Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘visual literacy’

When DIGITAL Natives… ‘Sleep’!

In Adult Learners, News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 19/03/2014 at 10:39 am


I have been working far too hard these past few weeks – and, as we all know;

All work, and no play…makes Tony Hoca a “dull” boy!

Tony Hoca (new avatar)


This weekend, I did a little webinar for those lovely boys and girls (all girls, actually!) over at The Spring Blog Festival – and talked about my own visual literacy “journey”.

I’m still getting the hang of this “webinar busyness” – time just whizzed by and I had so much fun doing it! And, to boot – I made some new cyber-playmates”




THANK YOUNellie Hocam, Shelly Hocam and Slyvia Hocam 😉


Doing that session (at 22:00 on a Sunday nite!) really helped me remember how important it is to thunk about visual literacy – in my bloggery…and my life in general:



…but sometimes that “little boy” can go too far!

Camera…software…editing “time”:


When digital natives go to sleep (TG ver)

When digital immigrants go to sleep (TG ver)

…on the sofa TONITE, I guess!


Have a GREAT day!



My 12-from-12…(NOT the #eddies12 – promise)!

In News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 04/12/2012 at 10:28 am

Around about this time last year, a fellow hanım köylü (*) – from big,bad İstanbul this time, Adam Simpson (aka @yearinthelife) issued a “blog challenge”.


Actually, I think this may have been how we “met”…

Dummies (self-promotion)

…but we still ain’t got round to writing “the” book!


Ne se, the challenge was “simple” – engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion and flog-your-own-blog by choosing your Top 11 posts from the year 2011.


…or so I thunked!


I was relatively “new” to the old blogging game at that time – what a difference a year makes – and, felt I had to “justify” why I was participating in such a heinous act of bloggery-floggery.

I did this…by digging up Jeffrey Zeldman’s great piece on self-promotion (written a couple of years back) – and noted that Jeff had said that it was “all good”if you follow the Yedi Rules of Bloggery:

  • Marketing is not bragging, and touting one’s wares is not evil.
  • There is a difference between being arrogant about yourself as a person and being confident that your work has some value.
  • Do it right, and only “haters” will hate you for it. To get, you must give.

I really liked that third one (it just made it “alright”) – as well as the way Jeff  spelled it out a wee bit more:

  • …direct self-promotion is ineffective and will go unnoticed unless it is backed by a more indirect (and more valuable) form of marketing: namely, sharing information and promoting others.


Actually, I just wanted to be a smarty-pants and come up with something different problem was the owners of far younger stocks of grey matter pipped me to the post with the coolest “anti-11-from-11 ideas”.


Self-promotion (cartoon)

BUT…my “title” (**) was pretty cool!


Adam has done the same this year hence the title of this post.

The problem is that I had used up so many of my valuable cells of grey matter (to “flog” the “blog” last year) that I could not come up with an original way to rise to his 12-from-12 Blog Challenge this Annus Horribalis!

Call it “bloggery-floggery block”…


Until…last night!

…when my “mentor” Obi-Wan Kenobi came to me in a dream

The Obi-Wan DREAM

He did SO! I kid you not…


One of the reasons I have grown to love blogging is that it has allowed me to re-connect with a side (of me) that was (almost) beaten out of methrough my years of skooling!

…as well as being able to jump on my soapbox vis-à-vis allthingslearning!


You see…when I was a “kiddie”….I loved “art”…I loved “photography”…I loved “visual creativity” – BUT I never really knew that it would be OK to say “no” to my TEACHers…when they told me I was not very “good” at it (and should “stick with” the “maths” and “economics” – I did – for a while)!



So, young Adam…my 12-from-12 this year…is based on my favourite “images” from the blog!

