In lieu of there being two blog posts this week, I will try to keep this post short and to the point.
Rorabaugh and Stommel’s journal entry, “How to Storify. Why to Storify,” promotes integrating social media into the classroom in the form of social stories. Rorabaugh and Stommel seem to think that social media has a unique place in the classroom, and that students can learn from social media trends when they are linearly related. The aims of storifying are, “bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative.” This narrative is then to be read and analyzed in the classroom. Storifying, “takes the glorious chaos of dynamic interaction and makes it contained and linear.” I could see storifying being useful in applying literary works to current events. For instance you could read a novel about the civil rights movement such as, To Kill A Mockingbird, and storify the various #blacklivesmatter hash tag posts from twitter and Facebook, as well as eNews articles written on police violence against African American citizens. You could then apply the themes and social issues from a novel written almost 75 years ago to American current events in American society today. The only issue I anticipate with incorporating storifying into a classroom, is that it might be difficult for an educator to see why a social story may be relevant to their curriculum and educators might have some difficulties creatively assimilating social stories or “storifying” their curriculum. On one hand social stories may lend to making the curriculum relevant to students today through cultural modeling, but I’m not sure how “storifying” social media would really be more valuable to students than other more conventional technologies in the classroom. Rorabaugh and Stommel’s article does a good job of explaining what storifying is and what it should do, but they don’t really explain how using a linear model of social media stories may or may not apply to current content standards, or how it would enhance an ELA curriculum. How do you see the ability to storify being useful in an ELA classroom? Do you think storifying would make content more relatable to student’s lives, thus making them more interested in the novels being read in your classroom? Would you use storifying in your class?
Juxtaposed to this is Edward Tufte’s, “PowerPoint is Evil.” From Tufte’s strong feelings on PowerPoint, “degrad(ing) the quality and credibility of communication.” I feel that it’s safe to say, Tufte would not be a fan of storifying anything in the classroom. Tufte seems to be an advocate of good old fashioned written reports “using sentences.” He finds the use of PowerPoint in the classroom “particularly disturbing,” and if he can’t find value in presenting main points of the text free from extraneous details, I can’t see him supporting studying linear models of twitter posts. Having used PowerPoint in school since the seventh or eighth grade, I can attest to how useful it is across curricular subjects. PowerPoint is particularly useful for students who are not strong language learners, especially ELL students and students with disabilities. PowerPoint allows for students to learn and demonstrate their content mastery in ways besides the traditional text reports using sentences. I definitely recognize the importance of teaching and using sentences in the classroom but PowerPoint is engaging and an effective instructional tool through its images and media as well as its bullet pointed “main points,” for those students who struggle with language. What are your thoughts on the role of PowerPoint in the classroom? Have you ever considered negatives when using PowerPoint in an ELA classroom? What do you think of Tufte’s argument, was it substantiated?
Finally, in Tufte’s article he states that, “When information is stacked in time, it is difficult to understand context and evaluate relationships.” I’m not sure if "information stacked in time," means when information is stacked in a “linear relationship” way (exactly like storify is) that it is difficult to understand? If so, this would seem to make him completely opposed to storifying in the classroom. Do you think Tufte would be as opposed to storifying as he is to PowerPoint?