#CLMOOC #DigiWrimo: Sifting Through Words From the Margins

Out from the Margins

For the CLMOOC Pop-Up Make Cycle for #DigiWriMo, we invited people to help annotate an interview of Troy Hicks about digital literacies. The Edutopia article by Todd Finley is a few years old, but holds up remarkably well, I think. We have been using the Hypothesis annotation tool, which allows you to collaboratively add comments and media in the margins of a web-based article. It’s a great way to “think out loud with others” in the margins of the Web. It’s also invisible, to some degree. You have to have the Hypothesis tool activated or you have to have the direct Hypothesis link to see comments.

Someone, perhaps it was Terry Elliott or Daniel Bassill, remarked in the margins of the Edutopia piece that writing in the margins like this is just the first step. It’s like raw note-taking. We’re readers reacting to ideas, and to each other, in a sort of rough take on what we are reading. (And in fact, I find myself completely wandering away from the main text at a certain point and only find myself reading and responding to the comments — I am removed from the anchor text completely.)

Out from the Margins: Kevin

In the interest of some of the ideas there to somewhere else (like here), I began to try to find connecting points in the annotation texts. Here are a few, along with some of my thoughts and reflections. Maybe others will do the same.

Out from the Margins: Terry

Part of the discussion unfolded around the concepts of technology as another tool in the box, and the focus on the teaching and learning, not the digital means to get there. I agree. Let’s focus on the writing, not the Digital Writing, even though this question of what Digital Writing is continues to vex me (in a good, reflective way).

Out from the Margins: Daniel

Daniel does a lot of great work on the topic of mentors in urban cities (like his own Chicago) and the benefits of after-school programs, and his reminder to us that we teachers need to be finding ways to draw ours students into meaningful learning experiences rings true for me. I am not always successful with this. But the reminder that every students has their own set of needs and inspirational points is something to keep in the back of our minds at all times.

Out from the Margins: Karen

Karen is talking about the nature of the digital reading experience here, and where the digital reading might enhance or inhibit our engagement with a text. This connects to Digital Writing (there’s that term again) in that a writer has to keep some sense of audience in mind (perhaps some may push back and say, the only true audience is Self), and so knowing that we are still in a transition time of digital texts is something worth considering when writing with technology.

Out from the Margins:Charlene

I really appreciated this comment from Charlene, about seeing the potential of our students (and helping them see the potential of themselves) even within the world of constraints. She mentions time here, but I would add others: reliability of technology; workarounds for pushing technology to do what it is not designed to do; and so forth.

Out from the Margins: Troy

And finally, a regular reminder from Troy …. just because you write in a digital space doesn’t mean that you are harnessing the agencies of technology for your own writing. Understanding the potential of technology, used in the service of your writing and compositional goals, means pushing past those limits and making something potentially new. An essay written in blog form is just an essay on a screen.

Want to join us? The conversation is still unfolding and you are invited. Come read and write in the margins of the article. Pull out what seems important to you. Extend the conversation. You are invited.

Peace (dragged into view),

Share this post:
    • I want to know why you consider this to be thoughtful. I agree with you and I want to know more about why you think so. For me what Kevin is doing here is curatorial. He is trying to make sense from the gathering of annotation. I am beginning to believe that this is my central task as a learner and as someone who is a learning concierge (aka teacher).

      Curating is about making sense. It is not new. But… the speed with which we gather information and the mass of it is daunting. And it growing every moment. So I am interested in the ways which we can put a handle on that hot skillet. So check out the handle I am trying to weld onto the cast iron, a notoriously tough job. https://via.hypothes.is/http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2016/12/02/clmooc-digiwrimo-sifting-through-words-from-the-margins/

      antispamipocalyptic: id doomed It was like actually following the rules to Monopoly to the letter. Like a doomed id banished to the Phantom Zone with Lex Luthor and Mister Mxyzptlk. No dancing or spitting or cursing. What a drag.

      • It’s thoughtful for the reasons you state, Terry. He took a large quantity of annotations and distilled them into a few distinct points he feels are the most important/relevant. Like you say, curation. Kevin also reflects upon and connects those ideas to his work as a teacher and identifies ways he can continue to improve his craft. A process we should all engage in continuously.

