood setting, connecting both worlds (Kingsley, 2007, pp. 54, 55).

Eye-hand co-ordination and fine motor skills are developed by allowing preschoolers to scroll, playback video and audio, and zoom in/out on the interactive whiteboard or device. Large images assist visual recognition. To aid accessibility, the video and podcasts contain pause and playback buttons. To meet accessibility guidelines, hyperlinks are differentiated by colour and underlining, or via a button (WebAIM, 2013). The blog is screen-reader compatible as demonstrated below.

Screen reader in action. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Screen reader in action. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Unfortunately there are some issues with the screen-reader including the inability to insert alternative text for images (to aid the sight impaired) and the inability to left align the story’s sentences (only centre align is available, as large text is classified as Heading 1). Note: the video does not contain closed captions, as there is no narration.

Unlike traditional media, the Internet allows viewers to “participate directly with the narrative and have a role in how it unfolds, making for a highly dynamic and involving experience” (Miller, 2009, p. 42). Preschoolers are no exception and Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983, 2011) explains these different learning styles as highlighted in Blog Reflection Week 3. The digital storytelling project supports a variety of learning styles and language backgrounds, ensuring an inclusive experience.

Advanced learners are also supported; supplementary images are available via Flickr for those seeking further information. This is in agreement with Alchin’s views on extending learners in a digital environment (Alchin, 2015, presentation slide 33). Inspired by The Guardian’s Firestorm, the blog also utilises responsive web design, is non-linear, and contains a map.

Parts A, B and C of Assignment 4 are licenced under Creative Commons International Licence 4.0 (CC-BY-NC) and are DRM free. The video contains Creative Commons music by Jason Shaw of Audionautix and has been attributed at the end credits. An Appendix contains the storyboard, shot list, timeline and edit decision list (EDL).

 

Part B: Link to Digital Story

Link: https://tackk.com/urhb2e

Creative Commons License
A Visit to the Museum by Lyn Oxley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

Part C: Critical Reflection

I wholeheartedly agree with Lamb who writes how digital technology makes an impact on the way we read today (Lamb, 2011, p. 13). Being able to adjust the font size, the number of columns and having a screen-reader assists the sight-impaired and supports an inclusive learning environment.

Literacy constantly changes (Leu, Gregory McVerry, O’Byrne, Kiili, Zawilinski, Everett-Cacopardo, Kennedy & Forzani) and the traditional definition of literacy no longer applies exclusively to reading and writing. The New Literacies (Fora TV), including visual literacy, information literacy and media literacy, demand educational storytellers produce high quality work to enable learners to practice these skills so they do not become digital illiterates.

New definitions for reading and books are sought; and found to some degree by Maureen Walsh (2013, p. 181) who describes the changing nature of text. My digital storytelling project meets her definition of a multimodal text as it contains video, audio, graphics and hyperlinks.

The project also supports a number of children’s learning styles as proposed by Gardner (1983, 2011) in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). The relevance was posted in my Blog Reflection Week 3, as MI theory complements Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which was also discussed along with the Hechinger Report. In short, UDL provides a multimedia approach to accommodate a variety of learning styles. Uncovering this information impelled me to write a post in Module 1.3 (Oxley, 2015a) and an entry in the Diigo Knowledge Networks space about the benefits of supporting individual differences.

Prompted by Katherine Herbert’s positive response to my post, I set out to discover more about accommodating all learners’ needs in the digital environment. I found WebAIM’s accessibility infographic and embedded it into the Module 5.2 Discussion Forum (Oxley, 2015b) for others’ perusal. Several students responded encouragingly and this infographic became the basis for designing a rich, interactive experience for young children, educators, parents and caregivers.

In Blog Reflection Week 4, I mentioned Doiron’s definition of an e-book and noted that while some e-books are digitally born, others are published in a traditional way then digitised (Dorion, 2011, p. 2). My self-published e-book, Goosey, Goosey, Gander, reviewed in Assessment 2, meets the former explanation while Paper Magic, by Jeffery Doherty, is an example of the latter.