…in no particular order (other than the way they popped up in my Word Press “media library”) – they are (and click on the picture to be “teleported” to the post itself):


IMAGE 01This is quite a recent image that I have “upgraded” a fair few times. I love this one because of the way different people see it in different ways (“is he having a dig at us again” or “Yes, I can…I bloody well can”)

REFLECTing ourselves


IMAGE 02You know I just “luvs” me questions. This is from a recent post on “classroom observation” – a powerful question that helps many a TEACHer take more of a “LEARNing Perspective” on what they “do” in their classrooms (BTW – these look “simple” but take a great deal of work to produce).

TP FQ 04


IMAGE 03Funny, I should have this one in a Top 12 List! This one was created for the postscript of the series on “UNcovering Our Curriculum” – when I pointed out that people really shouldn’t be asking “me” for lists of things that might help “them” to “fix” stuff  ‘cos that just makes me “angry” (and…you really wouldn’t like me when I’m “angry Tony Hoca”)!

UNcover - HULK ask me again


IMAGE 04But, this was the image I created to manage the “save” in the same series (I do not get “angry” very often – promise)! Taken from a quote from one of the best consultants I know…I love the fact that an inward journey can (even) help us change the imprinting we pick up from our genes, parents, skooling…and ourselves!

Block (fingerprint quote)


IMAGE 05This has to be one of my faves from all my 2012 bouts of bloggery. It captures so much of what I believe needs to happen in our “curriculum thunking”!

UNcover Paradigm JUMP


IMAGE 06This was a quote I used in the same “series”. So powerful…and I think Usain Bolt was wiping the floor with everyone in London 2012 – when I did this one. Actually, there was another image I almost chose…took bloody ages to build…but I can only have 12 Top images (can’t I, Adam)? 

Uncover - Finish Line


IMAGE 07Again, one of my favourite images from this year. It sums up a lot of my ideas…even more of my “gripes” with the way we “do” the business of education in so many of our schools, colleges and universities (as well as our so-called “flipped classrooms” – the only thing they are “flipping off” is….)!

LEARNing not a newspaper


IMAGE 08Again…this one took abs0-bloody-lutely ages to “put together”. Actually, for many of my blog posts – I can run the text off while waiting for the kettle to boil…now, coming up with an image (to replace the 1,000 words I would have used) – that takes hours …sometimes! This was, in fact, my “stand” against all those “digital cheerleaders” we see at so many of our conferences – cheerleaders that do not always “walk-thier-talk” – it’s not about the toyz!



IMAGE 09This one comes from me also getting on me soap-box about allthingsTECH! I luv me TECH…I do! But, we gotta have some “21C Thunking” (and Curriculum, and Assessment, and….) to go with our “21C Toys”!

What are we doing (with TECH)


IMAGE 10 This was just me “showing off”. But, here’s the “secret” (no…not Victoria’s…but Tony’s) – this one was actually “created” on PowerPoint…not too “shabby” (even if I do say so meself…and I do)!

Is is the TECH or the QUESTIONS


IMAGE 10bTold you I would struggle to keep this list to “12-from-12”! Actually, this was me “updating” a few older PowerPoint slides and turning four of them into a “sexier” single slide for a keynote I did just before Summer.

It IS about


IMAGE 11Still LOVE this one…simple, true…and (even) a wee bit 21C to boot!

Best Teachers


IMAGE 12Now, you are probably going to accuse me of “cheating” – and scream “Liar, Lair….pants on fire”! BUT, hey…it’s the “same” image…just self-plagiarised three times! Besides…this is my blog (and the rules of “my-bat-my-ballstill apply)!

GREAT TEACHERS three-in-one


OK – done n’ dusted!

I hope you enjoy seeing them all (again, for some of you) as much as I did “doing” them! The “posts” ain’t half-bad, too…


Till 13-from-13, Adam…my man!


* Google Translate – will you please, please, please….get your bloody act together! “Hanım Köylü” does NOT mean “Peasant Woman” – it refers to “…he who hath travelleth many a mile to inhabiteth the village of his womaneth”…


** Take a look at the original 11-from-11 posting: LOVE YOUR WORK, DARLING – BUT LOVE ME OWN MORE! …to see that self-plagiarising is (really…really, really) OK!

