Archive for the ‘media literacy’ Category

nostalgic media and mediated forms of nostalgia

August 17, 2012

Hey, I did not know that there used to be a superhero, ahem, space ranger called Rocky Jones with television show, comics, merchandizing and all. Makes me proud to be a Jones myself. :-)

Check out the squeaky clean Space Ranger Code: I pledge

  • to obey my parents at all times
  • to be kind an courteous to all
  • to be brave in the course of freedom, to help the weak
  • to obey the law at all times
  • to grow up clean in mind, strong in body

Children actually bought this? How times have changed.

Which reminds me of the conference  “Flashbacks – nostalgic media and mediated forms of nostalgia” coming up on 13-14 September 2012 in Basel, Switzerland. The preliminary program is here*


isotype & literacy learning box

August 10, 2012

Sometimes I create teaching materials for primary school children. Usually they are in German, so not very interesting for this blog here. But this picture domino can be understood and used by all people who know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The domino follows the events in the fairy tale, based on the Grimm version. The idea is, that every child has to narrate the next bit of the story, before they put the next domino piece down. Sometimes essential details have to be filled in such as the wolf devouring grandma and the little girl, but these story elements will rarely be left out anyway. So it is an exercise in sequencing and story telling. But I think it could be fun for grown ups too.

The graphics used are mostly from or in the public domain. These images have been designed in the tradition of ISOTYPE and other signs, which are forming an international visual language in their own right. (Think of the signage on airports or the Olympics.) The image of Red Riding Hood is by Emma Pelling and can be found among many other educational resources at

I am very much interested in developing Isotype-like icons for children, to be used in the context of literacy, or rather for developing multimodal literacy. I believe that abstracted and well crafted icons can be a stepping stone to alphabetic reading, as the reader has to make inferences. They also could help to communicate very efficiently to children of all languages, for example, in games or websites or other places. Of course this is happening already to some extent – children learn to read emoticons, icons and symbols in contextual menus of games. But I am sure there is more to be achieved.

The pdf is in German. The last page is meant to be a cover for a DVD storage box. I have been thinking a long time about the most practical and efficient way to store and organize learning games in the classroom. I have come to the conclusion that empty DVD covers without the DVD tray are the most simple and elegant solution. They can be stored on a bookshelf, next to books or with other DVDs, so they can be associated with both books and games. This way they can be easily retrieved and put back to where they belong. They are cheap. The boxes shut tightly, so hopefully cards and small game tokens will not be lost too quickly. The instructions can be written on the back cover and as they are protected, they will not be lost or torn. Where appropriate, a booklet or a game plan can be included (often DVD covers have little clips to hold the booklet down). For example, the story of Red Riding Hood could be provided with this game.

I am happy to borrow, steal and promote good teaching ideas and ideas for classroom organization from wherever they come from. However, I claim to be the first to use DVD covers for literacy learning boxes! Here is the printable pdf. You are free to use it. CC: BY-NC-SA



September 12, 2011

This was the summer reading for toddlers offered in my local store: children’s magazines with “free” toys: mock mp3-Player, iPhone and mobile phone. Selling early literacy clearly is tied to selling media technology. How to work with that once children start school – that is a question teachers will have to be concerned with.


season’s greetings

December 16, 2010

I got these greetings from the Institute of Education. Do they read my blog?


pipe or not to pipe

September 18, 2010

Martin Klasch: Controversy: Ceci n’est pas une pipe!.

How fascinating! I guess, we may safely assume that Magritte’s idea goes back to the time of his early reading experiences. Who knows what kinds of traces primary textbooks leave in the minds of children.

merrymaking as political protest

May 16, 2010

In 1775 Austrian Emperor Joseph II dedicated a large piece of  land  for the use of  “all the people for their amusement and merry-making”. The park with baroque garden design is called Augarten and I live round the corner, and so it is close physically and close to my heart too. Over the years there have been various attempts to build on parts of the land, which have been for the most part thwarted. But since a few years, the City Authorities in liaison with private investors have been planning to build a large concert hall on one end of the land. Protesters have been squatting on and off for three years now. Political protest has become more playful and performance orientated in the last decade or so, for example in the form of flashmobs. But only in Vienna I guess, protesters would come up with the idea to do it in such style and in baroque style too. After some of the trees were cut down last year to prepare the ground for the building work the activists staged a funeral procession around Vienna. On May 1st, Labour Day, they arranged for a colourful protest procession in full regalia. You’ve got to love the dresses! Makes me think of the work of artist Yinka Shhonibare.

