Blog 5: Participation

I had a really hard time getting through the Joyce Neff Grounded Theory article. It was all predominantly new information to me so I didn’t have much comments on it. I mostly just absorbed what was said but didn’t have any particular statements that stood out to me. In the other reading “Enabling Participation (7-21)”, on the other hand I was completely encaptured. I think maybe because it was so much more “real” so to speak. Like as I was reading a lot more applied to me than in the other reading in my own opinion. There was a lot more to agree or disagree on. My top key quote that I took away was:

“Not every member must contribute but all must believe they are free to contribute when ready and that what they contribute will be appropriately valued.”

I think that this was so beautifully written and is really accurate in regards to internet participation and authorship. I still have to say just because it’s on the internet does not mean that every writer will feel comfortable. It depends on the individual. Some people may feel comfortable since noone sees them but then others will feel like they are put on the spot. There is no real way to make sure all writers participate in these kinds of interfaces and there are always many considerations an individual must keep in mind while on them.

The article also mentioned the difference in who has certain access to the technology needed and etc.

“What a person can accomplish with an outdated machine in a public library with mandatory filtering software and no opportunity for storage or transmission pales in comparison to what person can accomplish with a home computer with unfettered Internet access, high bandwidth, and continuous connectivity.”

This is also very true as everyone’s economic situation is not the same so therefore technology access is very varied. I have heard that our internet is supposed to be completely free. It’s just in the air. Anyhow I think there is still a significant amount of students who are lacking the access so we aren’t fully participatory and won’t be anytime soon.


Writing Theories Under Construction



This week we read an excerpt from “Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff in Under Construction: Working at the Intersection of Composition Theory, Research, and Practice. It made me think that reflect on why we do the work that we do. What makes us take the theories into practice. The main takeaway from me was the grounded theory methodology. The data driven principals that the methodology is founded on lends itself to the opportunity to test this theory out. Data is important when looking at the trends in writing and trying to find a way to improve both the teaching and the actual doing of writing. 

There is so much guesswork in the teaching of writing instruction because of the complexity of human activity. As a result, I think it is important to have a structured lens in which to look at the data. "Grounded theory methodology insists that no matter how general-- how broad in scope or abstract -- the theory, it should be developed in that back and forth-- interplay with data that is so central to this methodology."  It is in the back and forth approach where I think we find the most important details of the work. In the trial and error of doing and studying we stay grounded in work. This type of work clearly distinguishes the difference between theory and practice. 

The second text, Confronting the Challenges of Participating Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century was a very interesting read. I actually enjoyed this much more than the previous text. This really spoke to me thinking as both a teacher of writing and a graduate student. Even though I can remember a world without the convenance of modern technological advances it is hard for me to remember a time without it. "The computer does not operate in a vacuum. Injecting digital technologies into the classroom necessarily affects our relationships with every other communications." No truer words have been spoken in relation to computers. Today nothing moves without computers-- this is especially true in the world of writing. A revolution of sorts has happened in writing because of the advent of computers. Students have been removed from traditional classroom forums and moved into a world that they are more familiar and comfortable with. 

The term "affinity spaces" emerged in this article and it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. "Affinity spaces are distinct from formal education systems." Different from the traditional classrooms of the past. And these affinity spaces have made room for students to be participants in their education and this is space that is greatly needed. In these organic spaces students are allowed and are more likely to create and participate. I think the participation is key. In traditional classrooms students are more reluctant to participate to write, to share their ideas for whatever reason. But in this digital space students are more reticent to be involved to give their ideas and to create. 

As an educator I see it when I use technology to engage my students and elicit their participation in a world that is familiar to them. And as a graduate student I am experiencing this in my Networked Narratives class. Being a student in this space navigating through a world that I have become familiar with has enabled me to be an engaged student in a manner that I never would've before. This is the way of the world and I feel that I sit in a very good space to be able to get the perspective of this educational shift from two different spectrums. It has given me so much insight into what is to coming next. 

Writing Theories Under Construction



This week we read an excerpt from “Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff in Under Construction: Working at the Intersection of Composition Theory, Research, and Practice. It made me think that reflect on why we do the work that we do. What makes us take the theories into practice. The main takeaway from me was the grounded theory methodology. The data driven principals that the methodology is founded on lends itself to the opportunity to test this theory out. Data is important when looking at the trends in writing and trying to find a way to improve both the teaching and the actual doing of writing. 

