Dr. Quinn

a woman of words

The Collective Risk of Collective Intelligence

First, an aside….

The 2011 Computers and Writing Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is about a month away. And I know the topic I am going to discuss (I have to. I and my co-presenters submitted a proposal last fall). But, as usual, I struggle with my delivery method – especially for C&W because the traditional reading from a 10-page academic paper doesn’t jive with the overall spirit of composing with technology. On the other hand, if I don’t have the equivalent of a literary ” bank bond” – something that proves I engaged in scholarly activity (i.e. academic essay)…. Well, at any rate, I grapple with the format and delivery method at this particular conference.

But, I’m dealing with it.

This year, my panel is focusing on the pedagogies of display inherent within mobile filming devices. Instructors and learners alike are using Droids, iPods, iPads, and Flips to record ourselves or to record academic projects. Likewise, visual digital scholarship (such as on YouTube) is being used by students to support their academic projects or the online videos may just inspire a student (where s/he may leave comments to the originator of the film).

It isn’t that online videos encourage collaboration, reflection, and authorship. They do that and much more. I think what is more compelling is that
1.) YouTube and other online media not only act as archive to the digital document itself

but also

2.)online media archives the audience’s responses to the document, as well as all subsequent responses.

In other words, the use of such technology for visual scholarship, makes collaboration, reflection and authorship visible in a way free of the curator (no teacher, no company, nobody controlling (or heavily imposing) how people compose, respond, and collaborate.

Well, this media scholarship is almost free of the curator, but the programs impose constraints. The hardware itself imposes constraints (I just read recently that Flip is no longer going to be manufactured). Feedback imposes constraints on future projects.

So, by collecting or amassing or knowledge or art in this way on YouTube poses a potential risk – to instructors and learners… to users and consumers.

We may know how to compose in the environment, we may know how to “use” (compose with) the images, texts sounds, archival documents. But do we know how to analyze these items?
Do we know how to teach others (students) how to analyze such resources?
…. Because, essentially, we are inculcating an information literacy that spans across all disciplines, in fact across academic lines to cultural and social discourses.

I think I have an idea as to how I want to present my scholarship for this conference now…

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This entry was posted on April 19, 2011 by in Conferences.
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