Blogging and my JOURNEY “back” to Visual Literacy…

In News & Updates (from the CBO) on 03/10/2012 at 2:31 pm

A few months ago I did a post entitled A Picture Paints a Thousand Words. I did this one because I had noticed that a large number of people had been dropping into the blog not for my “words” – but for my “images”.

The post, I thought, had very little “content” – no ideas, no major “rants”, no EDUlearning…or so I thought! It got “hit” more than poor Erol Taş making a quick run to the bakkal for bread!

BTWGoogle Translate dudes – “bakkal” means “corner shop“!

I really didn’t get this at firstwhy did so many people “search” for images…what were they really looking for…what did they want these images for…???

However, I should have – it was simple really!

When I first started the blog, I made the conscious decision to use images or graphics (I’d realised how many grown-up blogs just did not use them enough). However, in my very first post – I didn’t use any…nor in Post #02, Post #03 or Post #04!

This having been said, I was trying to LEARN how to use WordPress…and keeping to the promise I had made in my bloggery purpose statement

The first time I ever used an image was in Post #07 – a cartoon from Jon Marks (I wanted to credit him) and another one about a grammarian dog (crediting too)…

I wasn’t too happy…did not really work for me!

I skipped using any images in a couple of the next posts (it was bloody hard work finding decent images to “match” what I wanted to “say”) – but then followed up with a MindManager mind-map (based on the work of Ken Bain) and another cartoon (a cartoon that I still do not bloody know where I got – and has become one of the top 10 downloaded images from the blogstill)!

The same! Was not a happy camper…at all!

What I noticed (and I have just reconfirmed over the last day or two) was that I was more interested in sharing “links” and “information” about LEARNing resources…nothing wrong with that!

But, when I compare the types of images I use…and create…today – there is a huge difference!

A HUGE…difference!

…and a difference that is not always as pleasing to the eye as it could be:

What the heck happened to me?


Now, it’s probably no co-incidence that I started blogging at about the same time as my daughter started her undergrad programme in graphic design in London (yes, I had to fill the void that a teenager can create when she skips town…skips the country)!

I got interested in what she was being LEARNed…and her “frustrations” at having to wait till “next semester” to LEARN all that really cool stuff…she was already LEARNing on her own anyways!

If I was really honest, until a few years back I had no idea that visual literacy was all about the “ability” to evaluate, apply, or create conceptual visual representations – or even that it was more about “visual creativity”.

I’d even forgotten that as a “kid” I was pretty good at “art” – and “loved” it! By all accounts I wasn’t half bad…

It was…as if “they” had done a Total Recall” jobbie on me!

See what “high school” and “university” really do to us?

I read a lot about design that year (even got to change the types of “recommendations” they would annoyingly send me)…but what really LEARNed me was my own curiosity…and spending hours how to figure out how graphic designers got my attention.

I’m still not quite “there” – but you can see the “difference”!

I also spent a great deal of time “stalking” younger people in the blogosphere!

No, do not be silly…

Of course, reading about the demise of “textual literacy” in the 21st Century (as we “digital dinosaurs” do) is not the same as “observing” how Generation C are actually using digital images and video to communicate and share themselves – in the virtual world.

This having been said I did have to do a fair bit of “book LEARNing” (OK, e-book LEARNing) on the new “fluencies” that we talk about today – I especially liked the notions of Creativity Fluency and also Media Fluency. Ian – you and the boys are great!

I guess it just “clicked” – I realised that visual literacy was not so much about the TECH (yes, I know I say that a lot)…but more about story-telling and a wee bit of “artistic expression”!

I decided that I had to look at the ole Blog and say

…for me!

Now, having come this far with my story – it kinda makes sense for me to tell you what I actually didhow I started to put more and more images togetherhow I started to improve the images I was using

…and the “tools” I used!

