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Okay, so lately we’ve been focusing on writing. At the moment we’re doing peer editing reviews of one another’s work. For those who would like to see some of our resources, see the links below. They are from a writer’s workshop for South African Multimodality in Education (SAME) attended by Nicola Pallitt and Marion Walton. These resources were compiled by Arlene Archer and Lucia Thesen, academic literacies and writing gurus.

Abstract exercise – how to write a great abstract, helps as a reflective exercise too:)

Peer editing – a checklist of various criteria to consult when peer doing editing.


Silke left to go back to Holland last month. We had a wonderful farewell party at Radebe’s B&B in Langa. We wish Silke all the best for her MA thesis and the future:) She can be sure we’ll come knocking for the couch one day when we come to Holland… hopefully not all at the same time, poor Silke. If you would like to watch videos made by Silke’s Ikamva Youth teens, check out their YouTube Channel.

Calling all youth, education and technology researchers:

Calling all Digimob SA members:

Thats All Folks,

Thanks to Herman Lategan for the following tips on writer’s block:)

  • Writer’s Block is simply a cognitive distortion based on unfounded fear of failure and being caught out as incompetent. It’s in your own mind, a self-constructed inhibitor of productivity. You constructed it, you can deconstruct it. Remember, simply feeling that you’re not a good writer, doesn’t reflect the reality. Feelings aren’t facts.
  • Perfectionism is a killer. No piece of writing, or any piece of art, or music, photograph, film or play, can be perfect. Nothing in life is perfect. Don’t get it right, get it written. Once it’s written, you can re-write and edit. A famous editor once said: “I don’t want it perfect, I want it Monday.” With other words, get it done, stick to a deadline and stop fretting. PS. This doesn’t apply to getting the facts right. Facts, spelling, grammar should be triple checked.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Email and Internet surfing are the enemies of time. Remember: Planning to write isn’t writing. Doris Lessing said: “At some point I must stop talking about writing and just do it. Those ideal conditions: Solitude, time, money, freedom from care, would never happen.”
  • Don’t compare yourself to other writers. You’ll suffer from self-inflicted performance anxiety and you’ll freeze. By all means, learn from others, but develop your own voice. Nobody can write the way YOU can write, because nobody like you exists. Remember, metaphorically, you might not be able to bake a cake, but you might be able to make a great fridge-cake.
  • Play around with words, have fun, invent new ways of painting pictures with words and telling riveting stories. Athol Fugard once wrote: “Free yourself from labour and use more delight.”
  • Reject rejection. Reject your inner critic, or the Hitler on your shoulder that tells you you’re incompetent. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. You don’t need other people’s approval to be successful. By all means learn from criticism, but don’t be immobilised and crushed by it. Ban your internal and external critics.
  • “The art of writing is rewriting.” Margaret Atwood.
  • Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
  • Finally, writers must be as disciplined as athletes, and repeated binge usage of alcohol or drugs impair the creative process. This isn’t moralising: Simple facts. And like an athlete, the more you practice, the luckier you’ll get.

I thought you may find this intersting - DigiMob Australia is a mobile repairs company. See:

What an interesting meeting! We had a variety of discussions about what we’re up to at the moment. Muya is nearly done with his proposal and has to present a defence – we will be there, just let us know when and where you want us:) Anja shared her interesting experience at the Bellville library where librarians are all for equality: youngsters can play games for their 45 minutes and are not kicked off the computers because older people want to look for jobs, everyone is entitled to their time and the activities they choose to pursue. This was quite a contrast to the eCentres in the West Coast I visited with Marion and Araba Sey, where people were not allowed to use social networking sites. Silke also did library interviews and discussed how the permissions required to do research in SA is vastly different to Germany where it’s all about having a signed authoritative letter with a department stamp or letterhead. Silke says that the interpersonal is valued a lot more here – personal contact and politeness – rather than having authoritative documents. Travis had an interesting experience with high school art students using Diigo: they subverted the affordances of uploading profile pics by using pics of mucho men as a classroom joke to make it look like their male teacher was interested in men. Nicola (me) shared that she had been helping out as a research assistant on a national youth survey. Marian spoke about blogging and Bonnie is very happy to have a framework for analysing mathematics tutoring interactions via MXit. Thabisa, newest member of the digimobbers, mentioned that she may do her PhD thesis on digital literacies, but is currently interested in Cape Access in Knysna. What a busy mob we’ve been!

Itinerary for this coming week: Thabisa will do a 1-page proposal OR discuss her Masters work; Silke will talk about her latest paper and Muya is going to prepare a mock defence as practice for the real deal.

The week after: Bonnie to discuss her theoretical framework, any other volunteers?

A belated happy new year to all Digimobbers! As you can see, I’m working on our Digimob blog which has a long way to go. I’m working on a page with everyone’s photo’s, a short bio and basic thesis topic. Please send me yours if you have not done so yet.
Marion’s methodology course commenced today from 2 – 4 o’clock in TB Davie room:) Also, Travis is doing a presentation on Friday and he’d appreciate our support. If you’re presenting somewhere other than at our Digimob research group, please let me know and I’ll post it as a Digimob Event (soon to be it’s own page). I will also add our other events such as the writers’ workshop, WTF conference and DDR.
Digimob Event: 25 Feb 2011
Travis presents to the CET research group on Friday, the 25th of Feb, at 15H00 in the CET seminar room. His 15 minute presentation will focus on how Activity theory could be used to label research data for the factors that are likely to influence (sustained) curricular adoption. The presentation will be followed by 15 minutes for feedback: since the challenge of linking diverse data into a coherent thesis is a big one, he looks forward to feedback on his proposed solution… even if it is to try something completely different!

As promised, I’ve set up this blog for our digital media research group. I will ‘pretty’ it up in time and hope we can share in the task of making it an interesting sharing and learning space:) Please email me a short blurb about yourself and your thesis topic so that I can add it to the participants tab. My email address is

Today will be our 4th meeting, with Travis, Marian and Bonnie presenting proposals. Last week I shared some data with the group (boys’ drawings of their favourite games and shocking game designs). Today was the Mobile literacies seminar:

“Dr Marion Walton from Film and Media Studies, Associate Professor Ana Deumert from Linguistics, and Steve Vosloo from the Shuttleworth Foundation will discuss the findings of the Mobile Literacies project funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation. Current models of informal online learning and digital literacies depict freedom of movement through expansive online learning spaces, and individual trajectories of participation in peer and affinity networks (Gee, 2003, 2005; Jenkins et al, 2006). These models are not necessarily adequate to describe online learning networks in the global South, where the internet is increasingly accessible via ubiquitous GPRS-enabled mobile phones. This seminar will discuss a case study of the m4Lit project (Mobiles for Literacy), a teen literacy development project in South Africa which recruited around 63 000 subscribers using mobile internet technologies and an m-novel (mobile novel) entitled Kontax.”

I was unable to attend the seminar today, although I helped out as a research assistant on the project. Bad Nicci for not attending! Those of you who attended, please feel free to add a comment or a new blog post about the seminar and what you found interesting about it. Also, since we are sharing a username and password to make things easier, perhaps add your name to the bottom of posts and comments:)

See you all at our meeting later, Nicci (Nicola Pallitt)