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Bill Brydon

POLITICS OF LANGUAGE IN CONTEMPORARY SINGAPORE CINEMA - Interventions - Volume 13, Issue 4 - 0 views

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    "While critics have argued that the films of Singapore director Jack Neo posit a critique of the state, this essay will argue the contrary. In deploying Chinese 'dialects' his films may appear to give voice to the Chinese-speaking masses in Singapore, especially those who have been marginalized by the state's political economy, which clearly favours the educated and English-speaking milieu. For the Chinese-speaking masses, his films may even appear to act as a medium or outlet for 'anti-state' criticisms which they feel but cannot articulate, since criticism of the government is essentially prohibited here. However, as this essay will demonstrate, Neo uses such linguistic idioms only as a foil to further perpetuate government propaganda: he uses Chinese 'dialects' to draw his intended audience to his side, and once they are taken in, he persuades them to reconcile with unpopular government policies. In other words, Neo's films constitute an extension of state politics via cinematic means, rather than an authentic political critique. As this essay also suggests, unveiling Neo's manipulation of language in his films as such will be critical to uncover not only Neo's underlying political intent, but also the unequal distribution that underlies the state's language policies"
Bill Brydon

Girl game designers | Carolyn Cunningham NMS - 0 views

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    "Educational programs designed to bridge the digital divide for girls often aim to increase girls' technological literacy. However, little research has examined what aspects of technological literacy are highlighted in these programs. In this article, I provide a case study of a video game design workshop hosted by a girls' advocacy organization. Through observations, interviews, and analysis of program materials, I look at how the organization conceptualizes technological literacy as contributing to gender equality. I compare this conceptualization to how technological literacy was taught in the classroom. Finally, I draw on situated learning theory to help explain how girls responded to the class. In the end, both the organization's limited notion of how technological literacy could increase gender equality as well as gender and race differences between the teachers and the girls influenced girls' participation in the workshop."
Bill Brydon

Towards a Babel ontology - 0 views

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    "This article presents a few issues in the making of our film A Long History of Madness that pertain to the 'Babylonic'. Spoken in 12 languages, ranging across six centuries, and shot in five countries, the film possesses an inherent Babylonism. It makes a case for a multilingual mode of communicating. Yet, beyond the obvious need for verbal communication, for which subtitles are necessary but insufficient, the film presents other reasons for extending the concept of translation. The knot of potential confusion and the need for 'translation' are the ontological uncertainties surrounding 'madness' itself. The key questions are: are people mad? Do they perform madness, or do others perceive them as mad because they are too dissimilar from them to be accepted as 'normal'? This fundamental uncertainty affects all forms of alterity. Translation becomes, then, a tool to negotiate alterity under the terms of the acceptance of this ontological uncertainty."
Bill Brydon

Documentary Studies and Linguistic Anthropology - Culture, Theory and Critique - Volume... - 0 views

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    "This article suggests that linguistic anthropology offers useful analytical tools to documentary studies because both fields wrestle with questions that emerge from the circulation of indexical representations that are putatively constructing truths. Linguistic anthropology is deeply concerned with the ways that texts circulate, and how this circulation affects how indexical representations are structured and how constructions of reality are produced. The question this article tackles is: how can insights that linguistic anthropologists have been developing about circulation, indexicality, and the construction of facts be usefully mobilised to think about documentaries?"
Bill Brydon

Radical Teacher - Critical Gaming Pedagogy - 0 views

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    "Meet Benjamin, an aspiring Game Designer. If he works hard to accumulate the required skills in the game design industry, his career path will move steadily and predictably from Beta Tester to Hacker and finally to Game Designer. If he is not satisfied with that achievement, Benjamin can keep working and move up to Venture Capitalist, opening his own company, or ultimately to Information Overlord, entirely monopolizing the regional media. No glass ceiling will bar his ascent; no workload increases will tax his resolve; no layoffs will frustrate the steady pace of his advance. Regardless of age, race, class, or gender, with a little hard work and ingenuity, Benjamin can achieve any career he wants. If this career vector seems too good to be true, it is because it is not true. Benjamin is a simulated character-a sim-inhabiting the virtual space of the popular video game The Sims. McKenzie Wark, author of the book Gamer Theory, created Benjamin as an example of how games are not so much simulations of reality, but ideal models that embody hegemonic ideology (20-22). In this case, Benjamin's easy prosperity reveals how the algorithm governing economic life in The Sims is based on an "American Dream" in which an ideal combination of meritocracy, full employment, equal opportunity, and upward mobility is perceived to be the norm. Wark purposely contrasts his virtual Benjamin, who lives in this free-market ideal of capitalism, to the real Benjamin, a game designer struggling to survive in today's harsh economic landscape. After losing his job at a small game-design firm that went belly-up, the real Benjamin moved to a larger firm-Electronic Arts, owners of The Sims. In an online forum, Benjamin's wife exposed how"
Bill Brydon

