composing ecologies

Students in my Technologies and the Future of Writing module of Introduction to Writing Arts are designing their own information ecologies.

information ecologies

These ecologies are comprised of:

The main question they will be considering is: How can each of these writing spaces help form your information ecology? Through the process of composing these ecologies, students are considering: the meaning of “technology” in multiple (and often conflicting) contexts; identity; writing spaces; ownership; classification systems (tagging and folksonomies); information architecture; and writing in online environments. The topics are introduced and presented in such a way to provide a foundation for their times as Writing Arts majors and prepare them to compose their final portfolios.

Today, in a rowdy and raucous class, we set up our blogs:

They’ll be posting on the readings and their own professional, educational, and personal interests. Check ’em out and see what you think.

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2 Responses to composing ecologies

  1. Kafkaz says:

    Thanks for pointing me to this, Bill. I love this work–it’s the sort of thing that makes me do a little happy dance. What I think would be really fascinating is to see someone–student, teacher, artist, whatever–consider the possibilities of making their netvibes type page or just a webpage with widgets that serve the same sort of purpose become a collage that is also a whole, so that each piece of the mosaic or bricolage is an act of essaying in its own right, but the whole can only be fully appreciated when the bits are seen as one functioning unit. This is the sort of work that moves closer to that kind of vision–it engages students in the current tech possibilities, and gets them thinking about those possibilities and about the constellation of relationships in critical ways, and *as composers.*

    Love it, love it, love it.

    Kafkaz

  2. Bill says:

    I’m so glad that you found it useful, Kafkaz–thanks. I really like the way you word this: “that serve the same sort of purpose become a collage that is also a whole, so that each piece of the mosaic or bricolage is an act of essaying in its own right, but the whole can only be fully appreciated when the bits are seen as one functioning unit.” That is the idea that I have been thinking about with students, but never stated it so eloquently or succinctly. I think part of my problem with having students get to that point where the bricolage becomes an act of essay (such a great phrase!!) has been the 4 week schedule of the module and the overall goal to expose them to three different writing spaces. However, for a longer course, one dedicated to Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web, would be perfect for that.

    In class we talk about how RSS feed readers, tagging, and other Web 2.0 technologies are changing the nature of writing, and we have also discussed how these spaces help construct identity, and how we can compose identity in many spaces and ways in those spaces. But, to see Netvibes as an essay in its own right is, of course, right on the money.

    And soon, with the upcoming release of Ginger, individuals will be able to compose universes–public Netvibes ecologies that have the ability to be collaborative in nature. So, there is the possibility of collaborative essaying, as well.

    You’ve really got me thinking now. . . .

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