Posts Tagged ‘online tools’

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Findings? Probably Not for the Classroom

posted: 12.6.11 by Traci Gardner

[Commonplace book], [mid. 17th c.]I really like the idea of the Findings site. Users post quotations from what they are reading (with personal notes, if desired) and collectively build a giant collection of clippings and annotations.

The site immediately felt readerly and familiar to me. It reminded me of my own handwritten journals, filled with quotations and related comments from my readings. These days, those journals are all in a box and I never add to them.

Between carpal tunnel and my digital habits, I never get around to hand-writing quotations in a journal anymore. When I do happen upon a quotation that strikes a chord with me, I just save it to Evernote. If it’s a short enough quotation, I send it out on my Twitter accounts. Very occasionally, I write a short post about it on my blog.

Findings seems like an online alternative where I can gather quotations, add my response, and save them to review later. That the Findings site stirred these feelings in me isn’t surprising. When I looked for more information, I found that the designer, Steven Berlin Johnson, did extensive research on commonplace books for his book Where Good Ideas Come From, which I wrote about last year.

In his post Introducing Findings, Johnson explains how commonplace books inspired his Findings project:

The other thing that would be fascinating would be to open up these personal libraries to the external world. That would be a lovely combination of old-fashioned book-based wisdom, advanced semantic search technology, and the personality-driven filters that we’ve come to enjoy in the blogosphere.

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Categories: Teaching with Technology
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New Narrative Interfaces

posted: 8.15.11 by archived

A few months ago I wrote about video game adaptations of great literary works. I have also written about the ways that our online presence tells a story about us, and how we can revise what that story says. This week’s post will be an appendix to both of those posts, offering a few more links and ideas. I suppose I continue to be curious about the new forms that narratives can take through multimedia—and also the ways in which these forms themselves shape us.

The first place I want to take you is the Intel Museum of Me. This site allows you to use your Facebook profile to generate an interactive virtual museum of yourself—a “visual archive of your social life.” The experience of moving through this museum, for me, was kind of freaky. There is emotional piano music and children singing; you see your friends, the most common words you use on your wall, the things you “like.” At one point, robotic arms are shown assembling all of the profile pictures of your friends into a composite image which, when you zoom out, is your own profile picture. This scene encapsulated the feeling of the experience for me: it is oddly both very personal and totally automated. I felt the museum both humanized my Facebook identity and totally alienated me from it. This museum is about me—but it is also about selling computers. (There is a lot to unpack here. Allan Sekula would have a field day with this.) I can’t wait to use this in the classroom and to see what responses students have to this. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Jay Dolmage, Teaching with Technology
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