"There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story."- Frank Herbert
This is my last post! At least for awhile. But it is important to reflect about the things you learn, otherwise they go in one ear and out the other. So for my English class we were given a set of learning outcomes that we were supposed to achieve. While I looked at these periodically throughout the term, now that I am finished with class it surprises me how much I have actually accomplished. While I wrote a little bit about his in one of my posts, I would like to speak once again about the many things I have learned from this class. Throughout the term we were continually minded about the ideas of Consume, Create and Connect. I did this by reading new literature, blogging about it, and then relating it to my ideas about literature and the digital media. While doing this I followed the learning outcomes, which are:
1. Follow the BYU-I Model of Learning, which is Prepare, Teach One Another and Ponder & Prove: Everyday I would think about the things I learned in this class. I felt like the internet was an unknown land that I explored, hoping to find some little bits of treasure. I blogged all term long about the things that I discovered. However, my topic was one of endless worry and debate. There were so many directions it could have gone, and some days I was very frustrated. By talking to my brilliant cohorts, Jam Jenkins and Erica Oldroyd, they talked to me about my topic and helped me narrow it down to what I wanted to say. They not only helped me research and think more narrowly about my topic, but Sam also taught me how to resolve my many technical difficulties. In return I also thought deeply about Sam's and Erica's papers, and even connected our books through a Guest Post on Erica's blog. Eventually all this thinking (or pondering) led to the final creation of my paper, which proved that the social media can greatly affect the writing process.
2. Write Substantially and Publicly about Literature. While writing my blog posts, I was continually absorbing new research from different sources and connecting it to Anne of Green Gabes. This post in particular helped me to really understand how blogging about our ideas on literature can really help us move past the boring usual ideas that we shoot out in our writing. When we are writing continually about our ideas, and letting other people read and comment, it makes our topic relevant, and gives it new life.
3. Develop Research Skills. This was one of the most useful aspects of this class. I never realized how many research tools there are on the internet. I have discovered so many new sites and online tools that I will continue to use. Throughout the term I used Diigo online bookmarking for saving all of my sources. I used facebook group pages, goodreads, google scholar, the library website, fanfiction, youtube, google+, google search, wikipedia, chat forums, literature blogs, and so much more. By using a variety of different sources, I felt like I got to know my topic from every available angle.
4. Perfect Ideas Socially. This was the most difficult part of this class. It was hard enough just figuring out what to write about, let alone trying to be brave enough to put my ideas out there and get others to respond. But by proving my ideas socially I was able to connect to other people and their ideas, and it really changed the way my paper turned out. If I had more time in this class, I would have tried to start social proof MUCH earlier. However, the contacts that did get back to me were very insightful about my topic of imagination. I had one contact, Darcy Cowan, that wrote me back several times, with many ideas about how imagination and blogging relate to one another. Without him, I would have felt like my topic wasn't relevant to anyone! I also got a few responses on facebook, goodreads, and fan pages.
5. Gain Digital Literacy. Gaining digital literacy had such a major learning curve. Often I felt that I was drowning in the sea of new information. But slowly, I began to get used to the ideas that were common in digital culture, such as openness, wich reminds me of Erica's topic of confession on the internet, and information. By thinking about the different digital resources and ideas behind them every single day, it often felt that everything in my life could be related back to these core concepts. I now feel that the internet is no long my enemy, or a monster, but a place of infinite resources. Just like anything though, digital media isn't perfect, and has its own set of issues. But if we take advantage of the good parts of the digital media, then it allows us to consume new information, create new creative products or ideas and connect our own ideas to the ideas of the entire world.
6. Address Changes to Literary Study. This topic was prevalent in everything that we did this entire term. My book, Anne of Green Gables is a book that is well represented among the internet crowd. It has been transformed into plays, movies, audio books, video books, and is discussed on blogs, goodreads, facebook, twitter, and many more sites. By using these sources, it helped me understand how each new medium was something different from the last. Instead of just reading a book and understanding it according to our own experiences and perspectives, we can connect to other people's ideas. This gives us insight to characters and themes that we might not have previously connected to. By using many different sources, we can have a well rounded experiences with literature. Digital Media is making information more readily available, as well as changing the way we read and write. It is important to keep the academic rules and regulations, but by branching out and using all resources it allows students to make our topics relevant and useful to the world, instead of something that is read, graded and then thrown into the trash.
This class was fast pace and chaotic, but I felt that I have learned so much within the past 2 months. I have a renewed love of learning and writing and I no longer fear using all the digital media sources available! I have grown to love writing, and I will miss writing down my thoughts about books and literature. But as my quote says, my journey with literature and digital culture is not ending, it is just the place where the story stops.