Remixing Conversations and Connective Writing

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I never knew I had such a following on my blog until that last post on NETS 2.0. The interesting thing for me is, I wrote that about the same time David Warlick was writing about Conversations and Will Richardson was writing about connective writing. Now I’m trying to get my head around all of this. I’m sure I’m going to fail miserably here but I’ll give it a go. The good thing about thoughts and information is, you can always change your mind. 🙂

There are so many quotes that I like from Dave’s posting that I want to put them all here, but I’ll resist and put just my favorite.

If you have children, who spend a good deal of their time IM’ing, playing video games, blogging, googling, or other negotiations with technology, put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourself this question. Is it the computer, the game controller, the mobile phone, or PDA that I’m thinking about? …or is it the information, the conversation, the negotiation that I’m thinking about. I say it’s the conversations — the information. Information is what its all about.

I’m starting to grasp this whole information movement (I think), it hit me while I was sitting in that meeting last Friday staring at the NETS on my laptop. I am a elementary technology teacher so what should I be teaching my students? Am I to teach them technology a.k.a. how to use computers/software? Or is my job to teach them how to access the information that is available to them? I have taken the approach of the later this year. As I’m finding out, and I was hoping, they know the computer, they don’t know how to access information. So first, I introduced them to blogs and we got set up writing on blogs (Creating Information). Next we started looking at other students’ blogs (Connecting Information). Next, I hope to move into the conversations where students start to connect their thinking with that of others they have read (Conversation, Connective Writing).

Will is starting to define Connective Writing in his head as:

…it’s a type of writing that is inspired by reading and is therefore a response to an idea or a set of ideas or conversations. It is writing that synthesizes those ideas and remixes them in some way to make them our own and is published to potentially wide audiences. Because it is published, it is writing that then becomes a part of a larger negotiation of a truth or knowledge that is evolving in the larger network. And finally, it is writing that is written with the expectation that it too will be taken and remixed by others into their own truths by this continuous process of reading, thinking, writing (and linking), publishing and reading some more.

I like this definition and thank Will for being more articulate then I am. I think somewhere it needs to be added that the writing is connected back to the original idea therefore creating the conversations that Dave is talking about. Connective writing is only connective if it helps to create conversations? Creating and being part of the conversation is what connective writing is about right? I can write, but if I do not connect to others thinking, and add or become part of the conversation is it connective writing or is it reflection?

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. “Am I to teach them technology a.k.a. how to use computers/software? Or is my job to teach them how to access the information that is available to them?”

    The scary thing is, in this rapidly accelerating world, our job is to teach them how to access information that hasn’t even been created yet. As a bit of an information activist, I also think it is important to teach them how (and why) to access information that isn’t spoon fed to them. As I say, we have to teach them to be infomancers so they can find the information needed to continue learning throughout their lives.

  2. Pingback: Infomancy » Information Power/NETS Followup

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