#MNLI Day Two Reflection- Unleashing the Bear!

A day of makes. That is my take away. Polly had a wonderful keynote ready on the power of creativity in school but she quickly pivoted. Polly decided, correctly, that talking about creativity does not hold the power of unleashing a room full of makers. She posted a series of pictures and ended with an image of bear and a girl on the bed.

girl-bed-and-bear

Teachers were given no real instructions. Just tell a story in video and share it everyone in the room. No we won’t tell you what tool to use. No we won’t tell you how to share it. You can see many of our bear makes by searching the #NewLit hashtag on Twitter.

It was the most powerful keynote I have heard without hearing a single word. Creativity Matters. Makers Matter. Community Matters.

I then attended Ian’s Digging Deeper session on Online Content Construction. We have spent many late nights and long car rides dissecting the construct. Ian, however, framed this in a recent chapter.

He detailed five steps: planning, generating, organizing, composing, revising. I felt after listening to the talk that something was missing.

“I am done with my make. No what?” In the world of writing we always had publishing. Yet that seems to be a key difference in the digital world. You can’t simply be done when you publish. There is a social element involved.

So I thought about it and thought about, and thought about it. Is it publishing, promoting, sharing? I settled on two possible contenders: Branding and Sharing.

Branding

I thought branding maybe the missing step because we talk a lot about digital footprints. Branding would encapsulate cross platform posting. The goal would be to drive traffic back to your content or digital hub. Thus branding would also involve metrics. I am a firm believer we need to get our students thinking about analytics early. Branding would involve audience building.

Sharing

My other thought was what was missing from Ian’s model is sharing. If we defined it as sharing than we mean publishing. Sharing also details a community. In order to establish that community we would hve levels of expertise. I am reminded of fanfiction sites, minecraft, or scratch. Sharing also would mean a dialogue among makers as revisions, critiques, reviews, and other elements are discussed.

A false dichotomy?

Maybe the OCC model does not need a choice between branding and sharing. Maybe it always comes back to purpose and audience. Depending on your purpose you may want to brand the content you construct. You may share your makes within a community if it is an audience of peers.

Much like Goldilocks I maybe searching for the “just right” answer. I just hope, “I don’t miss the bear.”

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry is a teacher, researcher and scholar at Southern Connecticut State University.

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1 Response

  1. March 21, 2014

    […] rather than portfolio assessment systems. We need to start thinking about teaching students to brand their online identity and measure the signals they […]

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