McLuhan (1964: 23) argued powerfully that media are an extension of our senses and, as such, have the power to ‘configure the awareness and experience of each one of us’. As a consequence of such power within media, he argued, research into culture should be focused more on the media ecologies themselves and less on the message or content carried by media. Media and cultural study, he claimed, ‘considers not only the “content” but the medium and the cultural matrix within which the particular medium operates’ (McLuhan, 1964: 11). Others have also argued for more organic or ecological analyses of technologies and media, but focusing on how they are appropriated in specific contexts as technologies ‘merge with our social, physical, and psychological beings’ and can ‘reinscribe existing inequitable power relations’ (Bruce and Hogan, 1998: n.p.). McLuhan’s luminary work, seminal as it is, emanates from an era when access to the means of media production was far more limited and before the current

paradigm characterised by the democratisation of the Internet (Castells, 2004). The inception of the Internet and increasing access to the means of media production through a range of technologies, fixed and mobile, can be viewed as a reconfiguration of media itself to encapsulate not only our senses but also our many and diverse voices. Bruce and Hogan (1998: n.p.) also argue that ‘when technology is used to accomplish specific goals, for certain individuals, in a particular setting, it can be used to liberate or oppress’. Such a view portrays individuals as paradoxically more or less actively appropriating technology, and can be argued to be as relevant to wider political struggles and movements, as epitomised by Asmaa Mahfouz’s Vlog (YouTube, 2011), as it is to micro-level developments within teachers’ professional practice. At the heart of both contexts are individual narratives of varying significance and importance from which we can learn and which need to be narrated. Albeit for a short period of time the world’s media wanted to know more about Asmaa Mahfouz as they clamoured to discover more about her story and reconstruct it for different audiences. A Google search on her name returns 261,000 results in a range of languages from across the Internet, including her own Facebook page.