Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thinking Digitally

Though I've always loved seeing what other people can do with digital tools like Prezi and Jing, Animoto and Devolvr, I tend to shy away from actually creating those things myself.  I get intimidated by the open-ness of the spaces and worry that what I have isn't worthy.

Last February when it was time to defend my dissertation though, I kept seeing my research as shifting, moving and flipping and Prezi seemed like the only way to show that without waving my hands in oddly distracting ways.  The time I took creating the prezi though, really helped my get my research off of the pages and talk about, represent, what I was trying to do and the way all of the methodologies worked together.  Making that Prezi made it possible for me to boil my 200 page project down to a 30 minute defense.

Now with that little hoop behind me, I've been thinking towards making the diss a book.  Last week I had and incredible conversation with a NWP representative who helped me see that I needed to tell the story of my research.  Yesterday, I woke up thinking about the gallery crawl we were having today and the i-movie I was working on.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I kept thinking, 'that Prezi is the best digital thinking I've ever done, I wish I could make it stand alone.'  That thought bumped up against the notion that I needed to tell my story and wallah, I was playing with Jing to do a screen cast.  The project forced me - again - back into all of those pages, all of that thinking, to re-vision it for another context - a sort of elevator speech about the story of my research.  The product is far from what I'd call finished, but the thinking involved in putting this together has me feeling like I'm well on my way to the next draft of my book proposal.

 I am reminded of the great worth of thinking with digital space, of moving any composing into another mode, or medium, or genre, or lens, or form, or space - to see it from a different angle, for a different audience, thinking about entering a different conversation.    For me, it busts my thinking out of whatever box it was stuck in before.  Magical!

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