Also in Week 4, within the Module 1.3 Discussion Forum, Karen Malbon (2015) posted her concerns about the ease of school libraries acquiring print books compared to the same books in digital format. Doherty circumvented this problem by donating paperback editions of his book to a local school despite Paper Magic also being an e-book (See Blog Reflection Week 4).

Karen Malbon's e-book concerns. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Karen Malbon’s e-book concerns. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Self-publishing Goosey, Goosey, Gander using Adobe’s InDesign layout, proved exciting because the mode, Publish Online, is Digital Rights Management (DRM) free and my work could be freely shared under a Creative Commons License 4.0. The benefits of using Publish Online were posted to Module 4.1. However, there are some drawbacks including only having Facebook and Twitter available for sharing and the inability to tag. Perhaps these concerns will be addressed when Publish Online shifts from beta mode. I decided to construct a Tackk blog for my digital storytelling project as it’s easy to use, supports many social media sites and allows tagging. Applying the INF533 hashtag ensures the story is visible in the class collection, maximising exposure.

In Module 2.3 I wrote, “In the near future, I expect e-books will be translated into a variety of languages with optional narration (Oxley, 2015c).” Little did I realise I had predicted my own digital storytelling outcome. After reading Tolisano’s blog regarding skills learned in digital storytelling, pre-schoolers have the opportunity to practise speaking, listening and communication skills. Visual, media and information literacies are also addressed, however not all of Tolisano’s advice could be implemented due to the short duration of the project and age of the children.

I agree with Katherine Herbert’s (2015) post for Module 7.1. Through first hand experience, I’ve also discovered digital storytelling isn’t only about adeptness with tools, it’s primarily for facilitating discussion, collaboration and meaning-making, not only for the audience, but also for the storyteller.

Collaborating with other students comes highly recommended in INF533 Literature in Digital Environments. I’ve enrolled in ETL402 Literature Across the Curriculum for Session 3 and feel well-prepared for the learning experience ahead.

References

Alchin, G. (September 9, 2015). Forget generation x, y, z … it’s generation personal! LXD, NSW Government, Education, Public Schools. Retrieved from http://www.rde.nsw.edu.au/lxd/2015/09/09/forget-generation-x-y-z-its-generation-personal/

Commonwealth of Australia. (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Framework for Australia. Retrieved from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2015/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

Doiron, R. (2011). Using e-books and e-readers to promote reading in school libraries: lessons from the field. Paper presented at IFLA 2011, Puerto Rico. Retrieved from http://conference.ifla.org/past-wlic/2011/ifla77.htm

Fora TV. (2013, September 27). The new literacies: Clive Thompson [Video file]. Retrieved from http://fora.tv/2013/09/22/the_new_literacies

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences (1st ed.). New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2011). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences (3rd ed.). New York: Basic Books. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2IEfFSYouKUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Frames+of+Mind&ots=3-7P9O0QzX&sig=BMsYSZykl8Vsco68nbMe4NtCLsQ#v=onepage&q=Frames%20of%20Mind&f=false

Herbert, K. (2015, September 15). Literature in Digital Environments: 7.1 Review learning [Online discussion board comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_28857_1&nav=discussion_board&conf_id=_7305_1&course_id=_6667_1&message_id=_369246_1#msg__369246_1Id

Kingsley, K. (2007). Empower diverse learners with educational technology and digital media. Intervention in School & Clinic, 43(1), 52-56. Retrieved from https://www.ebscohost.com/

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from https://www.ebscohost.com/

Leu, D. J., Gregory McVerry, J., O’Byrne, W., Kiili, C., Zawilinski, L., Everett-Cacopardo, H., Kennedy, C., and Forzani, E. (2011). The New Literacies of Online Reading Comprehension: Expanding the Literacy and Learning Curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1), 5-14. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.55.1.1