There is so much guesswork in the teaching of writing instruction because of the complexity of human activity. As a result, I think it is important to have a structured lens in which to look at the data. "Grounded theory methodology insists that no matter how general-- how broad in scope or abstract -- the theory, it should be developed in that back and forth-- interplay with data that is so central to this methodology."  It is in the back and forth approach where I think we find the most important details of the work. In the trial and error of doing and studying we stay grounded in work. This type of work clearly distinguishes the difference between theory and practice. 

The second text, Confronting the Challenges of Participating Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century was a very interesting read. I actually enjoyed this much more than the previous text. This really spoke to me thinking as both a teacher of writing and a graduate student. Even though I can remember a world without the convenance of modern technological advances it is hard for me to remember a time without it. "The computer does not operate in a vacuum. Injecting digital technologies into the classroom necessarily affects our relationships with every other communications." No truer words have been spoken in relation to computers. Today nothing moves without computers-- this is especially true in the world of writing. A revolution of sorts has happened in writing because of the advent of computers. Students have been removed from traditional classroom forums and moved into a world that they are more familiar and comfortable with. 

The term "affinity spaces" emerged in this article and it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. "Affinity spaces are distinct from formal education systems." Different from the traditional classrooms of the past. And these affinity spaces have made room for students to be participants in their education and this is space that is greatly needed. In these organic spaces students are allowed and are more likely to create and participate. I think the participation is key. In traditional classrooms students are more reluctant to participate to write, to share their ideas for whatever reason. But in this digital space students are more reticent to be involved to give their ideas and to create. 

As an educator I see it when I use technology to engage my students and elicit their participation in a world that is familiar to them. And as a graduate student I am experiencing this in my Networked Narratives class. Being a student in this space navigating through a world that I have become familiar with has enabled me to be an engaged student in a manner that I never would've before. This is the way of the world and I feel that I sit in a very good space to be able to get the perspective of this educational shift from two different spectrums. It has given me so much insight into what is to coming next. 

Writing Theories Under Construction



This week we read an excerpt from “Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff in Under Construction: Working at the Intersection of Composition Theory, Research, and Practice. It made me think that reflect on why we do the work that we do. What makes us take the theories into practice. The main takeaway from me was the grounded theory methodology. The data driven principals that the methodology is founded on lends itself to the opportunity to test this theory out. Data is important when looking at the trends in writing and trying to find a way to improve both the teaching and the actual doing of writing. 

There is so much guesswork in the teaching of writing instruction because of the complexity of human activity. As a result, I think it is important to have a structured lens in which to look at the data. "Grounded theory methodology insists that no matter how general-- how broad in scope or abstract -- the theory, it should be developed in that back and forth-- interplay with data that is so central to this methodology."  It is in the back and forth approach where I think we find the most important details of the work. In the trial and error of doing and studying we stay grounded in work. This type of work clearly distinguishes the difference between theory and practice. 

The second text, Confronting the Challenges of Participating Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century was a very interesting read. I actually enjoyed this much more than the previous text. This really spoke to me thinking as both a teacher of writing and a graduate student. Even though I can remember a world without the convenance of modern technological advances it is hard for me to remember a time without it. "The computer does not operate in a vacuum. Injecting digital technologies into the classroom necessarily affects our relationships with every other communications." No truer words have been spoken in relation to computers. Today nothing moves without computers-- this is especially true in the world of writing. A revolution of sorts has happened in writing because of the advent of computers. Students have been removed from traditional classroom forums and moved into a world that they are more familiar and comfortable with. 

The term "affinity spaces" emerged in this article and it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. "Affinity spaces are distinct from formal education systems." Different from the traditional classrooms of the past. And these affinity spaces have made room for students to be participants in their education and this is space that is greatly needed. In these organic spaces students are allowed and are more likely to create and participate. I think the participation is key. In traditional classrooms students are more reluctant to participate to write, to share their ideas for whatever reason. But in this digital space students are more reticent to be involved to give their ideas and to create. 

