Technology to Transgress. Spinoza, Energy & Expeditions of Joy. Exploring Critical Zoom Literacies with #ukfechat

“The [online] classroom remains the most radical [online] space of possibility in the academy”

(hooks, 1994)

What about the online classroom? Is the online classroom the most radical virtual space? what is (techno) trangression?

Every Thursday at 9pm, a series of questions, ideas, and provocations in the form of tweets are curated on Twitter with the hashtag #ukfechat to prompt discussion. Tweetchats have become increasingly more popular and one of the core benefits of using this approach is that discussions can take place without the need for face-to-face or location-based restriction.

The format is a question followed by a number. Twitter users who want to respond to a particular question are able to respond by typing ‘A’ and the number of the question. Whilst there is an explicit focus on further education, the majority of ideas, topics and themes explored are relevant to all educational settings. This was the case with using Zoom, particularly during the pandemic as a pivot approach and also as post-pandemic hybrid tool.

In addition to #ukfechat, there are a number of weekly Twitter accounts and hashtags used a tool to prompt online discussion about education. For example #APConnect, #CreativeHE and LTHE Tweetchat which is “a collaborative project to discuss learning & teaching in HE with the wider community vie tweetchats…” (@LTHEchat). LTHEChat takes place every Wednesday 8pm-9pm and the WordPress conference (#PressEDconf21) “…on all things education, pedagogy and research” (@pressedconf). Two blog posts have been published about tweetchats here and here:

In 1994, bell hooks wrote a pivotal book entitled ‘Teaching to Transgress Education as the Practice of Freedom‘ (hooks, 1994). What is transgression? Can technology as a platform for transgression? Can technology be used as a platform for freedom? What about “The Public and their Platforms?” (Carrigan & Fatsis, 2021). What is literacy anyway? What is Critical Digital Literacy?

“Defining what is meant by digital literacy however has proven complicated, as the spaces, texts and tools which contextualise such practices are continually changing”

(Pangrazio, 2016: p163)

Perhaps literacy is a “commodity?” (Elsasser & Irvine, 1992). On Twitter, there is an account that asks what “if bell hooks made an LMS” which is “A bot that mashes up marketing statements from Learning Management Systems and passges from Teaching to Transgress ” (@bellhooksLSM).

Created uisng Presenter Media

As part of both the SDAU and QAU projects, the RAU delivers 45-minute interactive sessions using Zoom. Therefore, the topic of Zoom Literacy became relevant for both staff and students. The first tweet asked ‘What would bell hooks say?’

What would bell hooks say about Zoom? A video tweet.

A range of questions was asked for example:

  1. Have you heard of artifactual literacy? Does every object tell a story? (Rowsell & Pahl, 2010). How can we use objects in Zoom online classrooms effectively?
  2. To what extent are non-verbal feedback & agile literacy an important part of Zoom literacy? I have used before.
  3. How have you used Zoom to create an opportunity for collaborative learning?
  4. How can we carry out digital differentiation using Zoom e.g. sending a message to an individual student & the whole group using the chat
  5. Camera or off? That IS the Zoom question. Or is it?
  6. Since the return to face-to-face teaching in some contexts, how can Zoom support a hybrid pedagogical approach?
  7. To what extent can Zoom be used to create multimodal learning opportunities or for dual coding?
  8. What do you think about a Zoom literacy certificate or formal qualification? Could there be a Zoom college or university?
  9. How did you support teaching staff & students on how to use Zoom? Can you share any practical examples or links? One suggestion I have is to adopt a team-teaching approach in Zoom. Students get more energy!
  10. Is it more about joy not literacy or can we have both?
  11. What is critical digital literacy anyway? What makes it critical? Who decides? Can a tool-specific literacy exist? Would it be helpful and for who? To what extent is literacy transgressive?
  12. How are you currently using Zoom for pedagogy? What features do you use e.g. polling, breakout rooms and/or whiteboard. How can we improve these features?

A good place to start would be to ask what critical digital literacy is anyway? In 2019, I presented Association for Learning Technology (ALT) West Midlands Group at Warwick University exploring Digital Champions and Critical Digital Literacy. Can critical digital literacy evolve over time? To what extent have the global pandemic and pivot to online learning had on our definition? One response from the #ukfechat was that it is about “making a difference” and being “boundary-less of what is possible…” which could link to transgression (Scattergood, 2021). Perhaps bell hooks would agree!

(KMScattergood, 2021)

Another question concerned how objects can be used during Zoom meetings with respect to artifactual literacy. Does this add a new socio-material dimension to using Zoom?. “Does every object tell a story[?]” (Rowsell & Pahl, 2010). A helpful suggestion was made by @tessmaths:

Embedding Numeracy in Zoom classrooms
Embedding numeracy into Zoom meetings using found objects

The use of agile stationery (@agilestationary) can be used in Zoom classrooms as a paper-based solution – “We believe that physical products support embodied cognition without becoming distracting and provide the fastest feedback loop in the simplest possible setting” (Agile Stationary, 2021).

