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Dave Boardman
Published
Feb 22 2011

Resources in this collection

5 Resources in this collection
At times writing happens without text - images and music convey the meaning. And at times, the meaning is conveyed through a mix of words, animation, sound, and image. Nicole Scott, a participant in the Three Rivers Writing Project Writers Camp, blended this mix to create a story that offers a message through the interaction of a number of elements, and the experience is one dramatically different than what would be experienced by a reader interacting with text alone. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl invites viewers to discuss whether the elements enhance - or leave unaffected - the ultimate meaning of the story.
As writing, moving type is all about the traditional: letters, words, sentences all combined to express meaning; but unlike the traditional, moving type transforms the expected and creates new meaning from that intersection of print, audio, and motion. Danielle Nicole DeVoss offers a multi-varied look at how words that move transform writing and bridge that triangle of art, image, and word. The products, like Zoolander Typography, may not all leave the viewer with a transformed sense of the world. Some are just entertaining, quizzical. But others, "Size Matters Not," Yoda bring on the potential for new meaning when words are divorced from their original images and transformed.
Bee Foster suggests that by broadening the definition of text - of what we acknowledge is "writing," we empower a more inclusive span of students to be "experts" in what they know. "We acknowledge the ways in which our students are already reading and writing. We give them credit for their strengths and begin an important dialogue around the transfer of skills from one mode to another." Says Foster, we let our students know that what they create has meaning; we acknowledge its worth.
Chuck Jurich's account of an afterschool video club and the interactions students have in that juncture of technology and writing echoes one of the main threads of the resources in this collection, the idea that sometimes, writing happens with instruments other than pen and paper, or keyboard and screen. Chuck uses part of his multi-page resource to describe the behind-the-scenes craft of writing when students create video, and he points out that the writing is not always obvious. "Evidence of solid writing happens when viewers watch 40 seconds of video, unconscious that the editor has carefully arranged 15 clips seamlessly pushing the story along or when we see a compelling sequence and we’re completely unaware of the camera."
Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, the blog of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative, steadily explores the front line of how technology, media, and the creativity of youth interact. Articles examine game design as communication, collaboration as the future of writing, even how the tools of the writer alter the inevitable outcome. In a conversation about the craft of writing as something potentially taking place with media other than the traditional, the Spotlight blog offers multiple and evolving perspectives.

Art, Image, Word

Uploaded by Dave Boardman on 2010-12-30 02:35

Admittedly, John the Baptist, the author of those words, "In the beginning there was the Word..." had a bigger idea than purely talking about etymology with his famous opener. And in the sphere of digital writing, there is more than the word as one of the elemental building blocks of doing the work of writing, transferring meaning from author to reader. This collection explores the idea that there exists a blurred line between where writing with words ends, and where writing becomes something else altogether, something no longer dependent on the traditional use of letters, words, sentences and traditional writing structures as the elemental units of meaning to convey meaning.

Consider just a few of the changes in the way we conceive of writing:

Text messages and emoticon: abbreviation as an art form. Who'd have thought Abraham Lincoln would be reduced to this: =]:-)=

Digital stories to music videos: dependent on a script, perhaps, but on words as the traditional components of phrases and sentences through which an idea is transferred? Maybe not.

Film: Could one argue that Metropolis from 1927 or Charlie Chaplin's Making a Living from 1914 weren't truly forms of writing - not just the text placards that appear between scenes, but the works as a whole, the movements, facial expressions, even settings?

Go back to the elemental meaning of the word, writing:

Here's the Wikipedia page take on the word:

Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing#cite_note-0)

And here's a portion of the more accepted Merriam Webster definition: "something written: as a : letters or characters that serve as visible signs of ideas, words, or symbols b : a letter, note, or notice used to communicate or record c : a written composition." (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/writin)

This collection is about the interchange of sound, text, word and how these combine to create new meaning, transformative work sometimes heavily reliant on the traditional notions of text, but more often not, conveying information - writing - without honoring the longstanding notion of what writing is.

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