When reading the introductions posted to the weblog, I was astounded at the variety of images, thoughts and impressions relating to text. Each post highlighted a unique insight into the nature and capabilities of text, which were selected for different reasons. Some individuals, such as Heidi, recalled events from their childhood that sparked their curiosity about text, while others focused on contemporary advances, like the one with an iPad providing information about a painting. The post that most struck me was the one called “evolving language”. This post included a picture that had the words “lol. loss of language”. I found this image to be the most interesting because, as the author described, what defines text changes over time. In the O’Donnell interview (1999), he talks about abbreviated text that is used in e-mail and inquired whether it would survive. Over a decade later, it has become more prominent in online conversations and the number of abbreviated terms have increased. My question, given the present context, is whether abbreviated words will, indeed, lead to “loss of language”.
I think this exercise enabled students to unleash their creativity. By selecting an image and describing its relevance, students were able to think outside of the box and connect text to ideas and artifacts that are not conventionally associated with it. Furthermore, since posts were made in a weblog, they were less formal and structured than in a web-based learning platform like BlackBoard. This information nature helps students express their opinions artistically. One aspect of the weblog that is negative is that it does not fully support collaboration among peers. Comments on posts are hidden, unless they are clicked on. When reading a post on the main page, it would be advantageous to see the replies and other students’ thoughts about the posts.