Bringing It All Together

Everything is related to each other. In a MOOC, media and news literacy, digital storytelling and metaliteracy, and technobiophilia are all interconnected.

Media and news literacy, as I have read from other assignments, shows that everyone can be a journalist. Every time someone posts on Facebook or tweets on Twitter, they are being a journalist. Not all posts are good though as tweeting or blogging erroneously can spread all over the news to the point that it is perceived as fact. In fact, in class we found websites that were giving either biased or wrong information and saying that it was truthful. Every person can be a journalist on the internet, what they do with that power, though, is up to them.

Just as they are being a journalist they are also telling a story, which is why media and news literacy is connected to digital storytelling. In class, we watched a MOOC on digital storytelling and metaliteracy. Bryan Alexander explained the many different forms of digital storytelling and what we are heading for in the future. Nicola Allain explained how digital storytelling is being used in classrooms and colleges to help kids to learn. By writing their own story, they are asking questions and using their writing and language skills in order to do it. Technobiophilia, as I had researched from my other assignment, relates to all these topics in that through it we are connecting our personal lives to technology. Every time we post on the internet whether as a journalist or a storyteller, we are connecting some part of our lives to social media and the internet.

I never realized how all of these topics related to my own life. Every time I post onto my Facebook I am connecting myself to the technological world. Every time I post about something I am both a journalist and an author. Tweeting on twitter about my town’s damages that were incurred during Hurricane Sandy both tells a story and reports about the carnage of Hurricane Sandy. I never realized how much of myself I reveal on the internet or how much I add to the information every time I blog or tweet. Technology and the internet can be dangerous , but it can also be a great source of the news and a terrific new way to learn in classrooms. I think using digital storytelling in classrooms is a new and interesting way to learn. Technology is a huge part of our lives and it is only going to get bigger. This modern way of teaching will surely become a major style in future years.




Technobiophilia is explained by Sue Thomas as the “innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology.” Dr. Thomas calls to attention in her lectures the fact that the we often use nature metaphors in cyberspace such as virus, cloud, or stream. I had never realized that so many of our technological terms have to do with nature, but she’s absolutely right, much of computers deals with nature. I always just figured that that was the way it was and I didn’t question it. I similarly never really never questioned why people put exotic landscape scenes as their desktop background.

In technobiophilia as we connect to nature and life through technology, we are connecting to metaliteracy. The metaliteracy objective of connecting learning and research strategies with both our personal and professional lives is related to technobiophilia in that, through it we learn personal and public strategies for our wellbeing in cyberspace. We often connect to life through technology when we use social media websites. As I have learned through my topic of digital storytelling and metaliteracy, through social media outlets such as twitter and Facebook, we are connecting our lives to technology through telling the story of ourselves on these websites. Through nature on our computers and internet we try to connect to life outside of house, to be in nature and life itself. Pictures on our computers and different media sources help us to do this.

Technobiophilia helps us learn strategies for our wellbeing in cyberspace. As I learned last class, the internet is a very risky place. If you find a bad website and don’t have a strategy for identifying it as such, you could be in a lot of trouble. This is similar to real life when you find yourself in a bad situation and can’t identify it before it’s too late. Bad websites can be unreliable and should never be used for anything serious. They do however offer the opportunity to learn what to avoid and how to avoid it just like a real life situation.

This topic of technobiophilia has called a lot to my attention that before I just took for granted. I never realized the way that nature affected my digital life. Nature and technology combined help us to become connected to our lives and learn strategies for both our digital lives and our real lives.


Digital Storytelling and Metaliteracy

Since I’ve started my information literacy course, digital storytelling and metaliteracy has become a big part of my life. The more I have researched it for my class, the more interesting it has become. Last week, the assignment to find two book about this topic helped me gain a better understanding of it and different facets that have to do with digital storytelling and metaliteracy, but I still found that I had some questions about it. This was why I was very happy that in the last class we were to watch a MOOC about digital storytelling and metaliteracy. The MOOC really clarified the questions I had had about the topic.

