Meet James Barrie

New blog site at Blogger:
James is a member of this space
He says he's been updating here ... ?? (Vance)

Jim What's up with this I have the wrong format/extension.

TESOL PP 109 Multiliteracies for Collaborative Learning Environments - 2007

I am Jim Barrie from Gambrills, Maryland, originally from the Buffalo, New York area. Gambrills is near Annapolis and approximately equi-distant from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Jim recently retired from his teaching position at Kendal Demonstration Elementary School, The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Jim taught high school social studies for 24 years at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet, became Lead Teacher at Kendall School, Team 6,7,8, for 2 years, went back to teaching social studies for 2 years at Kendall, and finally taught Language Arts for 5 years at Kendall. Jim, a hearing person, is fluent in American Sign Language, a prerequisite for teaching on the campus of Gallaudet University. FYI: A deaf student could remain on one campus (Gallaudet) from pre-school years through PhD.!

Jim just came out of retirement to tutor community college students in a reading lab. Thankfully, this is a part time position. Jim volunteers in church as a Stephen Minister, an EMT with Arundel Volunteer Fire Department, and Co-Secretary of the Davidsonville Dance Club. He and his wife Mary are planning to build a passive solar home south of Albany, New York. They have land at Sleepy Hollow Lake in Athens, New York. Check out the home at, and hopefully you will join the green building trend as oil becomes more precious, costly, and scarce. Mary works in Baltimore for Quest Laboratories as a cytotechnologist. Mary and Jim enjoy ballroom dancing and camping weekends.

Jim and one of his 3 sons, Josh, are fanatic supporters of DC United, having season tickets. We watch soccer matches from around the world, favoring the English Premier League and La Liga. Two of our favorite teams are Manchester United and FC Barcelona. Jim also flies up to Buffalo for some Bill's tailgating with his Dad and 2 brothers. Chris, Jim's 20 year old son, is a volunteer fire fighter with Arundel Volunteer Fire Department. Jim's oldest son, Jason (28 y.o.a.) is a web developer. And yes, my three sons are still living comfortably with Mom and Dad...the nest is far too inviting!

This is Jim's fourth class in the TESOL Web Certificate program. He is just learning Dreamweaver, and has his first web site ( under construction. Jim is exploring long distance education, hoping to offer content to deaf and ESL students. He is most interested in using online video environments to communicate content visually using sign language. Admittingly, he is most comfortable with F2F environments, cuz that is what he did for 33 years. His college education includes: BA - Political Science; M.A.T.; M.Ed. Sp. Ed.; and @40 hours in deaf ed.

Looking forward to rewarding discussions in PP109....
Regards, Jim.

RSS, September 24, 2007

The term RSS was very confusing when I first bumped into IT at this course. See my blog entry for further discussion.
As the cobwebs cleared, I settled down and registered at bloglines, and am now tracking about 12 feeds in deaf education, grammar/vocabulary, and ESL.

I also added more links to my account ( ), especially when RSS feeds were not available for a potentially useful site. I'm attempting to bundle my tags, trying to organize information to make it more accessible and easy to use. I find the list of tags frustrating. Advice on efficiently organizing tags would be much appreciated.

I am also learning about Dreamweaver and have established a web site, . Please do not expect too much if you view my site. I am very much a rookie in this field. My goals for the site are: 1.offer content for deaf students, middle school - high school, in a using a visually accessible environment for discussion using American Sign Language; 2. assist college enrolled developing readers and writers needing "remedial" classes and tutoring. Again, advice in establishing a clear video environment where sign language is used for collaborative learning experiences and conferences is solicited. Captioning technology for video is also a priotiry for the web site.

Thursday, October 4, 2007...from my blog

Do you feel Selber’s 2004 Multiliteracy analysis is still relevant today?

Selber’s framework continues to have validity today. Educators should assist students in using and understanding digital literacy tools. Witness the number of laptops carried through airports. Cell phones, Blackberrys, Sidekicks, and GPS units are standard communication tools accessible to people on a daily basis. Public schools collaborate in networked ventures such as the Global Virtual Classroom (, ThinkQuest (, and other collaborative opportunities (see for more links). Long distance e-learning thrives throughout the world linking teachers and students. In 2003, the United States alone had 1.9 million students participating in e-learning environments (

Perhaps the second of Selber’s literacies, critical literacy, is the core of digital literacy. Knowing how to ask questions about what technology serves us is essential. Some students may be tempted to accept cart blanche what they view on the network. I recall one of my deaf middle school student's wish to get his hands on a Sidekick. One afternoon, as he browsed the internet, he came across the statement, “Free Sidekick 2”. He waved to get everyone’s attention and signed, “Look! A free Sidekick 2. I want it.” Of course, the young man did not read the fine print indicating a service contract with monthly payments was required. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to show him that the Sidekick 2 was not really “free”. How many times do people simply accept digital information as accurate, without thinking about the source, its intent, and what it wants you to do or believe? Selber’s notion of critical literacy applies even more today as the global network expands. He “makes the case that students should be asking why and how technology institutions such as websites, campus computer labs, software packages, etc. have been set up to persuade, control, direct and use them.” (see Shawn Miller’s review of Selber’s book at Refer to point 5 in the review.) Surly in educational settings where critical analysis is important, educators must address students’ critical literacy skills.

The social, political, and economic ramifications of technological multiliteracies are profound. Digital technologies can be accessed with little or no cost, instantaneously, and from a multitude of locations. This access to information where people can freely communicate and publish seems to be democratic. Yet, some would argue that digital technologies lead to a more totalitarian society. In the real world, not all individuals have equal access to the digital, global world. Others passively absorb digital content rather than interacting with the media. ( Therefore, Selber’s views on the social, political, and economic impact of digital media apply today, more than ever.

Other Blog Entries ...

Net Savy? in 2.0 , Collaborate Your Interactive Multiliteracies Effectively , The Good Ship Network , Rhetorical Literacy , Selber and Multiliteracies .