I will…promise…but I wanted first to leave you with a few of the images that I was working on over the Summer. All these are taken from the blog…and are some of the most popular (yani, they have been “stolen”…sorry….”downloded”…more than any others)!

In no particular “ranking”…

…take a look…and see if you like them (if you click on them, they should take you to the original post).

This one was taken from a post on TEACHer LEADership I did in May (OK – not quite Summer – but almost):

…though I actually preferred the Superman images – I guess the message here is what people liked.

This one was from my post on the lack of bloggery on the part of academics (and how we TEACHers seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the blogosphere – yeah)!

Again, I thought there were better images in this mini-series – but I guess everyone does “love” Donald, after all!

Now, these ones I loved creating – but again the message was more important than the images:

The thing was…I had used these words before (in earlier posts) but the posts that contained these images – got loads more “hits” (note to self…)!

This was the R-rated version of a post on best practice in classroom observation:

…I really like this one (and the “credit” is there, too – if you look closely)!

Come on…who doesn’t love a picture of a dog?

This one is from the same mini-series (as above) – but took bloody ages to put together:

Ahhh…one of my summer favourites:

…took me 3 minutes to prepare…but what will old Dexter do now that Debs “knows”….really “knows”!

This has to be one of my favourite imagesever:

…it is one of the most downloaded graphics from the blog!

Those of you that know the blog…know how much I loves me questions:

…but, again, did not expect this type of graphic to be downloaded as much as it was!

Images like these are quite easy – a nice piccie and a “quote“:

…but again – there is a powerful message behind the graphic!

OK – not really a “cat fan” (sorry, Sally) but I loved this image…and was being a bit silly!

Another onesimple:

…but effective!

Now, this one was actually created…because I got some feedback that some of my summer posts were getting a bit long!

…from bloggersfar more visually literate than I!

This one…went “viral“…

OK…my mother-in-law and a few of her friends really liked it!

But, I created it in less than two minutes…

Who can go wrong with a quote from Albert?

People obviously liked this set of images:

…especially thosePinterest chappies!

Quotes…as ever…are popular:

See what I mean?

This…I loved doing…

…but, you do NOT want to know how long it took me!

I adored this image (from Chris Hardy) but…

…was not sure if people would get the “sage-on-the-stage” notion. They did!

For some reason, I did not expect this one to be as popular as it was:

…but perhaps it was John Hattie that made it one of the most popular images of  September!

Went with Jack – rather than Albert for this one:

…there are a lot of EDUfilm-buffs out there!

Now, this one really surprised me:

…I still do not know why this one was a “hit”!

This one…I do know about:

…it seems a couple of education lecturers (in the States, the UK and here) were working on the same topic (the day after I got this up). Lucky!

Now, this one is not “mine“…I borrowed it from a fellow blogger (Krissy)…

…and even though I only posted it a couple of weeks ago – it has has been downloaded 3 times as many times as some images that have been up on the blog for over a year! Thx Krissy!

Now, this next set…have not been up on the blog very long – but are racing to the top of the September / October download “chart”:

That was hard work!

I haven’t forgottenI’ll do a “how-to” follow-up bit soonpromise!

A Few Thousand (More) Words – my selection of images this time…

In News & Updates (from the CBO) on 31/03/2012 at 10:48 am

Yesterday…I did another lazy weekend post (funny how these “lazy” posts can take up so much time)!

What I did was check the images / graphics that I have used in my various posts over the past 12 months – and took a look at ones that seemed to be the most popular (or, at least the ones that are downloaded most frequently).

It was a fun, little exercise! And, I realised that I had never (ever, ever) used that many images in a single post (38 of them)!

But, I realised that not all of them were MY favourites – so I have decided to pull out the ones I really like…only 31 of them this time!


Obviously, it’s easier to recall some of the more recent images:




Some of these take “ages” – though look very simple:


Others are updates of earlier favourites:


Some are a bit of fun!





Others – a wee bit more serious and communicate a “bigger” thunk:

















And, then….some of my favourite “people”:



That’s all folks – have a great weekend!