(Re)Mediating Who We Are and What We Do – a #CLMOOC challenge

All, CLMOOC, Education, Teaching, Technology, Writing

This week I have been playing with remediation – not the kind of remediation required of me when I was a Developmental Coordinator but the kind with a focus on media. That is because the challenge for the #CLMOOC Make Cycle #2 is to Re(Media)te!

The call: “For this Make Cycle, we invite you to consider how the media we compose within (like print, sound, still and moving image, or objects) influence how we communicate and interpret.  In this Make Cycle, we will mediate and re-mediate and reflect on how the affordances of different media impact our choices, processes, and meanings. … Here, the focus is on media, and ways in which moving from one medium to another changes what we are able to communicate and how we are able to do so.”

Reminding us that we are constantly mediating, and remediating, working with and against the constraints of the medium of the moment which offers affordances and limitations for our purposes. There are many benefits to this mediation or remediation as I noted in a #CLMOOC reflection last summer after the make cycle focused on hacking our writing. When we are hacking or remediating text we are paying close attention to the words – certainly line by line, sometimes word by word, in my experience. But there is also a great attention to the benefits and limitations of each media. What images should I attach to my words? What images are too distracting? Do I need sound? Is sound too much? Should I be concerned about the order or the moving parts or the entry point to my words? These are all questions that I struggled with (am still struggling with) as I worked on my second make, although I feel pretty good about the choices I made for my first make so I will begin there.

I have been struggling with a lot of questions prominent in our news lately. Questions about what it means to be a woman, what it means to be [white-black-green], what it means to be married. OK, sometimes my struggle isn’t my problem but rather addressing the feelings of others as they infringe on my own life and the lives of those dear to me. So first I considered writing a poem about my own conception of womanhood inspired by an opinion piece written by Elinor Burkett for the New York Times Sunday Review (June 6, 2015) and another piece written by my friend Vickie Moriarity (and the conversation that followed her sharing of that piece with a writing group). Then I thought about using Burkett’s piece to create a Found Poem or Blackout Poem and so here is my (Re)Mediated [Found] Poem based on “What Makes A Woman?

Kevin Hodgson noted that he loved my use of a curation tool (Storify) to create my Found Poem which made me realize that this remediation, this process of creating a Found Poem, was actually a form of curation. Interesting I thought.

So high off that success I then moved on to remediate a work of my own – a “Where I Am From” poem I shared as part of the former UnIntro make cycle. I thought about creating a digital story. Knowing this would not be difficult and I still might end up there because I haven’t been particularly pleased with my first two versions of this make. I first created a Where I Am From collection – sharing snippets of poetry intermixed with images. What I like about using a Google+ Collection to mediate my poem is that the order and flow of the poem really isn’t that important – which works well for this poem but could be a problem for others. I also really wanted to add some sound effects so I used a new tool (Educreations suggested by Amy McCorkle) to add sound effects (thanks to freesound.org) but ended up needing a place to “collect” all the slides and so back to Google+ I went to create a Where I Am From (Remediated). However, I’m not super happy with the sound quality so I may need to do a third make if I have time.

I think there are many exciting benefits to re(media)tion for us personally as well as for our students. Thinking about our texts with and through different lenses is certainly an important one. Playing with different tools is another. However, perhaps the most important benefit is simply the idea that some projects require some (maybe a lot) of trial and error – and sometimes we can’t always fulfill our vision, but that’s not important. What is important is the play and the creation and the learning that took place. Is remediation an important tool in your teaching toolbox?

7 comments

Leave a Reply