ETMOOC thoughts: Tagging as a new literacy

Posted: January 22, 2013 in ETMOOC
Tags: , , ,
The Thinker

The Thinker photo by flickr user Dano used under creative commons license

So, I’ve participated in a couple of ETMOOC webinars so far. I tried to do an introduction session, but something was up with the connection at school. I very much enjoyed the session about curating content lead by Jeffery Heil. And, just last evening I participated in the first ETMOOC connected learning session with Alec. (I admit I was late for class. Since we had a day off, I actually went all out and cooked many separate and distinct things for dinner and was so busy enjoying it with my family that I had to keep eating some more. It happens.)

Anyway, here’s what I’m thinking about now.

First, during Jeffery Heil’s webinar about curation, I was thinking, how can I get him to come explain these tools to my colleagues? I was familiar with the vast majority of the particular tools but it’s never a waste of time to think about how and why we might use tools to collect, curate, and share content. I especially liked the discussion of curating versus collecting. Personally, I have adopted Evernote as my major collecting and sorting tool. It is the one that has stuck, for me. The webinar reminded me, again, that if I want to contribute more, which I do, I need to recommit myself to either diigo or delicious. I tried to do the diigo thing for a while. Even used it with my class one year. However, since saving the links publically seemed to imply some sort of endorsement, or at least having read it, I put a lot into a generic “read it later” pile and then never did. My system did not work. A few years later, I think that I will try again. Before doing so, I plan to spend some time thinking about how my Evernote and diigo will overlap/intersect. And, I’m going to try using for some professional learning options for colleagues.

Second, last evening, I was, as usual, impressed with Alec’s clear and well planned presentation on connected learning. There are a lot of webinars out there at this point and not all of them end up being led by a pro. The pros stand out. Anyway, there was a lot of information, again lots of review of things I know, but might need to remember to bring to the front of my brain. There are only so many things I can keep at the forefront of my mind at any one time and it’s handy to have that list shaken up a bit. I appreciated the many references to articles and readings. They will be helpful for me as I give background and rationale for new initiatives at my school.

Finally, one of the ideas that I took away from the chat in Alec’s webinar was “hashtags as a new literacy”. This is a key idea to think about now, in my opinion. I would say tagging in a more general sense is a new literacy as that would cover tagging in social bookmarking (Diigo, Delicious), note taking (Evernote), as well as hashtags in Twitter. It reminds me of the ability to think about key words to look up in the old index. It was always interesting to see the students who could generate those related key words, know what topics were related, handle how to expand or narrow a research topic. It speaks to thinking about how ideas are linked. Critical back in the old days and critical now.

So, that’s where I am in my head. My next steps are to try again to add diigo to my standard operating procedures, continue participating in the webinars, and to read what other ETMOOC-ers are writing about their experiences.

  1. I enjoyed reading your reflection, Wendy. I’ve been using Diigo for a couple of years now and use it quite a bit. Tagging is an area that I could really use some help with, especially, as you mentioned, tagging is one of the new literacies. Do you have a system for tagging resources?

    • mseiteljorg says:

      I think the issue of tagging socially is a big one. When I tag my resources in Evernote, I don’t mind if my tags are a bit odd or make sense just to me. Once I’m tagging potentially for a wider audience in diigo I feel more of a responsibility to tag in a way that might make sense to others. Often a site has keywords that are offered as suggestions, but might not be my ideas. I think I will plan to do some looking around in the education group at tags and get the lay of the land a little.

      • Wendy,
        I agree with you about the responsibility when tagging for a larger audience and the problems when tags are suggested for you. One thing I can’t decide on is if I want to only include singular terms or plural ones too so I end up giving a site numerous similar tags (eg video and videos). Would L O V E it if someone in ETMOOC gave a session strictly on tagging! It is so useful, not just in book marking, but in tagging our own blog posts, choosing tags or labels for documents in Google Docs, tagging blog feeds in Google Reader… the list is endless!

  2. Thanks Wendy a pleasure to read DIIGO will be new for me and I plan on learning more about the benefits. I am sure you can lead the way. hanks for your post!

  3. Dear Wendy, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your journey and your thoughts. I also found Alex’s suggestion that hashtags are the new literacy, quite intriguing. It is true that the vast amount of information accessible to everyone will have to become organised. It’s an interesting notion that we don’t have the luxury anymore to sit back and wait for someone to digest information present it in bite-size chunks for us, we have all got a responsibility and a potential to contribute to and shape this organisation of information. It’s been fascinating to see hashtags evolve from obscure geeky things you do on Twitter into massive trendsetting phenomena across platforms. Great post, thanks for sharing it.

    • mseiteljorg says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I would say that we can still sit back and let someone else digest information for us, but that we there is so much information out there we have the ability to access a lot of that information ourselves. Part of the problem is being able to evaluate the validity of the massive amounts of stuff out there.
      I agree about the Twitter hashtags.

  4. I’m a big fan of evernote Wendy and love the tagging facility in it. Appreciated your reflection on tagging as a new literacy as I was trying to convince a group of health academics this morning that literacy was more than just writing and numeracy. You’ve prompted me to reflect on that and get up to speed with my blog! cheers

  5. mseiteljorg says:

    This is exactly the problem!! Video, videos? Does it matter? Is there a standard? I noticed yesterday I had tags of both TED and TED talks in my own Evernote. I do think better to do something than nothing. If I wait to be a perfect tagger, I’ll never get going. At least that’s how I’m thinking about it at the moment.

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