Writing Hacking Defining
Today, I celebrate conversation, and the continuing celebrations each day at #clmooc. In the Hangouts and chats, in our posts, we continue the conversation about writing and making and hacking.
I keep thinking about the conversations about defining ‘hack.”
I think about what I do at home when I need a hack to fix something. It fixes something. It’s a positive. Maybe that’s not a hack. It’s fixes something, making it better.
So what do I do? I have read the excellent history of hacking from Terry Elliot’s post on hacking, and it is the celebration of what is true in life: there’s good and bad.
Even so, I’m not convinced what I do in writing is destructive, nor does it need to be in order to be a hack, because there are two sides.
And I need to think of my presentation to middle school students; what do I want them to understand and consider?
So, I’m hacking a definition for hack. Well, I’m sharing how the word has evolved with my voice, and how my students will find their voice through their hacks.
Here’s my thoughts, with thanks to Deanna Mascle, Kevin Hodgson, and Terry Elliot:
I saw throughout the week this reshaping,
re-imaging of ideas–
My favorite Hack is from Larry Hewett, an About Me project to begin the year. I’ve done something similar, but I love this. Here’s what he did, hacked slightly by me:
1. Choose three words that describe yourself.
2. Pick one song for each of your three words that represents that word.
3. Find the lyrics of the songs.
4. Lift words, phrases and entire lines from the three lyrics in order to create an original song about yourself.
5. Find an image to represent both the word and the lyrics you choose.
6. Decide how you will present “Your Song” (lyrics / images / words).
Connecting, Modifying, and Re-imagining Meaning
Students connect in their writing in Google Docs through hyperlinks that link to content that explains their meaning.
Or students highlight only the key words for a poem or insights into their topic, adding hyperlinks to more information or images.
Not only could you create a “choose your own adventure”, but I think this is a great way to start or end a collaborative research project. Students find links / resources to add to the document. Then students take their focus of their first search to create what +Charlene Doland mentioned — their part of the conversation. They could create something that explains the research but adding their insights. Below the initial text then could be placed a thinglink or list of the collaborative research — with a final collaborative paragraph as a hypertext team syntheses as a summary.
Devising New Meaning
Next, Kathleen Galarza gave a great idea which I thought could inspire kids to write in their homework journals. While listening to one of her favorite TV shows, she jotted down lines she linked. She used those to write a “one-sided phone conversation” which looks like a poem, and we infer the message from those lines.
Kids could do the same — maybe at school, they could make a poem for two voices by combining with a friend. Could prove interesting. They will have devised new meaning from the same words. Responding to the conversation concept, Mary Morgan Ryan did continue the conversation from the same TV serious but different show to counter Kathleen’s conversation. You can see the fun, and the discussions about writing that could begin.
Devising New Meaning for New Audiences
Mary Morgan Ryan hacked her school annual report to be a poster for students in her library. Same words reapplied for different purpose and audience.
Audience and Purpose
So, in very positive ways, writing was hacked to modify or devise writing through insightful choosing of words — cutting the clutter, rearranging, or linking to make meaning more clear for different audiences and purposes.
As #clmooc organizers reflected this week:
The highly participatory nature of the cultural moment we live in demands a new kind of critical literacy. As educators we want to empower our students to become engaged complex thinkers. Meenoo Rami stated “I want my students to code, decode, make, break things. I want them to shape an argument, to engage civically, to be critical thinkers.” Perhaps hacking (as a methodology applied to writing) might help us get there.
What concepts bubble up when you “hack writing”?
Agency of the writer/composer
Lens of the reader
Word choice/Image choice/Video choice
Ownership of content
This is what I think of while teaching and learning with my middle school students. So, again, celebrate our conversation — and choose your path.
Connected Learning / DigLit Sunday
How was all this hacking accomplished? Many ways– and we should celebrate what we’ve done and what we’ve learned:
First, the folks at Connected Learning Alliance created a Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration through a Google Plus Community whereby participants could network, connect on topics of interest, and openly share their creations and hacks. Participants’ interests determined collaborative projects and conversation [see above], and when issues arose, questions were asked, and peers supported each other with tips, solutions, and further collaboration. Throughout the production-oriented “hacking” week, posts included possible applications to the classroom [ academically oriented]. We were connected learners.
Besides the CLMOOC blog, Make Bank,Google Hangout, and Google Plus Community, Kim Douillard started a CLMOOC Flickr group for participants to openly share their work. Hopefully, people there will license their work as Creative Commons so others may reuse, remix, and hack their originals for further sharing and hacking. And of course, Twitter sharing and conversation [clmooc chat].
Other Tech Tools that provided opportunities to collaborate, share, present, and remix are:
Blogs [see Blog Hub ]
Prezi [ above]
Various Photo Apps depending on devices, for the various Kim Douillard Photo Challenges
Technology is a tool that allows literate learners to connect and collaborate. Let’s celebrate our conversation and collaboration. If you are new, choose a tool, and join #clmooc today — just to lurk around and learn one thing new! Then celebrate one thing you learned today! Let us know!