Journal of Narrative Theory - Teaching Culture - 0 views

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    "Throughout the history of film, plots have required that a character be rendered unconscious for a finite period with no explanation of the process and with no other consequence, to which end, the medium invented the "magic-single-punch." All one character has to do is say: "I hate to do this but . . ." then throw a swift punch to jaw, and the recipient agrees to pass out for however long the plot requires. More significant than this compliant character is the equally compliant viewer, who accepts this miracle of anesthesia, that works to perfect effect even on a character who, in other scenes, might have a chair broken over his head or receive several karate chops to the trachea with barely a blink or stagger. Although I believe that car chases were the reason God invented "fast-forward," even more bewildering than the apparent popularity of this screen event is the fact that audiences have failed, over the last two decades, to wonder why not one of the cars involved has a working airbag. Such thoughts, of course, disrupt the pleasure that has been paid for with money, time, and attention, in the same way, for example, that disputing the comparably absurd tenets of Reaganomics disrupts the myth of satisfaction purchased with (low) taxes, lip-service patriotism, and self-serving citizenship.1 In 1984-in the middle of Reagan's reign over morning in America-federal law required that all cars have passive restraints by 1989. Since Reagan's second term, in other words, in defiance of legality and common sense, the premises of Reaganomics and of movie car chases have remained unchallenged. Fueled on the one hand by pleasure industries, and on the other, by think tanks and talk radio, the speeding of the economy and of the movie-chase car, along parallel courses toward disastrous crashes could be glossed by saying that, as usual, American mass media had disabled the wrong airbags. Although we do not n
Bill Brydon

You Had Me at Foucault: Living Pedagogically in the Digital Age - Text and Performance ... - 0 views

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    This essay examines the role of technology and social media in the performance of decentered heteronormative bodily and pedagogical power. Today's teaching spaces occupy traditional, physical outlets but also imaginary, online gathering places such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook that have become extensions of our pedagogical bodies. I argue that feminism and queer theory-united by Foucault's upheaval of norms-provide critical sites to engage this discussion. Where feminism has become accessible inside and outside the classroom, resistance to queer theory persists. I share some of my own experiences with bodily ambiguity via teaching and living with social media that I hope can bridge the accessibility gap to move toward an emancipatory theory of pedagogical bodies in the digital age.
Bill Brydon

Wide open to rap, tagging, and real life: preparing teachers for multiliteracies pedago... - 0 views

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    This article examines a teacher educator's implementation of a pedagogy of multiliteracies in an adolescent literacy course. The purpose was to foster pre-service teachers' knowledge and dispositions to enact multiliteracies pedagogy. This article synthesizes the theories of multiliteracies pedagogy and Third Space to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by key learning experiences for pre-service teachers' development of knowledge about and dispositions towards multiliteracies pedagogy. This article argues that emphasizing the Situated Practice and Critical Framing components of multiliteracies pedagogy can promote pre-service teachers' productive negotiations of the conflicts they experience in developing dispositions towards multiliteracies pedagogy.
Bill Brydon

Questioning the Web 2.0 Discourse: Social Roles, Production, Values, and the Case of th... - 0 views

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    This article interrogates the notion of Web 2.0, understanding it through three related conceptual lenses: (1) as a set of social relations, (2) as a mode of production, and (3) as a set of values. These conceptual framings help in understanding the discursive, technological, and social forces that are at play in Web 2.0 architectures. Based on research during a two-year period, the second part of this article applies these lenses to the case of the Human Rights Portal, a Web portal designed to leverage the participatory knowledge production ethos of Web 2.0 for human rights organizations. This section discusses the design process and the ways in which the discourse of Web 2.0 as parsed through the three lenses described informed this process.
Bill Brydon

Uses of video in social research: a brief history - International Journal of Social Res... - 0 views

