Bring it Together

Published November 26, 2013 by Lauren Marie

There are many connections that can be made between the topics of Media and News Literacy, Digital Storytelling, and Technobiophilia. According to John Delano, Media and News Literacy is ‘the way that we access, read, analyze, interpret and understand the news of the day’, which ‘has been revolutionized by participatory technologies such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, and mobile media’. According to Bryan Alexander and Nicola Allain, digital storytelling is a ‘well established form of narrative development that incorporates diverse media types’. Sue Thomas explains that technobiophilia is ‘the way that we use nature metaphors such as clouds, rivers, streams, viruses, and bugs in the language of the internet’, and we love ‘images of forests, waterfalls, animals and beaches’; and this is all because of ‘biophilia’.

These topics are very much alike in the fact that they all have to do with new new revolutionized and technological world. The way we share the news, stories, pictures, and anything else has been changed almost exponentially in the past century. With the dawning of new things such as computers, televisions, digital toys and games, and the internet; people had a much easier way to share their thoughts and ideas.

These three topics are almost always, if not accidentally, intertwined. We use the process of digital storytelling to share our story of the news, media, or pictures. For example, when a newscaster shares the news about the weather on the television, he is telling his news story digitally, and is sharing that news story with a live broadcast of the snow falling. This is using digital storytelling, to share news or media literacy, along with the use of technobiophilia. In class, we are using web-hosting sites such as wordpress and weebly in order to share our own stories, digitally. Today, the news, stories, and images are almost always shared digitally as newspapers, magazines, and books are being replaced with televisions and computers.



Topic 7 – Tech:nature literacy: Technobiophilia

Published November 18, 2013 by Lauren Marie

In this post, Sue Thomas defines ‘technobiophilia’ as the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology’. Sue wrote an article for Aeon Magazine, where she explained that people feel calmer and less stressed when they are exposed to either a real or virtual image of nature, such as fish in a fish tank, or a video of a waterfall. She explained that people can get the same benefits from experiencing nature firsthand as viewing the same thing virtually. The sights, sounds, and smells from nature, are commonly used as calming remedies. For example, some people listen to the sound of a babbling brook to fall asleep, and a lot of us enjoy the smell of a burning pine or apple candle while relaxing. I believe that the primal instincts inside us cause us to still enjoy the calming effects from our natural environment.

Sue explains the phenomenon where common terms from nature are used in the technological world, such as ‘clouds’, ‘streams’, ‘virus’, and so on. I believe that this happens simply because it is easier for us to understand the term, by imagining what it it really is in terms with biology. For example, when you imagine ‘the cloud’ (which google defines as a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet and used to store, manage, and process data in place of local servers or personal computers), you think of an actual cloud, with all of our information floating around in it. This makes it easier for us to understand the terminology; rather than learning new terms we just re-define old terms as the world and its technology evolves.

This idea of technobiophilia is comparable to my teams’ topic of digital storytelling in many ways. For one, pictures of nature can be used to tell a story. They always say, a picture says a thousand words. I believe a simple picture of nature, such as a bird in a tree, or a fish in the ocean, tells a wonderful story of these animals and their natural habitats; and these pictures are used in order to calm us and remind us of the simplicities of life and the world. Whether we notice or not, we often use techno-bio terminology when we are telling a digital story. Many of our digital stories are stored in ‘the cloud’; we ‘stream’ a podcast; and we ‘surf’ the ‘web’.


MOOC Talk for Metaliteracy MOOC Topic 6 – Digital Storytelling and Metaliteracy.

Published November 11, 2013 by Lauren Marie

This week, we watched a MOOC talk on the topic of digital storytelling and metaliteracy. I though that this talk was very interesting. In general, I believe that it is so fascinating that they can hold a video conference, share powerpoint demonstrations, and hold a chat all-together. This made it easy for me to hear what the speakers were saying and see their examples, as well as being able to interact with them via the chat box. I learned so much about digital storytelling and metaliteracy, which is very helpful to me since that is my teams topic in this class. The main speaker Bryan was very informative, he literally wrote the book on digital storytelling. I learned the definitions of metaliteracy and digital storyelling, and I learned many examples of digital storytelling that I never would have guessed were so. Anything from youtube videos, to picture slideshows, to interactive “make your own story” books can be considered in the topic of digital storytelling and metaliteracy.

I would love to join a MOOC talk again. This helped me learn so much about digital storytelling and metaliteracy, and sparked my interest in many topics that I never would have thought of.


democratization of social media

Published November 5, 2013 by Lauren Marie

According to the text in the above link, “The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever”

Pros to this statement would be that social media sites (such as twitter) are open and allow anyone to join, and allow anyone to “follow” anyone elses’ posts, so people can get a wide variety of views and opinions on any sort of topic. There are also “citizen journalism” websites, that allow any ordinary person to play “an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information”, as opposed to any professional journalist, or collaboration with a professional journalist. This way, ordinary people are open to convey their freedom of speech within social media websites.

Cons to this statement would be (adding on to the pro) that social media sites allow anyone to join and allow anyone to follow anyone. This is also a con because it is an easy way for people to stalk, bully, and fight with other people. Another con would be that simply, much of the information on social media websites could be either conveyed to be the truth and actually false, or could just be a simple opinion, and could be taken the wrong way by readers who disagree.

Twitter Literacy (I refuse to make up a Twittery name for it)


What Metaliteracy Means to Me

Published October 29, 2013 by Lauren Marie

I believe that metaliteracy is a new-and-improved way to do research, critical thinking, and collaboration. Information Literacy is the ability to research a subject and evaluate that information we find and use the information in an effective way. Metaliteracy is a way to utilize information literacy, with the technology and information available today. We went from having a small variety of sources for information such as books and newspapers years ago, to having a wide variety of digital sources today. Because of the internet, we can research any subject and find millions of sources of information on the subject; articles, journals, experiments, blogs, videos, live chats, and so on; from many different types of people and points of view. Through metaliteracy, we can share, display, and research any subject and reach many people, and all of the information we would need.