Spending some time in the National Gallery on Writing

This notice from NCTE got my attention:

The National Gallery of Writing, hosted by NCTE, now boasts 2,136 galleries and 19,395 submissions at this writing!

That’s a pretty cool number, so I decided to tour around a bit. There is some wonderful writing in those galleries, although navigation through the labyrinth isn’t so easy. How to set up browsing through the online gallery must have caused a mighty headache for the NCTE folks and they clearly did the best they could.

I came at it from my usual lens: are there digital compositions represented in the writing in these Galleries? I’m still not sure, since my search queries mostly turned up empty. I found one that I did (see below) and found a beautiful digital story that my friend Troy did about his family, but mostly, I found … nothing digital. There were plenty of pieces of writing that examined or focused on the world of digital media (I was intrigued by a short story written as Tweets, for example, and filed that away in my head).

Part of the problem was that the format for submission did not exactly lend itself to digital compositions. I set up a gallery for digital stories from my students around their Dream Scenes, but abandoned it when I realized that even though the videos were very small, the site would not allow me to upload them directly and embed right there. I would have to go through some hoops, and I didn’t have the time. How many others stopped at that hurdle, I wonder?

It seems to me that if NCTE is truly committed to the concept of multimedia composition (as evidence by the strong papers it has put out in the last year), it would have built a system into the framework of the National Day on Writing to allow for folks to easily share digital stories, podcasting, etc.

What do you think?

Peace (in the galleries),

PS — here is the digital story that I submitted to a gallery around teachers with stories to tell. You can see in the gallery I could only fit part of the written narrative and the links to the video and the full story are not even hyperlinks.

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