Malbon, K. (2015, August 3). Literature in Digital Environments: 1.3 Trends in digital literature [Online discussion board comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_28851_1&nav=discussion_board&conf_id=_7305_1&course_id=_6667_1&message_id=_247353_1#msg__247353_1Id

Miller, C. H. (2009). The new frontier of web-based stories: An expert in the field offers a primer on some of the ways you can expand your storytelling horizons. Writer. 122(8), 42. Retrieved from ProQuest Central: http://search.proquest.com/

Oliver, L. (2015). Hot Topic: Children’s Books, Brain Development, and Imagination: The Scientific Correlation. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Retrieved from http://www.scbwi.org/hot-topic-childrens-books-brain-development-and-imagination-the-scientific-correlation/

Oxley, L. (2015a, August 8). Literature in Digital Environments: 1.3 Trends in digital literature [Online discussion board comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_28851_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7305_1&course_id=_6667_1&message_id=_247353_1#msg__247353_1Id

Oxley, L. (2015b, September 9). Literature in Digital Environments: 5.2 Understanding digital media texts – Digital tools [Online discussion board comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_28855_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7305_1&course_id=_6667_1&message_id=_247359_1#msg__247359_1Id

Oxley, L. (2015c, September 9). Literature in Digital Environments: 2.3 Getting practical – Challenges of using digital literature in the classroom [Online discussion board comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_28852_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7305_1&course_id=_6667_1&message_id=_247355_1#msg__247355_1Id

Walker, R. (2014). Evidence Supporting Early Literacy and Early Learning. The American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://littoolkit.aap.org/evidence/Pages/home.aspx

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp. 181-194). Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

WebAIM. (2013) Web accessibility for designers. Retrieved from http://webaim.org/resources/designers/

 

Appendix

Storyboard AFMM

Shot list- AFMM

Timeline- AFMM

AFMM_EDL

 

Assessment 8

 

Assessment 8a: Digital Essay – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lynoxley/inf530/assessment-8a-digital-essay/

Assessment 8b: Critical Reflection

 

Back in the Forum Introduction Module I wrote, “… my personal goal is to learn more about information processing in the digital age” (Oxley, 2015a); to which Judy replied, “- let’s not only learn about digital innovations but also create them” (O’Connell, 2015).

It’s been hard work, but worth it; perseverance is the key. Of all the digital tools utilised, #INF530 is the preferred one for the rapid dissemination of information – both to contribute to the collective knowledge of the cohort, and to extract valuable information to pass onto other networks.

I was inspired by Nadine Bailey’s blog, Informative Flights, particularly the additional posts she wrote about Evernote and organising her digital workspace (Bailey, 2015). Nadine’s  time-management skills and shared knowledge contributed to the well-being of the cohort.

The preparatory module discussed referencing and databases; both required for sound academic work. The most surprising topic was how to adjust Google Scholar to include CSU as a library link. This moves Google Search to a whole new level and is invaluable for research. The follow-up online meeting on 14 May presented by Carole Gerts took referencing into the 21st Century. Thanks to Carole, I have detailed knowledge of APA referencing and Ulrichsweb.

“Connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks” (Downes, 2012). Connecting ideas and distributing them to share digitally involves understanding the 5C’s and being “creative, collaborative, critical, combinatory [able to combine knowledge], and communicative” (Bruns, 2008, p. 341).

“The ‘half-life of knowledge’ is the time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete” (Siemens, 2004, para. 3). This implies e-journals and e-publications aren’t likely to stay current for long. “Because of connectivism, they’re prone to be adapted, updated, superseded or even refuted by new research/technology” (Oxley, 2015b). Hence the importance of utilising the most recent databases for research and other academic work.

Information behaviour and mobile learning go hand in hand and after reading Jobs (2010) Thoughts on Flash for the digital essay, I see why Google doesn’t like websites with Flash.

