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Basic organization for essay

November 8th, 2009 No comments

Having re-read, again, the collaborative essay I noted that there are portions that appear to be more book review, but by and large most of the text is not (in a good way). The problem that the essay suffers from most is organization – the problem was a result of us each writing about one book.

In the following basic outline, all relevant ideas from all the texts utilized, should be intertwined. For example, in discussion history, all relevant historical discussion should occur in the same section with representational portions from each text.

Here is the way I think this should be organized:

  1. Utilize Anthony’s intro – it was well organized and represented a broad spectrum of what was to come
  2. History of Rhetoric and technology/media literacy – it is essential to know where we came from so that we can understand where we are headed
  3. How media literacy has grown and changed with technology – we need to know where we are going
  4. End with social networking and beyond

Model for our essay?

November 3rd, 2009 No comments

Though Jenkins may have a different audience and different goals in mind in his Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, the structure of his essay seems to be a good model for what we’re trying to do with our own collaborative essay. Jenkins seemed to echo many of the authors we’ve read thus far, organizing their theories in such a way to argue for schools’ support of participatory culture. Jenkins touches on many different topics, separating each with subheads and clear transitions. We can learn from this.

It’s important for us to see how Jenkins first defined literacy, then explained why it must be modified.

“A definition of twenty­-first century literacy offered by the New Media Consortium is “the set of abilities and skills where aural,
visual, and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and
use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new
forms.”36 We would modify this definition in two ways. First, textual literacy remains a central skill in the twenty-first century. Youths must expand their required competencies, not push aside old skills to make room for the new. Second, new media literacies should be considered a social skill” (28).

I like the mention of his two modifications: Textual literacy remains a central skill, and to participate in new media literacies requires social skills, as well as technical skills. Before students can engage in participatory media, they must first be able to read and write.

Anthony, I think maybe we could add this to your introduction.

Also, we were asked to think about how we will organize and outline our essay to include each of the theories and themes we’ve dubbed salient.

Here are some of the topics I saw reappearing in Jenkins’ essay:

  • Web 2.0 ethics – or lack thereof. Jenkins notes that participants feel empowered by their anonymity. The lack of a watchdog in casual settings is causing questionable behavior.
  • Creativity operating differently in an open source culture, such as sampling (Vaidhyanathan)
  • Multitasking and multimodality (Kress)
  • Coupling pedagogical use of new media technology with a greater focus on media literacy (Selber)

Jenkins covers all of these topics that we’ve already discussed in different sections of his essay. What does everyone think about sectioning our essay similarly? It would certainly be easier to divide the work up.

A Little Context

October 31st, 2009 No comments

This tern our Writing for Electronic Communities class has been working on a collaborative essay.  We have each analyzed a text that relates to literacy and/or New Media and added about five pages.  Those texts have included; Selber’s Multiliteracies for the digital age, Kress’s Literacy in the new media age, Brooke’s Lingua fracta: Toward a rhetoric of new media, Hayles’s Electronic literature: New horizons for the literary, Jenkins’s Confronting the challenges of participatory culture, Rettberg’s Blogging, Vaidhyanathan’s Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity, Tryon’s Reinventing cinema: Movies in the age of media convergence, Wasik’s And then there’s this: How stories live and die in viral culture, and several articles related to web 2.0. The results have been a little bit of chaotic (which is to be expected with any project such as this) but a very rewarding experience.  We are now prepared to set aside our work and begin a new to create a more cohesive, focused text.

One of the challenges that we must tackle is to decide on the goal of the article.  What is it that we wish to accomplish? What is the purpose of the text? What is it doing? What is it saying? These questions are somewhat complicated because there are several of us working on the project and our interests and ideas for it may be different. We will also need to discuss how that article is broken up, what to include in the literature review, which case sources to explore, what contextual information we need, etc.

This is a collaborative project so we are adding to, changing, and deleting each other’s work.  ThCollaborative essayere is an excellent chance that what you had written initially will not find its way into a later draft.  Such concepts challenge the definition of authorship which has been addressed by several of the texts we have read this semester but most recently in Vaidhyanathan’s Copyrights and Copywrongs; The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity.

It will be interesting seeing how the collaborative essay, Toward an Understanding of New Media Literacy changes and develops.  And it will be equally interesting to see which challenges provide difficulty in the upcoming weeks.