Also, they do the prettiest leaflets! I fear it will all be to no avail.

conference presentation

May 2, 2010

I love all the picture and comic books the children have produced in the winter term during the first phase of the research project “Media Education in Primary Schools”.

This year I will be presenting some of my research into teaching media literacy/multimodal literacy in primary schools, based on results from the MIVA Project on the following international conferences:

„Key Concepts revisited: Teaching Teachers about Media Literacy“ as part of the Symposiums: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools at  UKLA International Conference 1010 „The Changing Face of Literacy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,“ Winchester, 9.-11. July 2010
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools

“Teaching media literacy with magazines and comics: a case study from Austrian primary schools“ 32. International IBBY Congress, Santiago de Compostela. 8.-12. September,
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy with Magazines and Comics

I will also be presenting at some national conferences and seminars, for example at the Bundestagung zur ganzheitlich-kreativen Lernkultur an der Sekundarstufe 1: BMUKK und in Zusammenarbeit mit der Pädagogischen Hochschule Wien, 27.-28.09.2010. Looking forward to it all.

edupunk comic

October 16, 2009

I have introduced ComicLife to a group of primar school teachers, and it will be interesting to see what they will be coming up with in their classrooms. In the meantime I found this comic.2595116903_64a0fcaa75_o
Edupunks, meddlers in the middle, teaching as subversive activity – where is my research leading me to next?

why do we need media to communicate?

June 10, 2009


I also like this simple explanation. I  would like to put that in my PhD thesis, instead of some complex definition! It seems to come from Scott McCloud, whose book “Unterstanding Comics” is on my shopping list.

via Austin Kleon, from his post on “our sad inablity to communicate mind to mind”.

What Kind of Tech User Are You?

May 22, 2009

What Kind of Tech User Are You?
from Pew Internet

Apparently I am a Digital Collaborator.

If you are a Digital Collaborator, you use information technology to work with and share your creations with others. You are enthusiastic about how ICTs help you connect with others and confident in your ability to manage digital devices and information. For you, the digital commons can be a camp, a lab, or a theater group – places to gather with others to develop something new.

teaching practices

August 9, 2008

I made some visuals for an upcoming class/ presentation. It is ridiculous how much time I spend sometimes just for creating one slide. But I guess it is all worth it, at least for those students, who are like me and really like well made visual pesentations.

superheroes for literacy

August 6, 2008
Batman - Lukas Jones

Batman - Lukas Jones

I have uploaded here my draft essay on Superheroes for Literacy, which I am going to submit for publication.



July 17, 2008

This neat little online application may in come handy for the visualizations for ideas. I have used tagcrowd instead of abstracts, and as an introduction to a presentation, and I will experiment with wordle next. Here is a visualization of the abstract of the research project, which I am about to start in October.

Superheroes and Children’s Culture

March 21, 2008

dissertation snipshot

I am very pleased to say that my dissertation ‘Superheroes and Children’s Culture’ has been recognised by United Kongdom Literacy Association as an “outstanding piece of work” and the UKLA therefore decided to give the 2008 UKLA Student Research Award (Postgraduate) to me, which will be presented at the UKLA International conference dinner on Saturday July 12th in Liverpool. My husband Steve got very excited about this, and I had to remind him that this was not quite the Oscars, but nevertheless I would like to thank him for his encouragement, and David Buckingham, my supervisor for his support, and Guy Merchant and everybody else from the UKLA for awarding this price to my work, and most of all my son Lukas, for providing much of the inspiration and the fantastic data for this paper!

I made a tag cloud about the dissertation last year with the help of TagCrowd, which looks like this. Interesting, how the largest tags signifying the most frequent keyword in the paper correspond with the title of the paper.

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