 

Preserving the Vatican’s Historic Treasures https://youtu.be/ylENx9xvB7wUploaded 13 November, 2012 by EMC

Preserving the Vatican’s Historic Treasures in Module 1.2 highlights the need for digital preservation. The clip makes people aware of the time, effort and expense involved in making such as project possible.

 

 

Domesday-book-1804x972.jpg
Domesday-book-1804×972” by Andrews, William – Andrews, William: “Historic Byways and Highways of Old England” (1900)[2]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Katherine Herbert’s discussion thread about the Internet Archive’s tool, the Wayback Machine and the Doomsday Book is exceptional and I agree, “We all need to be active contributors and preservationists” (Herbert, 2015).

Bawden & Robinson (2012) write about the Information Society with authority. Their work on Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright have been cited in my INF506 blog post and their definition of information overload, in my scholarly book review on Microstyle by Christopher Johnson.

My digital essay, Understanding Creative Commons when developing resources in the education sector was demanding, but beneficial. I expected to publish my digital essay using iBook Author, but published it on my blog instead as I required more time to navigate iBook Author. A tweet from Nadine on 31 May 2015 confirmed my doubts about having to navigate the application in a relatively short time and I sent Nadine a direct message expressing my intentions and provided an alternative solution, thus repaying her for allaying my fears at the commencement of the course.

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

 

Looking back over Concepts and Practices in a Digital Age, I’ve not only learnt about digital innovations, but have also create them in my blog. As a children’s writer, I’ll be familiarising myself with iBook Author and the Digital Style Guide in preparation for INF533 Literature in Digital Environments next session.

 

References

Alchin, E. (December 5, 2014). Digital style guide. Education and Communities: New South Wales Government. Retrieved from http://www.rde.nsw.edu.au/lxd/2014/12/05/digital-style-guide/

Bailey, N. (2015, March, 15). Digital reading and studying – teachers are students too… [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/informativeflights/2015/03/15/digital-reading-and-studying-teachers-are-students-too/

Bawden, D, & Robinson, L. (2012). Information society. In Introduction to information science (pp. 231-249). London: Facet.

Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second life, and beyond: From production to produsage. New York: Peter Lang.

Downes, S. (2012). Connectivism and connective knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks. [National Research Council Canada]. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/me/mybooks.htm

Jobs, S. (April, 2010). Thoughts on Flash. Apple. Retrieved from https://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

Herbert, K. (2015, February). Module 1.2: Keeping it all safe – Digital Repositories. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_12674_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7273_1&course_id=_6635_1&message_id=_5577_1#msg__5577_1Id

O’Connell, J. (2015, February). 0.5 Subject management – Introductions. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_12673_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7273_1&course_id=_6635_1&message_id=_5576_1#msg__5576_1Id

Oxley, L. (2015a, February). 0.5 Subject management – Introductions. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_12673_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7273_1&course_id=_6635_1&message_id=_5576_1#msg__5576_1Id

Oxley, L. (2015b, April). 2.4 Thinking in networks. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_12675_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_7273_1&course_id=_6635_1&message_id=_5580_1#msg__5580_1Id

Siemens, G., (December 12, 2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

INF530 Digital essay proposal

Assessment item 6: Digital essay proposal

CC-colour-logophoto credit: Nine Steps to Collaborative Composites via photopin (license)

 

Proposed topic – Creative Commons

Connected learning in knowledge networks includes understanding Creative Commons when developing resources in the children’s sector. Aspects of creative commons include understanding the different types of licenses and how correct attribution is applied to images and videos.

 

Proposed digital tools

  • CC icons (including attribution)
  • CC videos (including attribution)
  • Related CC images (including attribution)
  • Possible CC sound (may be included in video)
  • Optional CC mashup
  • Hyperlinks

The digital essay will be published in my CSU ThinkSpace blog.

 

Goals

Understanding the different Creative Commons licenses will enhance my personal and professional goals as a children’s writer.

