Txt in the city

I'm giving a keynote at an event being held at the University of Bath on May 19. It will be nice to go back to the city of Bath again so soon after my last keynote there on November 11. I enjoyed meeting the HEA podcasting special interest group and was well looked after. This conference will be the sixth in the series entitled 'Let's talk about txt', and apparently over 60 people have already signed up for the one day event. I wrote my title and abstract yesterday and sent it in to the organisers, Txttools. I hope it hits the mark:

Everything you always wanted to know about Txt but were afraid to ask

In this keynote presentation I will trace the history of written communication, and the emergence of communication technologies that have been used to convey our words. Taking a journey from cave wall paintings through the Gutenberg Printing Press to current handheld devices, I will argue that language is the first and most powerful human technology, and that all other technologies are merely extensions - vehicles to convey meaning from person to person.

In consideration of this position, txting can be seen as an evolving facet of interpersonal communication, and in its various forms (e.g. vernacular orthography, squeeze text, homophones, acronyms, respellings and rebuses) it has become the technological equivalent of spoken slang, and can therefore include or exclude. Through an examination of technology enhanced learning contexts and exploration of some examples of txt pedagogy, I will argue that if used appropriately, txt has powerful educational potential. Txt can motivate students to learn, and encourage creativity, and must therefore assume an ever increasing importance across all sectors of education.


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