One of the speakers, Bryan Alexander, helped to clarify digital storytelling in the modern world. He showed how stories can told through any form of digital media. It doesn’t matter if it is through video, photo, social media, blog, or even video games can tell a story. Through this storytelling we form a personal connection with the media outlet. I never really recognized that every time I update something on a social media form that I am telling a personal story. With every status update I’m telling a story whether about what I’m doing or what I feel about something. One of the things that wasn’t mentioned during the MOOC was the use of Vine, which is an app on cell phones that allow a person to create a 6 second video that’s main purpose is basically to tell a story. Vine was the first thing I thought of during the MOOC when Mr. Alexander was going through the different forms of digital storytelling.

Nicola Allain than showed how digital storytelling can be linked to metaliteracy. I was very happy that she spoke about this because this was something that I had really been having a hard time understanding. She showed how college students can use digital storytelling in order to learn and contribute themselves to literacy. Through digital storytelling, students ask questions, reflect on the problem, and evaluate it through which they learn and also share what they have decided. The topics that Ms. Allain brought up throughout her presentation really helped me understand metaliteracy better and will help me in my own research towards digital storytelling and metaliteracy.


Media and News Literacy

Media and the news are becoming large parts of peoples lives through the digital and social media world.¬†“The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever,” states the text from John Delano on the Media and News Literacy page of the Metaliteracy MOOC. Whether or not you are a professional journalist no longer matters as everyone today is a journalist whenever they post on a social media website.

There are both pros and cons to the fact that more people are participating in the development of the news. As stated by the Twitter Literacy article, the social media site Twitter, allows for an immediacy and searchability missing from regular news outlets. In Twitter, within seconds news stories are updated as they happen. In turn all those peoples followers can see their bit of news as it is happening. It doesn’t matter who is doing the updating, any bit of news can go viral in no time at all. ¬†Twitter as a social media site also enables those on the site to find exactly what they are looking for related to the news. Instead of having to listen for the news that they want by normal means, this social media website allows a person to search for what they want through hashtags and find news pertaining to their search immediately.

While Twitter Literacy examines the pros of social media interaction, the article, Scientific Meta-Literacy, examines the negatives. One such negative is the problem of reliability. Not all information that people post on social media websites and claim is true news is always reliable. Anyone can post anything they want and whether its true or not hundreds or thousands of people will hear about it and probably think that it is true and then in turn share it with the people that they know. There is also the problem of biased information. Depending on a persons views on topic can reflect the way they reveal the news. It doesn’t mean that the bit of news isn’t true, it is just that it trends the person reading it towards the person who posted its viewpoints. A good example of this is in a political election. If a person sees that their friend on FaceBook constantly posts negative facts about a certain candidate, it sways them to that persons side. That doesn’t mean that the negatives aren’t true, it’s just that they leave out any positives that could have alternately led a person the other way.

Social media and the news has both its positives and negatives. Personally I feel that social media is good for the news as long as a person is looking at it the right way. The important thing is for a person to be informed. I feel that a person needs to realize what they are looking at could possibly be unreliable or biased towards one way or the other. Social media can be really good for staying updated on the news even when they don’t watch it on TV. Personally, I don’t really want the news or read the newspaper much, but the way that I stay updated on what is happening is through social media outlets. Social media is a good place for participation and interaction related to the news, but it can also be dangerous if a person is not aware of the possible problems within it.


What metaliteracy means to me

As a student, metaliteracy to me is a new concept to me and something that I hope to truly explore through my information literacy class. Metaliteracy has been shown to me as a very important part of learning in both my daily life and in school. As a college student I am constantly on social media websites and just as often researching information for school on the internet. Social media is extremely popular and combining that with information as well as engaging the students that use it is an excellent idea.

Metaliteracy takes traditional forms of knowledge and combines it with modern technology. It provides an online environment for people to collect and distribute information. Information types such as visual literacy, news literacy, and transliteracy are very much connected to metaliteracy. I like that metaliteracy isn’t just focused on one certain aspect of information. The fact that it is connected to so many different facets of knowledge and allows for students to participate takes learning to another level.

Personally, I find research as a boring, but necessary facet of learning.¬†Metaliteracy brings an almost fun aspect to learning that I feel is not available under normal circumstances. Being able to actually discuss and contribute ideas is something that I haven’t yet encountered in my school experience. The MOOC as an online environment for learning about metaliteracy is something that I look forward to participating in and collecting knowledge from. I hope to come out of this course with a better understanding of metaliteracy and how I can use it in both my daily and school life.