Interpreting, and Honoring, the Words of Others

Untitled flickr photo by kangster shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Thanks (again) to Terry Elliott for sharing a new possibility for close reading and digital interpretation. This time, it’s something called Lumen5, which allows you to use text from blog posts (or freewrite) to create a short video not unlike a digital story. I like the “pick and choose” element.

By close reading posts of others (or close reading yourself, too), you can point to textual elements and then add images and music. The site then kicks out a video.

I tried the process first with my friend, Karen LaBonte, who wrote of her move to Portland and what she is seeing in her new community in a very poignant piece of writing. She also shares how she hopes to make an impact there (of that, I am sure.)

The second was a piece by Maha Bali, as she continues to explore the terrain of “open learning” in a variety of ways. In the┬ápost I used, she uses the metaphor of the flower.

In both cases, I hoped to honor my friends with the choosing of words (and hoped the context would not be completely lost through my interpretation) and that the video versions might lead others on a path to their blogs and writing.

Karen writes All Hands on Deck

Maha writes Reflection Allowed

And you should, of course, read Terry who writes Impedagogy

Peace (extended outward),

PS — I also could not resist making a version of my Western Massachusetts Mission Statement as a video.

  1. We use the word ‘afford’ as a synonym for ‘allow’. We talk about affordances in a technology as if we meant to talk about what a particular tool allows us to do. I think a tool’s affordances are much more than the new ways it allows us to act.
    Tools like Lumen5 allow us to think in new ways. For example, I have been playing around with how Lumen5 encourages different ways to summarize, critique, and analyze. Here is a summary of David Foster Wallace’s famous commencement speech, “This Is Water”, done with Lumen5.

    It uses the tools of summary in a very different way. It allows us to work internally (in our minds) in different ways. I feel the product shares some of the standard aspects of summary, but includes more. And it mixes them differently. Music, text, gifs, video, fonts, kinetic typography: they all add ‘drama’ something I never though summary had. Lumen5 affords dramatic summary. Cool. Thanks for gathering together this band of brothers and sisters. Good on ya. Keep on.

    anti-spam-affordimente: astral go Doctor Strange is all about astral flows and astral glows as he astrally goes. How do I know? I’m astral, yo.

    • Thinking in new ways is what we are always searching for, you and I. There is much to like about Lumen5 but I wish I had more control over fonts and the kinetic typography and other elements. Of course, you can argue: get your butt into video software and do it yourself. THAT would be agency. Still, that is not a knock on the tool here. Just that after you watch a few, you quickly know what tool it is because its quirks over design and animation are consistent. (again, not a bad thing, just a thing)
      PS — Doc Strange says hello

      • Lumen5 is like a closed form in poetry. It has its rules, but within the rules there is incredible variation possible. For example, while the final product of Lumen5 is a video, when I uploaded my third one to YouTube I finally realized that I could very easily make a gif (a mini silent video) using GifIt, YT’s inline gif maker. From my experience these discoveries come from messing about within the limits and discovering that the metes and bounds are more flexible than I first thought. That is if it is a good tool and you are open to play in the infinite game.

        antispamiroo: go chides You know you are going to a weird school when your motto is, “Go Chides!” And that mascot that looks like an octogenarian librarian? Spooky.

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