Exploring the Agile Stationary card deck

Perhaps embedding gamification approaches can increase student engagement?

(@agilestationary, 2021)

One of the tweets connected literacy to joy. Joy has been a positive narrative, particularly throughout the pandemic and beyond. Joyful Education “…was founded by Stefanie Wilkinson and Lou Mycroft in the summer of 2020, following the momentum experienced in Covid-lockdown around the need for change in education” (Joyful Education, n.d.). It is possible to follow the #JoyFE hashtag on Twitter.

It was useful to find out how other educators are using Zoom and also what other tools they are using to enhance the student experience, for example the HUE camera:

(@tessmaths, 2021)

Two tweets really stood out in terms of reflective responses to the questions from @LouMycroft. The first tweet explored how Zoom can be used as a platform to build relationships. The second tweet explored the idea of energy from Spinoza and the idea of a joyful expedition. The metaphor of the journey/expedition was powerful.

Tweet 1:

Tweet 2:

What would Spinoza say about Zoom? Does energy create energy?

Does a journey imply a destination? The discussion about journey raised some further ideas:

(@KMSCattergood, 2021)

One of the tweets explored the idea of a Zoom University. Zoom Academy offer both training and certifications for example for Educators here.

The tweets from tweetchat exploring Zoom Literacy can be accessed here organised as a Wakelet collection.

The collections of curated tweets for #ukfechat have been organised as a Wakelet collection here:

If you would like to curate a topic of #ukfechat, it is possible to sign up using Padlet here:

Let us end on an amusing Tweet from Eric Yuan, Founder & CEO of Zoom:

Dr. Rikke Toft Nørgård, Associate professor, Aarhus University & Center for Higher Education Futures presented at the Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society (PaTHES) Thematic Webinar Series 2021: Foresight, speculative design and preferable higher education futures in September 2021. In this presentation, the idea of ‘hopepunk’ was identified. What if we had ‘Zoompunk?’.

Bibliography

Agile Stationary (2021) (Online) Available at: https://agilestationery.com/ [Accessed 11 September 2021]

Agile Stationary [agilestationary] (2021, 30th September) WE HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS BRINGING PHYSICAL CARDS INTO A GAMIFIED INTELLECTUAL PROCESS. THE CARDS DON’T END UP BEING DISPLAYED ON SCREEN. EACH CARD IS A PROMPT WHICH IS CONSIDERED BY THE INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANT. WHEN GAMEPLAY DICTATES THE PARTICIPANTS READS THE CARD ALOUD [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/agilestationery/status/1443700780729516037

Carrigan. M & Fatsis, L (2021) The Public and their Platforms Public Sociology in an Era of Social Media (Bristol: Bristol University Press)

Elsasser, N. and Irvine, P. (1992) ‘Literacy as Commodity: Redistributing the Goods’, Journal of Education, 174(3), pp. 26–40. doi: 10.1177/002205749217400304.

Fibonacci, C (n.d.) #UKFECHAT (Online) Available at: https://padlet.com/ChloeFibonacci/UKFEchat [Accessed: 5 October 2021]

Joyful Education (2021) (Online) Available at: https://sites.google.com/view/joyfuleducation/home [Accessed: 5 October 2021]

Nørgård, T, T (2021) What comes after the ruin? Speculative design for preferable university futures [Online]. in PaTHES Fall 2021 Thematic Webinar Series on “Foresight, speculative design and preferable higher education futures. September 2021.

hooks, B (1994) Teaching to Transgress Education as the Practice of Freedom (Oxon & New York: Routledge)

HUE (2021) HUE (Online) Available at: https://huehd.com [Accessed: 8 October 2021]

LTHEChat (n.d.) LTHEChat (Online) Available at: https://lthechat.com/ [Accessed: 5 October 2021]

Pahl, K & Rowsell. J (2010) Artifactual Literacies: Every Object Tells a Story (Language and Literacy Series) (Amsterdam & New York: Teachers College Press)

Pangrazio, L (2016) Reconceptualising critical digital literacy, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37:2, 163-174, DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2014.942836

McDonald, P [@PipMac6] (2021, 30th Sept) HELLO #UKFECHAT. IT’S 9PM. LET’S EXPLORE ‘TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSGRESS. EXPLORING CRITICAL @ZOOM LITERACIES’. REMEMBER TO REPLY USING ‘A1’. WHAT WOULD BELL HOOKS SAY? [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/PipMac6/status/1443682169881341956