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    This article discusses the origins of video-based approaches to social research and their continuation up to the present moment. It begins by considering early studies employing silent cinema film and audio recording, followed by the unification of audio and visual recording in sound cinema film. Special emphasis is placed on the perspectives and methods initiated by the 'Natural History of an Interview' research group; the first systematic study of verbal and nonverbal behavior together, as these occur in immediate social interaction in face-to-face encounters. The discussion then continues autobiographically as I recount my own early research experience of the development of video-based research approaches. This is followed by an overview of current work to show the wide range of contemporary research that uses video. The article concludes with a few speculations concerning likely futures for video-based approaches in social research.
Bill Brydon

Multimodal transcription as academic practice: a social semiotic perspective - Internat... - 0 views

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    With the increasing use of video recording in social research methodological questions about multimodal transcription are more timely than ever before. How do researchers transcribe gesture, for instance, or gaze, and how can they show to readers of their transcripts how such modes operate in social interaction alongside speech? Should researchers bother transcribing these modes of communication at all? How do they define a 'good' transcript? In this paper we begin to develop a social semiotic framework to account for transcripts as artefacts, treating them as empirical material through which transcription as a social, meaning making practice can be reconstructed. We look at some multimodal transcripts produced in conversation analysis, discourse analysis, social semiotics and micro-ethnography, drawing attention to the meaning-making principles applied by the transcribers. We argue that there are significant representational differences between multimodal transcripts, reflecting differences in the professional practices and the rhetorical and analytical purposes of their makers.
Bill Brydon

Pedagogy beyond the culture wars De-differentiation and the use of technology and popul... - 0 views

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    In recent decades there have been various calls for a pedagogical revolution in universities to address a new technology-savvy generation of students. These developments have been met with concern about the postmodern relativizing of educational achievement and accusations of the 'dumbing down' of course content. Moving beyond such culture war divisions between orthodox and progressive worldviews, this article outlines how reference to popular culture and utilization of its styles can result in student re-engagement with traditional learning materials and formats. Drawing on focus group interviews with students from an introductory sociology class that incorporated a specifically designed DVD, we outline the individual and societal benefits of a de-differentiated pedagogy that combines traditional rationalist education with more playful forms of learning that directly link with students' life-worlds.
Bill Brydon

Public libraries, digital literacy and participatory culture - Discourse: Studies in th... - 0 views

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    In recent years public libraries have experimented with user-generated or community-contributed content through the interactive tools of Web 2.0. For some commentators this not just establishes a new relationship between libraries and their publics, but signals the end of information hegemony and an 'expert paradigm'. Such claims need to be treated with caution. This article argues that public library experiments with user-generated content can be more usefully analysed in the context of wider institutional mandates around literacy, civic engagement and access. This article critically examines some recent library developments in this field, with a particular focus on Australian libraries.
Bill Brydon

Radical Teacher - Introduction: Shaped or Shaping? The Role for Radical Teachers in Tea... - 0 views

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    But, just as academics have, for years, sought to critically interrogate texts as part of the classroom, working with students to deconstruct and decode articles, poems, plays, novels, non-fiction books, films, games, and more, we would argue that technology also has become a text, one which plays a central role in our lives and that of our students. What is the relationship between a critically engaged activism, pedagogy, and technology? What does radical teaching with technology look like? How do we, as radical teachers, ensure that we and our students are shaping the content and meaning of technology rather than just being shaped by it? Teaching today, from K-12 through graduate school, is ubiquitously tied to digital technology, and the call to make it more so grows. Institutional resources are increasingly directed toward classroom digital initiatives. The "digital divide" discourse, abandoned for a while
Bill Brydon

DISCOURSES OF THE DIGITAL NATIVE - Information, Communication & Society - 0 views