 

Rationale

Today’s creators have the opportunity to share creations and topics with a global community of learners, but which license is best and what does it involve? This essay will introduce the types Creative Commons licenses, explain how to use them in social media and what happens if the creator wishes to revoke the license.

 

Introduction

A definition of the creative commons and creative commons licenses will be given.

 

Overview

Watch Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand video.

 

Literature review

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs

Gee and affinity spaces (Wikipedia)

Siemens (2004) Knowledge and understanding amplified through shared connections.

 

Examples

Explanation of the symbols used for the different types of CC licenses and the 6 main types of CC licenses including examples. An explanation of the examples will clarify that not all CC licenses are free content licenses.

 

Topic 1

A definition of The Noun Project will be forwarded. This is a site that contains free icons, but some ‘royalty free’ icons have to be purchased and the term ‘royalty free’ will be discussed.

 

Topic 2

An introduction to the CC site – http://creativecommons.org/ including how to find CC – licensed work on Flickr and Google without leaving the site.

 

Topic 3

How to find CC images via Google Scholar.

 

Topic 4

How to find CC images on Flickr.

 

Topic 5

How to find and attribute CC music in a Vimeo video.

 

Topic 6 (optional)

What is Mixter?

 

Critiques and Criticism

Turkle on solitude.

Rheingold on literacy as lever, as divide (2012, p. 252).

Criticism mentioned in Wikipedia’s article on Creative Commons.

 

Implications for creators

What happens if the creator doesn’t want their work to be CC any more?

 

Conclusion

A summary of findings will incorporate the above aspects and predict future trends based on the CC website report 2014 infographic.

 

Attribution/Bibliography/References

Creative Commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Creative Commons website – http://creativecommons.org/

Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand. (2011). Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/AeTlXtEOplA

Creative Commons license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

Rheingold, H., & Weeks, A. (2012). Net Smart. MIT Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=10537983

The Noun Project. Retrieved from https://thenounproject.com/

Turkle, S. (January 3, 2011). Rheingold’s interview with the author, Howard Rheingold.

INF530: Module 3.2 A Trip Down Memory Lane

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

The Australian Curriculum – General Capability for Critical and Creative Thinking

This document defines Critical and creative thinking and provides strategies in English, Maths, Science and History. The aim is to develop students’ higher order thinking.

Students’ natural abilities are acknowledged and several well known theorists praised, including Bloom (1956), Brunner (1967), Gardner (1994), Robinson (2009) and De Bono (2009). It’s like a trip down memory lane reading about these theorists again.

Interestingly, the word, Critical is capitalised throughout the document, but not creative. Perhaps it’s less important.

NoodleTools

NoodleTools is a platform for research and literacy. It supports Google Docs. To avoid accidental plagiarism, notecards may be linked to sources – a good idea.

A definition of Information Literacy is on the Home page and a bank of citation questions, answered by experts, is available for users. I’ll stick with EndNote, as I’m familiar with it.

Beginner’s Guide to Transliteracy

Today’s children’s writers also need to know about transliteracy, that is, writing across various platforms, to engage young readers. This blog serves as a refresher.

Turn It In Advice from Sam Parker DIT

I was trying to submit Assessment 3 for INF506 to Turn It In, the plagiarism software tool. It wouldn’t let me add the assessment under the one I handed in last week for INF530. Sam Parker, Division of Information Technology (DIT) advised I click the blue button, even though it says, “Resubmit”.

Screenshot of blue button

Screenshot of blue button Image credit: Lyn Oxley

I was told that’s the button to press for each assignment for the year. The previous assignment won’t be lost as it’s not connected to EASTS. I submitted as advised and received a 7% match. This is acceptable as 6% of the matches were on the footer for each page. To find out, click the grey VIEW button beside the blue resubmit button.

Turn It In 7%. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Testing the Surface Pro 3 (128 GB)

Surface Pro 3 showing kickstand and stylus. Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Surface Pro 3 showing kickstand and stylus.
Image credit: Lyn Oxley

CSU Library has Surface Pro’s for students to borrow.

