Landing : Athabascau University

#change11 Reading Peter Lunenfeld

I have not had time, and will not have time until the New Year, to pay enough attention to the Change11 MOOC, but I'm lurking when I can.

Something from a book I'm reading, The Secret War Between Downloading & Uploading by Peter Lunenfeld (2011), MIT Press, made me think of the MOOC audience (I read mostly for the soporific properties--it's not that I have time to read right now):

Unfinish challenges authorial intent, on one side, and immutable meaning on the other. Digital unfinish builds on twentieth-century cultural explorations of these issues, but the computer and the network transform the baseline assumptions. Objects can be produced that are open to later modification, which is a key attribute of open-source creativity, and for any damage that can be done, the chance is there to undo it--the Control Z that we wish we had in the material word [sic?]. There are strong connections between unfinish and . . . Creative Commons and the open-source culture movement that networks have made possible. Thinking about unfinish leads to questions about openness as well. One metric for the success of a technology, especially a digital one, is to look at how open it is to unanticipated uses. How unfinished is it? (p. 36)


This spoke to me because of my focus for this MOOC--my goal is to develop a 21st-century composition course. (You have probably seen Dave Cormier's video embedded here. I hope I find a cooler term than 'composition', but it's what I mean, so there it is). I plan to start with an attempt to interest students in the "twentieth-century cultural exploration of these issues," meaning Julia Kristeva's notion of intertextuality. The notion of unfinish will complete my thought for this part of the course and also point to the next idea--copyright and intellectual property. Rather than issuing dire warnings about plagiarism, my hope is to engage students in finding a position to take on these matters.

According to Dave Cormier, I should be thinking about finding a network. I am. I am thinking about it. Maybe it will come to me (that's what we all hope).


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