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    This article emerges from a long-term project investigating the BBC initiative 'Blast' - an on- and offline creative resource for teenagers. Designed to 'inspire and equip' young people to be creative, the research interrogates the assumptions behind such a resource, particularly in terms of the so-called 'digital native', and tests such assumptions against the populations actually using and engaging with it. It finds that the conception of a 'digital native' - a technologically enthusiastic, if not technologically literate - teenage population, which is operationalized through the workshop structure of BBC Blast, rarely filters down to the teenagers themselves. Teenage delegates to the Blast workshops rarely validate interest based on technological facilities, enthusiasm or competency. Instead, it is peer groups and social alignments which shape declarations and, more importantly, enactments of interest. This suggests that while the concept of the 'digital native' may be pertinent for generational comparisons of technological use, or is a useful concept for the operationalization of creative media workshops, it is simply not recognized by teenagers to whom it refers, nor does it adequately define use. Further, technological competency and enthusiasm sits uneasily with social and cultural peer group norms, where certain (and very specific) technological competency is socially permitted. This means that the concept of the 'digital native' is problematic, if not entirely inadequate. Focusing on the BBC Blast workshops therefore raises some critical questions around teenage motivations to become technologically literate, and the pleasures teenagers articulate in such engagements per se.
Bill Brydon

The power of problem-based learning in developing critical thinking skills: preparing s... - 0 views

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    This article describes problem-based learning as a powerful pedagogical approach and an aligned teaching and learning system to explicitly and directly teach critical thinking skills in a broad range of disciplines. Problem-based learning is argued to be a powerful pedagogical approach as it explicitly and actively engages students in a learning and teaching system, characterised by reiterative and reflective cycles of learning domain-specific knowledge and doing the thinking themselves. At the same time, students are guided and coached by the problem-based learning teacher, who models critical thinking skills in the acquisition of the domain-specific knowledge. This article will explore what critical thinking actually means. What are critical thinking skills? How best to teach such skills? What is the potential role of problem-based learning in teaching critical thinking skills? Finally, the article reflects on how critical thinking can be developed through problem-based learning as a pedagogical approach in an aligned learning and teaching context.
Bill Brydon

Collaborative virtual gaming worlds in higher education - Research in Learning Technology - 0 views

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    "There is growing interest in the use of virtual gaming worlds in education, supported by the increased use of multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) and massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) for collaborative learning. However, this paper argues that collaborative gaming worlds have been in use much longer and are much wider in scope; it considers the range of collaborative gaming worlds that exist and discusses their potential for learning, with particular reference to higher education. The paper discusses virtual gaming worlds from a theoretical pedagogic perspective, exploring the educational benefits of gaming environments. Then practical considerations associated with the use of virtual gaming worlds in formal settings in higher education are considered. Finally, the paper considers development options that are open to educators, and discusses the potential of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) for learning in higher education. In all, this paper hopes to provide a balanced overview of the range of virtual gaming worlds that exist, to examine some of the practical considerations associated with their use, and to consider their benefits and challenges in learning and teaching in the higher education context."
Bill Brydon

Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learnin... - 0 views

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    "This paper reports on classroom-based research that was designed to monitor the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in a teacher-guided collaborative online learning context to encourage students' critical response to literary texts. The study investigates the premise that an ICT project where children read books and then use email communication to exchange responses with other learners will support critical thinking. Videos of classroom observations, journals and rap sheets were analysed for individual students' levels of critical awareness. Improvements in critical thinking were measured using linguistic analysis. Teachers and students were also interviewed for attitudes to technology use related to learning. Although there were gains in critical thinking, there was little student engagement with technology. The discussion problematises the integration of technology in the classroom through a repositioning of collaboration in a blended learning context known as book raps."
Bill Brydon

The language of soft power: mediating socio-political meanings in the Chinese media - C... - 0 views

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    This article aims to examine the discursive structure of 'soft power' in China, its cultural, historical and political backgrounds and the role the mass media play in mediating its meanings. Conceptualised within critical discourse analysis, this study assesses soft power discourse as a form of articulating traditional values on the part of China's political and intellectual elites, as well as views about China's future directions. Specifically, it focuses on three levels of analysis: 1) a description of the language of 'soft power'; 2) an interpretation of soft power as an institutional practice; and 3) an explanation of the broad socio-political dynamics that shape the discourse of soft power. The article concludes with an initial evaluation of the significance and implications of the soft power discourse.
Bill Brydon

The media and the literacies: media literacy, information literacy, digital literacy - 0 views

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    With the advent of digital technologies, awareness of media is acquiring crucial importance. Media literacy, information literacy and digital literacy are the three most prevailing concepts that focus on a critical approach towards media messages.This article gives an overview of the nature of these literacies, which show both similarities to and differences from each other. The various contexts of their functioning are outlined and additional literacies are mentioned. Especial attention is given to the question of the blurring line between media consumers and producers.
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