McDonald, P [@PipMac6] (2021, 30th Sept) Q7. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT A @ZOOM LITERACY CERTIFICATE OR FORMAL QUALIFICATION? COULD THERE BE AN @ZOOM COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY? #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/PipMac6/status/1443676220634324992

McDonald, P (2021) Unpacking the PressEd Twitter Conference Experience. A Digital Assemblage? https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/ Digital Transformation blog [blog] (Online) Available at:https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/unpacking-the-pressed-twitter-conference-experience-a-digital-assemblage/ [Accessed 5 October 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) EduTwitter as Rhizome. An Online Athenaeum? Tweeting on the Shoulders of (Digital) Giants cDonald, P (2020) When a Learning Technologist became a DJ – For One Night Only. https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/ Digital Transformation blog [blog] (Online) Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/edutwitter-as-rhizome-an-online-athenaeum-tweeting-on-the-shoulders-of-digital-giants/ [Accessed 5 October 2021]

Mycroft, L [@LouMycroft] (2021, 30th September) EVENING PIP! ZOOM IS ALL ABOUT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FOR ME CONTEXT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SO NOTHING FANCY. CAMERAS ON, #THINKING ENVIRONMENTS AND IF THERE’S WORK TO BE DONE GET AWAY FROM THE SCREEN. HAVE EVEN PULLED BACK FROM SLIDES #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/LouMycroft/status/1443672769300926470

Mycroft, L [@LouMycroft] (2021, 30th September) I LOVE THE IDEA OF EXPEDITIONS OF JOB, SPINOZA BELIEVED JOY WAS FOUND IN THE ENERGY WE SHARE, A SORT OF COLLECTIVE LIFE ENERGY. THE BEST TEACHING HAS THAT AND BRINGS THE OUTSIDE IN #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/LouMycroft/status/1443675202618003465

Presenter Media (2021) Presenter Media (Online) Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/edut https://www.presentermedia.com [Accessed 5 October 2021]

Scattergood, K [@KMScattergood] (2021, 30th September) NOT A JOURNEY-I HATE JOURNEY AS IT IMPLIES THERE’S A DESTINATION. CAN WE HAVE JOY IS THE ADVENTURE OR JOY IS THE EXPEDITION INSTEAD? #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/KMScattergood/status/1443673584891797526 [Accessed 7 October 2021]

Scattergood, K [@KMScattergood] (2021, 30th September) WELL, CRITICAL LITERACY IS ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE, USING LITERACY TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO, IMPROVE SYSTEMS/COMMUNITIES, ETC, SO I THINK CRITICAL DIGITAL LITERACY MUST BE BOUNDARY-LESS IN WHAT IS POSSIBLE. Thinking emoji. #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/KMScattergood/status/1443669662655516683 [Accessed 7 October 2021]

Taylerson, L [@LyneeTaylorson)] (2021) ukfechat curation: 30/09/2021 – Technology to Transgress: Critical Zoom Literacies hosted by @PipMac6 (Online) Available at: https://wakelet.com/wake/A5H5cVpqqNamjw5nsy6Wk [Accessed 5 October 2021]

Taylerson, L [@LyneTaylorson)] (2021) ukfechat curated archive https://wakelet.com (Online) Available at:/wake/n0OovqWy5sLeNx_2cpHIO [Accessed 5 October 2021]

Taylerson, L, Pinny, K & McDonald, P (2019) West Midlands Group Meeting: Critical Digital Literacies West Midlands Association of Learning technologists [blog] (Online) Available at: https://bit.ly/2P8qTRI [Accessed 5 October 2021]

Tessmaths [@tessmaths] (2021, 30th September) A13: ASK STUDENTS TO RUN OFF AND FIND SOMETHING – A CUBOID WITH A RIGHT ANGLE IN IT, SOMETHING WITH A SQUARE NUMBER ON IT, A PACKAGE TO UNFOLD TO SHOW THE NET OF SHAPE #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/tessmaths/status/1443683051456942080 [Accessed 7 October 2021]

Tessmaths [@tessmaths] (2021, 30th September) A1: ALSO LOVE LOVE LOVE MY @HUECAMERAS VISUALISER WITH 50 MINI-WHITEBOARDS USED WITH http://MATHSBOT.COM@STUDYMATHS CAMERA FUNCTION – LOOKS GREAT IN ZOOM AND GENERALLY CONNECTS IN SECOND #UKFECHAT [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/tessmaths/status/1443670993072005120 [Accessed 7 October 2021]

the bell hooks LMS [@bellhooksLMS] (n.d.) Twitter. [Twitter] Available at: https://twitter.com/bellhooksLMS [Accessed 7 October 2021]

Zoom Video Communications (2021) Zoom Certifications (Online) Available at: https://academylearn.zoom.us/certifications [Accessed 14 October 2021]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s