Turning the Kaleidoscope – Week 5 Reading Response

Lots of fun readings this week. So many ways to play with text and meaning that I almost want to giggle with glee.

To counter some of the leftover negativity and frustration from last week, I chose a more upbeat article for my interest reading. In Eccentrics May Have Found Key to Happiness, Psychologist Says by Ann Japenga for the LA Times, I found a very different perspective than the doom and gloom of seeing eccentricity and “abnormality” as something needing to be medicated. Here, eccentrics are just people who have found their own unique path to happiness. Eccentrics and people outside of the norm are people to be learned from and should inspire others to loosen up and find new ways to interact with the world.

In Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices, the idea of “loosening up” continues. As fan communities and Web 2.0 technologies have opened up new ways of accessing texts and media. For education and learning, it seems like this is still an evolutionary process teachers learn to play with how they can open up traditional learning styles to include how their students learn. It’s a learning process on both sides and teachers and students adjust their methods of interacting with media to bridge the digital divide. Teachers still need to find “acceptable” ways of leveraging social media and digital communities to engage their students while students need to approach the divide from the other side to embrace the idea that learning can happen anywhere and that they can engage in learning anywhere.

All of my readings tied in really well with Remi Holden’s article Playful Annotation in the Open: Part 3. By using Hypothesis to annotate online texts, readers can open up the text or content by engaging in “playful” annotations that incorporate questions, outside references, sarcasm, and conversations between the annotators. As the semester has progresses, I’ve both seen and participated in each of these ways of playing with the original text and it can be very effective. There have been sections of text that someone has commented on and changed the meaning.

That’s the fun of playing with kaleidoscopes. Each time you turn it you see something different and it’s always beautiful.

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