As an educator I see it when I use technology to engage my students and elicit their participation in a world that is familiar to them. And as a graduate student I am experiencing this in my Networked Narratives class. Being a student in this space navigating through a world that I have become familiar with has enabled me to be an engaged student in a manner that I never would've before. This is the way of the world and I feel that I sit in a very good space to be able to get the perspective of this educational shift from two different spectrums. It has given me so much insight into what is to coming next. 

Composition Theory and Participatory Culture

“Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff was the first article of the two that I read in preparation of this response. We went over grounded theory in class briefly, and touched on what it meant to do that kind of research, but there was still so much up in the air about it in general. I feel like I have learned a lot about grounded theory from this article, but in no way was it enjoyable to read. However, as I began, I found it interesting that right in the beginning is where it is mentioned that research studies conducted during the 60s-80s fails to follow up with explanation in terms of the results that come from the data and the rhetorical decisions that went into the methodology. These are important things to think of, and always brings my mind back to a sentiment that my colleague, Katherine, is always alluding to: “How did they get to this?” and why researched didn’t do one thing over another.

I believe it is worthwhile to not only critique what’s happening now, but incite and suggest ideas for change, which is something that is not always present or encouraged. Candace Spigelman, as pointed out int he article, made not of this. Should this just be a given or a standard when it comes to this type of research? Moving along, I felt a little lost with certain theories and concepts presented in this work, especially when it came around to talking about the coding of data etc. (it was a lot to take in). However, I appreciated the “how to” feel of the article despite how overwhelming it was. Grounded theory, as I have learned from this article, is very much summed up as open ended or never ceasing because there is always something to go off of to get to the next thing.

In regards to the second reading, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” by Henry Jenkins, I felt myself drawn to the three problems that are alluded to as the article opens up. Before I get to those problems mentioned, though, I immediately went into the articles with questions as I began to read. I thought to myself if the article mentions or touches on the difficulties when it comes to those individuals who feel a little left out of the culture? This doesn’t necessarily have to be everyone 50 and over because there are student my age who have a hard time with technology (which made me think of the gap issue that is mentioned later as one of the problems). I like how my questions were answered.

I appreciated how Jenkins does not leave the role of teaching these new digital literacies completely to he parents or the school, but rather suggests that it should be distributed (I agree). Most of what a child knows starts at home, so why would this be an exception? Right? I also liked how to article pointed out the limitations when it came to the traditional school setting, and what can happen when students are reaching for more and the education system is sorely lacking in providing it. For as long as I can remember, some of the most powerful work in the world happened outside of the school walls and directly fought against the system. What does that say? It is all of our teacher’s faults, and neither is it the student’s fault.

Technology is at the forefront of almost everything that is done today, and that is evident from this article. What was definitely special was the point in the article where we are brought back to the discussion we hold in our classroom nonstop, and that is about creativity and how important it is in any instance that involves learning. This kind of unique expressions fosters individuals who not only think against the norm, but also challenge what they know to break barriers and discover more than they would have ever imaged. So, tell me why individuals are paying attention to this and trying to add it more to curriculums across the world? Oh right wait I forgot… we need to mass produce worker bees. In the article, it is mentioned that “it matters what tools are available to a culture”, but what is equally important and relevant to note is that it matters “what that culture chooses to do with those tools”. When the tools a system has handed out is now being used to fight that said system… there is probably an issue with the system and something needs to be done.

The participation gap is something that was taking about briefly in my professor’s other course “Digital Storytelling” and the lack of available resources someone has ABSOLUTELY plays a part in what is being seen in these cultures and communities. I don’t think enough attention is being paid to that. The ethical issue is definitely one to highlight, and in no way can I fit everything on this one blog, but with everything being much more open to the public one has to realize the challenges that poses for a group of participants who may not be trained properly for this sort of environment, and the instruction that usually comes from their elders is lost because the elders have no idea whats going on. Lastly, I am grateful for some of the practices that I have personally experienced in place that teach students about transparency online and the need to be more careful, but it is still a very relevant issue to bring up because it is not being enforced everywhere. This section in the article focuses heavily on this topic in relation to gaming, but some of the solutions given by others are a little fuzzy still. I look forward to researching more deeply about this and hopefully sparking more of a conversation outside of the classroom about this.

All in all, the two readings were definitely insightful and add much to responses needed to questions being asked for so long, but everything is a work in progress and all that can be done right now is to hope that conversations about these issues do not cease.