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DML: Make a Beautiful Six-Word Memoir

DML: Make a Beautiful Six-Word Memoir

Written by Paul Oh
March 18, 2013

This is reposted from my personal blog.

I’ve just returned from four days at the Digital Media and Learning Conference, where the spotlight was squarely focused on youth civic engagement powered by the digital. It’s a topic I have great interest in these days because of work I’m involved with in the Oakland, CA, Unified School District.

More on that, though, in an upcoming post.

Here, I’m going to provide a brief roundup of developments related to a Mozilla Webmaker project called Make a Beautiful Six-Word Memoir that I, along with Laura Hilliger and Christina Cantrill, have been working on.

As you may know, I’ve been fascinated lately by the six-word form, especially as it’s been rendered online through media. Building upon that interest, I came up with the idea of creating a Thimble project that would help someone create a six-word memoir that was “beautiful” both textually and visually. Thimble as the vehicle allows an author to learn HTML and CSS while shaping the look of the memoir. Since that post:

  • Mozilla Webmaker created a feature page for the project
  • We presented the Thimble project, along with an analog Six-Word Memoir activity that involved glue sticks, scissors and magazines (think “my life as a ransom note”) at a Make-To-Learn Symposium the day before DML officially started
  • National Writing Project colleagues like Chad Sansing and Kevin Hodgson made their own six-word memoirs while they and others at Digital Is began a conversation about making and writing in relation to the form
  • The New York Times Learning Network picked up on the idea and prompted its educator audience to consider using the six-word form as a prompt for writing
  • I wrote an opinion piece at School Library Journal’s Digital Shift blog using our Webmaker work to counter a previously published post that asserted learning HTML was not necessary

And, here’s my hastily constructed six-word memoir, which I built as another example for participants to look at during our Maker Table at the M2L Symposium. (I’m sharing the version that allows you to see the code and remix. To see the code and remix any published Thimble project, simply add “/edit” to the end of the URL.)

What does your Beautiful Six-Word Memoir look like?

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