A Comment on Reading Response Posts

The key thing to remember about your Reading Response posts on your blogs (and, for that matter, your Participation posts in the Blackboard forums), is that you want to focus on something in the readings and viewings that is of interest to you. It can be something that sparks an idea, something that resonates with you, or even something that doesn’t entirely make sense to you.

While the Reading Response posts are intended to be more formal pieces of writing and the Participation posts are meant to be more informal pieces of writing, both are asking you to try out and explore ideas. Here are a few possible scenarios that could lead to topics.

  1. While reading “10 Reading Revolutions before E-books” you’re struck with the idea that maybe text messaging and Twitter are another reading revolution might be another example of a reading revolution. Intrigued by the idea, you decide to explore this topic in your first Reading Response.
  2. In Week 2, after reading Jessica Brantley’s article on the play of word and image and design in medieval manuscripts, you make connections between what she says about medieval manuscripts and a new media piece you studied in class last semester. Really excited by this connection, your Reading Response post explores the similarities and differences between the manuscripts Brantley discusses and the new media text you studied.
  3. Next week, after reading the articles by Jay David Bolter and Walter Ong, you want to wrestle with the idea of how non-alphabetic based writing systems work with technologies such as a letterpress printing presses, typewriters, and keyboards, or even literacy education – Chinese for instance, has over 80,000 characters, although just 3,000 characters will cover most day-to-day needs. You do a bit of research online, learn about the written Chinese has been adapted to these technologies and how these technologies have been adapted to written Chinese, and you write up a blog post discussing what you learned.
  4. Next week, as you continue to read McLuhan’s The Medium Is the Massage, you come across his concept of the Global Village, which seems odd to you. As you think about the concept, you start listing the characteristics of a traditional village and then think about how our current communication technologies replicate and don’t replicate the features of a village.
  5. Or, finally, next week after you’ve read all the various pieces on media, mediums, and materiality, you start to think about various tools you’re used to using – pencils, pens, forks, air conditioning, the alphabet – as technologies. You find the idea interesting, so you decide to write a post about what it means to think of a common tool or set of tools as technologies.


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