1. You positioned me well 🙂 and make a compelling argument. Understanding hashtags and folksonomies are digital literacy skills that, as you so rightly point out, help us understand, organize and navigate information.

    Just as important in my mind is the fact that the proper use of metadata and hashtags ensures that the messages we create are found and heard and don’t just disappear into the noise. Proper metadata ensures our messages can be found by the people who are looking for them, which is also increasingly important for students if they want their voices heard on issues that affect them. The correct use of something like a hashtag could be the difference between a students voice being heard or not.

    • Rebecca

    • 13 years ago

    Dear Darcy,

    This post is really inspiring. I am studying to teach English after a career in publishing and the creative industries. I was wondering, is there time to teach outside the scope of the curriculum? And how do you communicate the deeper meanings to children of varying abilities?

    From a very green not-a-teacher-yet.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 13 years ago

      Hello Rebecca,

      I appreciate your kind words. Thank you!

      Your question is a good one. If we look at the lessons that could flow from the topics explored at this post, from the perspective of a teacher of English, in NSW, using the current syllabi, it would be very easy to make formal and appropriate links to the outcomes and cross-curricula content. Generally, in my experience, it is possible in such well-written syllabi, to legitimise new ideas, especially about technology, textual features and ‘communication’. For example, a copy and paste from the syllabus mentions:

      Outcome 3 (stage 4) responds to and composes texts in different technologies
      Outcome 3 (stage 5) selects, uses, describes and explains how different technologies affect and shape meaning
      Outcome 5 (Prelim) A student describes the ways different technologies and media of production affect the language and structure of particular texts.

      etc.. (and of course ‘metalanguage’ is important in our Quality Teaching’ docs too).

      I read the equivalent Danish docks and could find links quite easily.

      Your thoughts?


    • Kelli

    • 13 years ago

    Thank you for this post Darcy – I just recently rediscovered the term ‘folksonomy’. I think it’s a lovely term, as well as being useful…also, a big hello to Viborg, and to Maz! (Darcy you might have to explain how names get Australianised here 😉 )

    Can I offer a particularly English teacher-y idea? First, a question: would you say that taxonomies are imposed from above while folksonomies evolve from the community?

    So, my idea: that GENRES only come to be as ‘text categories’ because we conceptually use really, really established metadata as ‘tags’ in literary studies. A text could get tagged with #book #film #fiction #print_text #first_person #narrative #exposition #multimodal etc. and it is in this way that English teachers can deal with the complexity of categorizing texts without being limited to binaries and genre silos. More specifically, I first had the thought this way: that ‘genres’ are just ‘memes’ that stick around. Like memes, all genres start somewhere, with someone, and then become popular. I mean – 140 character blog posts? Who could predict that would catch on? But, as people increasingly found they liked and valued this mode of expression that was #online #personal_writing in #short_form to a #public_audience , and BOOM! the genre of “microblogging” is born. I also thought this was a nice way to explain why Shakespeare is still so awesome – his work is so meme-ish! Just like Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’, he caught on…only, we liked his snappy quotes and language play so much, we let him stick around 😉

    To return to taxonomies/folksonomies…do you think we need both? I think they feed off each other, so am happy for institutions to make their taxonomies, as long as I can speak back to them, and they don’t try to replace or denigrate folksonomies. Make sense?

    • Rebecca

    • 13 years ago

    Dear Darcy,

    Thank you kindly for your reply and for taking the time to link this post to potential real life experiences. I can conclude that English has changed a lot since I was at school and I love how reflexive it seems to have become. You have completely inspired me. I recently changed my first specialism from art to English and now I know I have made the right choice. Likewise Kelli’s post has made me feel I am in good postmodern company when I finally graduate.

    Thank you. Ready to crack on with my Australian Literature essay this week with fresh enthusiasm!

    1. There is no greater compliment, I think, than being called ‘good postmodern company’ – thank you Rebecca, made my day 🙂
      English is just Art in disguise as language anyways. Hence, Art people are always a very welcome conversion to the English flock, imo!

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