What I learned about transliteracy in Saratoga

At 3Ts 2013: Transliteracy from Cradle to Career in Saratoga Springs this week I learned some new things about transliteracy. 

1. In What I Want, When I Want to Watch It: Brief Thoughts on Television Literacy in the Streaming World with Hollie Miller & Michele Forte, Hollie aka @theotherinside showed us a feature on Hulu Plus which allows you to choose between adverts. That means that when the ads come on – as they invariably do – if you don't like the one they're showing, you can choose a different ad from several on offer. Very interesting ad-based literacy – I've never been asked to consciously choose my own ads before, even though I know I'm already trading off that information on many of my social media platforms. And of course, in the process, Hulu learns lots about your preferences 😉

20130315_1715162. This next phenomenon may be familiar to American readers but I haven't seen it in the UK. In my hotel, the Saratoga Hampton Inn, each room has a transliterate doorsign – a different image for each room on my corridor. I didn't check whether they were duplicated on each floor or if there really are over 600 different images here, but was struck by the interesting idea. I, for example, am not a visual person and although I noticed the pictures on other doors as I passed by, it took me a while before I remembered to check out the picture on my own door. But
20130315_171524 many people, I'm sure, would find the image more memorable than the number. So this seemed to me an interesting translit
erate feature which I don't think I've ever seen before in a hotel. 

 3. Lastly, I started thinking again about MOOCs. I used to teach online a lot – I've taught in MOOs, O'Reilly Webboard, WebCT, on Skype and Blackboard, plus various other long defunct platforms. I set up the revolutionary trAce Online Writing School in 2002, and with Kate Pullinger devised the Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media. But I haven't taught whole courses online for quite a while now, and MOOCs have been rather passing me by. In the last few months, however, an increasing number of colleagues have spoken enthusiastically about their experiences of being both students and teachers in MOOCs, and I think it's time for me to get to grips with them. So I'm looking forward to refreshing my transliteracy skills online in an environment which I suspect will be pretty different from those I knew before.

So, three new personal takeways for me from this one day conference – very valuable and energising. Thanks to everyone who came.