03 May

Video Games and the Construction of Reality

The "official" trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was just released and it is an amazing piece of advertising. Take a look:

In #K12Media and again at The Association for Media Literacy's 21st Century Literacies conference, we looked at The Hunger Games and the social media marketing/advertising of that film (you can see a short promo about the campaign here). The above trailer (and I'm certain there will be more to come in the months before the game is released) is another great example of a social media campaign that already is creating a good bit of buzz.

09 Apr

Media Literacy Conference!

If you're wondering why I haven't blogged in a while, it's because things have been a bit busy... 

On April 21, you are invited to join us for a great day at York University! Register here.

Coffee and lunch will be included. 

If you're not yet an AML member, head over and join now. It's free! 

We look forward to seeing you there.

03 Mar

TO Book Club: Welcome!

Last week, I tweeted a thought I had about starting a book club, and later that day TO Book Club was born. I'm looking forward to engaging with others who are passionate about literature. Reading a book is a decidedly solitary activity. We need time to absorb the words, to allow the text to move us, to allow our imaginations to interact with the text creating an intimate and individual experience every time it is read. At the same time, there is a unique pleasure in the shared experience of going on that journey with others, having a multitude of parallel experiences that intersect at a moment in the text or engage in a vibrant debate/discussion/analysis of the work. It's those experiences that I hope to have reading with you.

To that end, I have set up the @TOBookClub account on Twitter. The vision of what this book club could be isn't fully formed yet. Right now, I have the rough idea of reading the book and meeting at some point after, likely toward the end of March to discuss the novel. You don't have to live in or near Toronto to do so, as I have started the hashtag #TOBookClub and will likely explore having a meeting via Twitter and Google + or other video/chat service for a larger group discussion (depending on how many people are interested in attending). If you have any ideas or suggestions, please add them in the comments or tweet me, I'd love to hear them!

The first book selected is Half-Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan. 

I'm about half way in and it is really difficult to put down. I have been tweeting quotes from the novel that (I hope) will give you a taste of the beauty of the narrative. Today I listened to a short podcast from the Man Booker Prize (the novel was a finalist). At the 7:30 mark is a lovely reading from the novel, a teaser that reveals just how easy it is to be drawn in by the gorgeous economy of words:

01 Mar

New Month, New Focus

February just flew right by. Perhaps it's that end-of-winter shut down, but I realize that I haven't blogged since the beginning of the month. That needs to change. I'd like to make an effort to blog at least 2-3 times a week in March, to get myself back into the habit. So happy March 1!

I have decided to devote this month to trying new things. Spring is right around the corner, and what better  way to celebrate than to experiment and play with new tools and resources? Want to play together? Here's what I'm experimenting with right now:

Pinterest: One year ago, this site was launched and I have been following its development (as well as the usual attempt to quantify and monetize the service). I don't have much up yet, but I'm starting to get a feel for how it works. I do wish that the process of adding people to follow was a bit easier, but I like the simplicity of the site's layout and I'm finding ways to use and organize information. Organization is not my strong suit, so I'm always looking for ways to help with that challenge and I hope that this site might be a useful tool. I love the fact that it's so visual, not simply a block of text that I have bookmarked. I'd love to see how you're using Pinterest, so here's where you can find me: Ms. Solomon on Pinterest.

01 Feb

O Canada: A Teachable Moment

"Why do we have to sing O Canada in school every day?" My 5 year old asked me as we pulled up to her school this morning. When she began kindergarten, I briefly wondered what she'd think about this musical interlude at the beginning of every school day. She never mentioned it, and I never remembered to ask her. Other things seemed more important: who she played with, what story she was reading, what happened on the playground. O Canada was something she did in the morning, like putting her coat in a cubby and taking the chairs down at the beginning of class, unworthy of notice (though those rituals could fill another blog post...). Why did she ask me that question today? I find she often asks the big questions at times when we're rushed, in motion, the times when I can't fully devote my attention to the answer. This one seemed important so I parked the car, glanced at the clock and realized I had about 4 minutes before the bell rang.

"Why do you think?" I asked, curious to see how she had rationalized it.

"I don't know," was her less-than-helpful answer.

"Do you think it's because it's everyone's favourite song?" I countered.

"No. It's not my favourite song."