Core Software

  • Adobe Reader
  • Office 2013
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • EndNote

Setting up the Surface Pro 3 is easy. Navigation is via touchpad, keyboard, arrow keys and touchscreen. There’s a place for headphones and a USB port if students wish to save work on a thumb drive, rather than in the Cloud. Front and rear cameras provide a choice of shots and photos go to the ‘Camera Roll’ file. A panorama function is also available. Save photos and all other work to a thumb drive or the Cloud as students’ work is deleted at the end of the day.

The 12” detachable tablet is light and a good size. Using the stylus with Ink and Slide in Microsoft Word is fun. Surface Pro 3 comes with a power cord, stylus, library info and carry case.

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Borrowing

Students may leave the premises with the Surface Pro 3, but allow enough time to return it, or risk a fine. The maximum loan is 4 hours, but overnight loans can be arranged. For more information visit:  http://ow.ly/Lzp3p

Blog Task 2: Trends in technology development

“Children’s writers need to know about industry-related technology to reduce their workload, study statistics, look professional and share information with other writers.”

Social Media for Writers

My first encounter with industry-related technology came in 2009 after joining the Central West Writers’ Group (now closed). The coordinator, Jasmine Vidler, advised writers of the benefits of blogging such as providing a free, global platform to promote themselves and their work.

School Library Learning 2.0

School Lib Learning 2.0

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

She recommended viewing the School Library Learning 2.0 blog to set up an account and advised although there were 23 tasks to complete, there was no deadline. This reassured many participants, including myself, who were daunted by the idea of setting up a blog, but it was worth it when the blog went live!

I commenced a Google+ blog in December, 2011 as I desired to try the new features promoted in Google+ such as ease of access and connecting with friends and family via Circles and Hangouts.

Comparing pageviews

 Details of Blogger & Google+ pageviews

Detail of Blogger pageviews

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

I recently took screenshots of the two blogs to compare pageviews: Blogger revealed 5,666 pageviews while Google+, 16,917 pageviews – around three times the amount.

Studying quantitative data is valuable when comparing blogs: The Google+ blog commenced in December 2011, 2.5 years after the Blogger account. Not only does Google+ have 3 x more pageviews, it contains more interactions via comments and is visually more streamline than the latter. It appears Google’s intention is to have Google+ supersede Blogger.

Twitter 101

The next technology encounter came late in 2009 when I joined Twitter to network with other children’s book authors. I found an invaluable article, Twitter 101, in the Society for Children’s Book Writers and illustrators (SCBWI) Bulletin. The author provides practical advice and explains the language of Twitter or Twitterspeak. (Pope, 2009, p. 22).

Noteworthy Credentials

Another encounter with technology came recently when I requested a digital member’s logo from the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and a digital member’s badge from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

SCBWI badge

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

With the ASA, a license is granted and stipulations adhered to (pending approval) before downloading the logo. However with SCBWI, the stipulations are agreed to when clicking the download button.

 E-QUILL – a digital newspaper

Credentials are beneficial not only for blog sites, but also when self-publishing a digital newspaper. E-QUILL targets fellow writers also interested in digital technology and education. Since E-QUILL is a fledgling paper, public awareness of my status is enhanced by utilising the ASA logo and SCBWI badge on my blogs. This is necessary so readers may make informed choices about the content they read. E-QUILL contains a link to Blogger on the Headlines page.

E-QUILL logo

The digital paper for education and technology

Image credit: Lyn Oxley

The next step is to continue reading Microstyle: the art of writing little by Christopher Johnson (2011) as it contains useful advertising tips, beneficial when promoting E-QUILL, and later, when marketing self-published children’s stories.

References

Johnson, C. (2011). Microstyle : the art of writing little (1st ed. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Pope, A. (2009) Twitter 101. SCBWI Bulletin, Nov-Dec 2009, 22-23.