        • My interest in this is to gather clear examples of curation for both teachers and learners. If you join the hypothes.is group, Curation Strategies, you can share these examples with others in the group with the ultimate aim to curate further into some kind of wiki or book or digital object. The job is too big for any one person, but a small collaborative might really be able to pull together many clear examples (not best practice, just good practice) so that we can do and teach curation better.

        • The fear, as always, is what I didn’t pull out, or what I left behind. Curation is always the act of distillation, and the curator’s views are the ones on display. It would be great, as Terry eludes to, if others acted as curators, too, so that we get different aspects of how different eyes read/see the same text.
          Thanks for being part of this conversation.

          • Yes, the curator’s views are the ones on display. And yes, there are things that undoubtedly get left behind. But, curation and reflection keep the conversation alive. As long as we, as curators, are open to others’ (possibly dissenting) viewpoints, the conversation continues to be enriched.

      • Terry
        Thank you for making open the annotation of the post about the annotation of the post (there’s some strange comic in that idea ….) I am curious about the annotation group you are setting up within Hypothesis and how it might work. I’m stepping aboard your ship, ready for another adventure

  1. As somebody who did not participate in the conversation around Hicks’s piece, I’m grateful to Kevin for curating this for me. I found myself thinking about the way I trusted that Kevin was filtering the annotations thoughtfully and why I give him this trust.

    No doubt it’s because I have a relationship with him and have seen the care and honesty he puts into his work, especially when trying to represent what others are saying.

    But this also leads me back to everything I’ve been reading about the epidemic of fake news and the uncritical eyes through which too many people wish to view that “news.” Yes, curation is an essential skill I now work on with my students, but I also realize that when we talk about digital writing maybe we also need to talk about digital reading, which is the foundation of the curitorial experience. With so many traditional filters gone, it appears that people are now struggling with the concept of being discriminating regarding what they deem “curatable” or true or worth sharing.

    As I said, I feel I can trust Kevin in this situation based on experience, just like I feel pretty good about trusting the news gathering that has gone on at the New York Times or at the BBC or in any kind of peer reviewed source. The trick is knowing as a reader what to do with the stuff from outside of those established institutions. I still get excited about the way digital provides interesting writing opps for me and my students. But being a curator, well, in our post truth world, that has become a bit trickier. But even that much more pertinent.

    Ok, this is a long response. So I’ll end it with a thanks to the regular crew for revving me up.

    • And, always go back to the original source. 🙂 This is something I emphasize with students, especially when there is conflicting information. I also ask them to apply the test of reasonableness. Does this information seem reasonable, based on what they already know and the basic structure of their (known) world.

      • I hope you tell them to test its unreasonableness as well.

        antispamiwhatthefrackitude: sup gives ‘Sup, dude? Gives, dude?” I ask this to every student as they walk through the door. I mean it. ‘Sup wit u?

    • I think Scott has touched on something of even greater importance in the digital world – relationships. I trust Kevin because over the past four years I’ve read a lot of his posts and we’ve interacted and I’ve come to “know” him a little, without every meeting him. I’m motivated to look up his blog on a regular basis to see what he’s writing about.

      As a result, I also know and trust a larger network of people who I’ve met via #clmooc, and Kevin, Terry Elliot and others.

      This takes time, measured in years. Teaching students to build and sustain digital networks within in many spheres of interest, not just teaching and learning, is something that I think can have great benefit to them, and the world.

    • Scott, did you look at the margins. Contribute in the margins.

      antispamiroo: felt help OMG he felt so in need of help, but not this kind. It must be a nightmare or some hallucinaton, but large felt cutouts were reaching there 2D hands (mitts?) down to lift me up where I had fallen. WTF!

  2. I think (and this is a thread that has been running through the conversations that I have been having and seeing as part of this DigiWriMo/CLMOOC popup) that different perspectives on conversations and events are good things to share, because there is no one truth of the matter – and seeing something through another’s eyes can add to my appreciation and understanding. That’s not the same, imo, as fake news sites, which aim to distort and push one view of “truth” onto an uncritical audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *