Borrowing, buying or creating?

Hello all,

I guess here is where we start the thread on this week’s reading. Is that correct?
I really enjoyed the meta-reading, going back and forth between the original text and the links. It makes so much sense to read this way. This is how I read nowadays anyways and this is how I teach my students to read too.
If you find a term, a word or something that you don’t know or pikes your interest, why not just go ahead and look it up?

I liked the W and H and have been thoroughly thinking about my proposals. Where do we post those? (I am a little lost in terms of where to post things).

Borrowing, buying or creating? I would like to discuss this more later.

I am very grateful to be in a class in which the professors are insisting we DO something. I don’t know if this happens to many of you, but sometimes, quite often actually, in the PhD writing papers does not feel like doing something. That is why I knit. (or one of the reasons at least). Knitting is tangible. I make something with my hands and then I use it to keep me warm or look nice, or I gift it to someone else for them to use, etc. But it is real… intellectual work often feels like it is not real.

I have felt this way since my undergrad, I found my oxygen in radio and giving theatre games workships and other things. Late ron I moved on to more intangible things like a masters in critical theory. A PhD in Comp Lit is still very intangible and oftentimes I wish I was doing something more tangible and physical…

lastly, I just wanted to post this to think about tecmology…

#readings, #posts #provocation

7 thoughts on “Borrowing, buying or creating?

  1. Maura A. Smale (she/her)

    Two related ideas I want to pick up on, from Pamela’s comment — is this project worth doing?, and from Ian’s — letting the data from the pilot project answer a question the team had about the best way to test knowledge of the letter h. The sometimes-uncomfortable reality is that we aren’t able to know exactly how the product/resource/service/thing we produce will be used, and whether it’s proved its worth, until we release it into the world for people to use it. This can be tricky to balance with development resources, for sure.

  2. Ian Phillips

    One more thing…

    In addition to considering our prototypical user, as an individual, and how our design fits in with the way they operate, I think we must also consider our prototypical users, as a community. That is, we should consider how our design will affect the way our users interact with each other. Are we going to build a system that cultivates a user community that is open and shares ideas, perhaps by allowing easy sharing and encouraging communication between users? Or, might we inadvertently create a negative atmosphere in our community by restricting or promoting certain other behaviors, perhaps?

  3. Ian Phillips

    This is one of those pieces where I found myself mumbling “right, yeah, right” with each paragraph. Starting a project by considering the context seems intuitive–If you’re building something to satisfy a need, why wouldn’t you begin by analyzing this need and using this to inform your building approach? The answer, I think, is because this process is difficult. That is, when you complete each phase of building something, you remove a degree of freedom from the possible actions you can take next and still meet your end goal. So, when you start from the end and work back through your building logic all the way to laying the foundation, you must consider the appropriateness of your choice given (1) the context and (2) how it will influence the logic of your projects inner workings. This gets complicated, fast.

    I recently helped build a computer adaptive literacy evaluation for a special population of immigrant students. Our group was commissioned to build this assessment because the test in current use was, let’s say, not that great. The issue, it seemed, is that the literacy evaluation we aimed to replace was built for the sake of building a literacy evaluation and did not consider the population being tested. In building our test, we started by standing in our student’s shoes. We developed a persona, affectionately named “our Mongolian sheep herder” who was brought into each phase of planning, not only content specifications (the conceptual difficulty and cultural relevance of our reading passages), but also the internal logic and interface of the evaluation itself. I bring this up because the difficulty in implementing this kind of thinking is what ultimately put us over budget and past the deadline. Consistently thinking this way can become almost paralyzing. At the height of things I found myself engaged in a heated, 4-hour argument over the appropriate way to test knowledge of the letter “h” (we ended up testing it three ways and letting the pilot data decide for us). Was this necessary to the ultimate success of our assessment? How can you tell?

    The point I’m getting at here, is how do you strike a balance between following these building practices (which I fully support) and not getting tangled in the intricacies of your own design?

  4. Maura A. Smale (she/her)

    Aleks, these are interesting project ideas, thanks for posting. The problem addressed by your second idea is something I think that many instructors struggle with, in all disciplines. What kinds of tools could you use to build out this resource? How would you drive interested instructors to the resource?

  5. Pamela Thielman (she/her)

    I’d like to add to the 5Ws and 1H, or at least expand upon something that may be implicit in them. In dramatic criticism, you are always asking 1. What is the play/playwright trying to do? 2. How well is it done? and 3. Is it worth doing? I think that third question is key, and in some ways speaks to the issue of Build/Buy/Borrow/Beg. Is the project worth doing? What is the rubric for your (one’s) decision about that?

    Also, I was surprised by how many of the articles were overtly or tangentially related to performance. Just a good reminder that encounters with technology are active.

  6. Kelly Aronowitz Post author

    Hi Alex,

    thanks for the interest in my first book! 😉 yes, let’s translate it into Polish!
    I will bring you a copy this Wednesday. Although it can be found on Amazon in kindle:

    I think both of your ideas are very interesting and both relate to each other. One is to organize resources for teachers and the other is to organize resources, in a way, for students, no? and both math related?


  7. Michael Mandiberg (they/them)

    /// I’m reposting this from a different thread on behalf of Aleks – m ///
    Kelly, thanks for that video (brought a lot of good memories) and for making me laugh!!! Let’s hope, I didn’t wake up the twins 🙂
    I also enjoyed the “meta-reading” and how easy it was to go back and forth between the reading. I have to admit, I get sidetracked easily (while reading this article, I managed to check the news on Amanda Knox, recommend my old student a person who makes the most amazing birthday cakes ever, and look up your book – btw. maybe we can work on translating it into polish? I know a lot of people who would love to read it) and not having to leave the site to find all the information was super helpful. That made me think about my high-school students and how awesome it would be to make a book (an Ibook) that would help them to prepare for those gruesome standardized math tests. An interactive book that would allow my students to work, and practice and at the same time let them create their knowledge (by making math- come up with formulas, use interactive tools to play with geometry, write proofs, etc).
    My second project (or rather an idea of a project) would be to create a database(or a map, or a website- don’t know) of available (or useful) resources for math teachers working or studying in New York. Working with pre-service teachers, I see how totally overwhelmed they get by the amount of the information available to them online. However, when they are looking for some teaching resources, it is difficult for them to find free, reliable sources that they could use in their classes. And I am not talking only about lesson plans, and worksheets, but also about places they (new, and old math teachers) can get help, organizations, conferences, places they can take their students to do some math, and more.
    Those are my very, very basic ideas, and I am not even sure if we were supposed to post them here 😉

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