Reaction to Web Style Guide Chapter 2-3

The online Web Style Guide is a very informative and resourceful guide for website design.  This will be a very helpful aid in the creation of our final literacies project.  In my minuscule background of website design, I related with a few aspects mentioned in the first part of chapter 2.  I was interested to find that some aspects of website architecture relate somewhat to building architecture.  I will remember this connection in the future when incorporating design techniques into building projects as well as web design projects.  There needs to be a focal point of the website, and alignment and aesthetics create an easier means of navigation and understanding.  Less clutter and more organization are also convenient and make the web experience much easier to understand.  The idea of “universal design” relates closely with the idea of “universal literacies”.  Whether in school, on the internet, or in the workplace, universal understanding of concepts provides for easy communication and a better understanding for beginning users.  The use of many multimodalities makes for a more interactive and pleasurable experience when exploring websites.

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Reaction to Kress

Kress is a very intelligent writer and speaks of many truths about introducing new multimodalities.  I like to classify the term “multimodality” as a form of technology.  As with any new technology introduced to society, the technology must be adaptative and accepted in order to become successful and utilized.  Kress mentions that people generally seem to focus on one aspect of multimodalities and the others become somewhat peripheral or looked over.  As new technologies and multimodalitites are created, they must work with each other to create systems of technology and multimodality.  The term “multimodality” literally means two or more semiotic modes working together to present information to humans.

Kress also speaks of music as a type of multimodality.  Music is a very artistic form of auditory semiotics.  I believe, if produced correctly, music videos can be very powerful and vauable in the sense of multimodalities due to the combination of the auditory (music) and visual (video) senses working together to create one multimodality.

Here are a few examples of powerful and artistic music videos that I enjoy.

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Workplace Literacies Revision

After reading over and listening to my classmates during our in-class peer revision, I have a few new ideas to include within my workplace literacies paper.  I plan on continuing to explain the difference of how literacies are used, viewed, and expected within the workplace at Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity.  A way to elaborate on this subject  can be done by explaining the difference between literacies in the office and on job sites.  I also plan on introducing the idea of tactile and kinesthetic learning styles in the construction and architecture industries to reiterate previous class learnings.  My classmates talked about the idea of using direct quotes from our interview processes.  I will search for opportunities to include important quotes that pertain to, relate to, and support certain ideas within my paper.

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Library Workplace Literacy Documents

“Workforce Readiness: Competencies and Assessment” Edited by Harold F. O’Neil Jr.  I believe this is the most useful resource I have found.  To quote O’Neil, “Workforce Readiness: Competencies, and Assessment is designed for professionals in the assessment/evaluation/measurement and the vocational, technical, and educational psychology communities.  It explores the state of the art in the specification of competencies.  It explores the state of the art in the specification of competencies (skills) and their assessment for students entering the world of work from both high school and college.  Both individual and team competencies are explored.

“Literacy in the Digital Age: Reading, Writing, Viewing, and Computing” by Frank B. Withrow – Chapter 5 – Literacy and Technology

“Literacy and Learning: Reflections on Writing, Reading, and Society” by Deborah Brandt – Chapter 5 – Writing for a Living: Literacy and the Knowledge Economy

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Reaction to Brandt “Writing for a Living”

Though quite extensive, I find Brandt’s article about writing for a living quite useful and interesting.  She says, “Although knowledge and literacy are not synonymous, literacy is both a form of knowledge and a way of formalizing knowledge, a means and an end of production.”  I feel that this quote goes hand in hand with another quote in which Brandt says, “In the knowledge economy, wealth is created by generating and leveraging knowledge.”  By stating that literacy is one of the most important forms of knowledge, and stating that wealth and success are created by knowledge, one can interpret that in order to flourish and be successful, one must practice literacy and literary understanding as an important form of knowledge.  I believe this to be true within all companies and workplaces.

I found similarity in Brandt’s project in the instance that she tracked all forms of genres, audiences, processes, materials, voices, teachings vs. learnings, resources, and contacts in the workplace.  At this point in my project, it is very evident that proper literacy and communication are valuable skills to possess in the workplace.  Many people convey messages and meanings much more thoroughly and properly through the means of writing.   I believe it is much easier to express one’s self in writing, compared to verbally.  Writing things down properly gives people a chance to say what they want without facing verbal or face-to-face criticism.  Proper writing also enables the ability to physically and visually retrace thoughts and messages.

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Reaction to Baron

Baron speaks of computers changing the way people and school children learn and utilize literacy.  I believe the computer and Internet have proven to be great resources towards the world of literacy, but with all technologies have their pros and cons.  Today’s society is so fast-paced that there is almost a completely different literacy for personal computer usage.  Some may argue that less people have the knowledge to write and communicate professionally due to social networking and texting.  Though this may be true to a certain extent, I believe society today is simply adapting to changes in technology.  In our society today, there is virtually no use for dictionaries, encyclopedias, and research literature.  The information conveyed in these mediums can be quickly and accurately found on the internet.  To relate this discussion to my Technologies in Society class again, last week my teacher stated, ” I don’t even know why libraries exist anymore.”  He spoke of a trip to the library where the thing he noticed most was the vast amount of people who used to library to rent DVD’s and for nothing else.

People must also remember that communication is a key to understanding and success.  There are many thoughts and ideas that are easier explained through a physical writing process rather than simply through speech.  As technologies continue to progress, it is important to understand what technological processes were created from and how to relate these technologies to literacy.  One quote I find very noteworthy from Baron’s article is, “In order to gain acceptance, a new literacy technology must also develop a means of authenticating itself.”  This is true of all technologies, if society does not accept a new technology it stands no chance of survival or success.

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Reaction to Lindquist and Seitz 2

Once again I find it interesting that this article relates closely to topics discussed in my “Technologies in Society” class.  In fact, just today our instructor stated that, for example, there are going to be 100 people applying for 10 jobs, and every single one of those candidates are going to appear the same.  In order to get a job one must stand out to an employer, and one main trait that gets the attention of employers in the ability to communicate effectively through writing.  Lindquist and Seitz state that in order to balance a corporate oral culture, there is a need for written communications.  Fine tuned grammar, an intelligent vocabulary, and correct sentence structure help to convey messages and direct proper communication in the workplace.

Another strong point that Lindquist and Sietz mention, is the process of choosing between a consensus vs hierarchical model of collaboration.  They proved that a model of collaboration and consensus is a difficult approach especially within a larger company.  I believe this to be true because a large group of people will have many different opinions, beliefs, and experiences.  There is a reason that higher paid executives are hired, in order to direct and control decisions and problems within a company.  The authors still stress the importance of communication between different levels and departments within a company.

After my observation and analysis, this is one main area of concern that I have begin to pay attention to and will always stress.  the idea of organization and efficient communication is key to a company’s success.  new technologies and ideas are created everyday, and if everyone is not understanding at the same rate or on the same page, struggle is imminent.  Effective communication and organization goes hand in hand with workplace literacy, and this is one main point I intend to stress in my workplace literacies project.

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