Textual Analysis and Remediation with Dylan Thomas

Well, hello again my friends!

With my last post being so upbeat, I thought I would bring done the mood for my post about Textual Analysis and Remediation using Dylan Thomas’s famous poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” There are several movies and TV shows over the years that have either mentioned the poem, based an episode around the poem, or embodied the poem without even knowing it. Using Jones and Hafner’s idea of creating multimodel texts or visual presentations that help further or change our interpretation of the text (Jones and Hafner, 2012).

Here is the link to Thomas’s original poem.
https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

For this I chose to use Pinterest as my tool to convey the multimodal side of Thomas’ poem. I recently watched the film Interstellar and that inspired me to not only choose this poem, but also explore other possible pop-culture-tied “modes” of the poem. Turns out there are quite a bit for a poem that was published back in the early 1900s. For that reason alone, I decided to explore Textual Analysis and Remediation by creating/exploring Pinterest Boards.

Located Below is a link to that aforementioned Pinterest board I created specifically for this poem.

*Side Note-my Pinterest username is Mandy, so don’t be alarmed or confused…thats definitely me.*

https://www.pinterest.com/mandy_akd/do-not-go-gentle-into-that-good-night/

In order to explore possible pop culture “modes” of Dylan Thomas’s poem, I chose to use Pinterest as a tool to explore with. Using Jones and Hafner’s Understanding Digital Literacies to guide me, I set out to find which tool was “best suited for conveying [my] meaning”‘ (Jones and Hafner, 2012). While there were so many remediations (avenues) to chose from, I settled on a tool that allowed me to show an array of multimodals for the text: Pinterest. From there I could “pin” not only visual representations like movie poster or interpretative images, but also movie, television, and even commercial clips from YouTube. The text analysis part can be interpreted in so many ways through these modals. With this tool in-hand (so to speak), I set off to determine just how powerful multimodals were to text analysis and remediation.

To begin, I chose Pinterest to be my vehicle for mediation. Pinterest is a website that allows the users to create a type of bulletin board, simply referred to as “boards” Other users paste ideas from websites or other users onto their board. This is known as “pinning.” The website allows users to “pin” pretty much anything as long as it is appropriate and not copyright protected. Some users only use it for food recipes, some for inspiration quotes, some for crafts, and others for all of that and more. Once the user establishes a board, the possibilities are endless. Users can also organizer their boards based on different categories and how many pins can be unlimited. There are even teachers who share ideas on there and even better, it is free! Unlike many education-related digital tools, there is no tier-price system, so yes it is 100% free to use.

https://www.pinterest.com/
(very user friendly setup)

As stated before, this was the best tool to use for this Makercycle because of Pinterest’s multimodal allowance. I could post visual representations, as well as “pin” video clips and audio tracks. When analyzing text, we, as teachers ask students for their interpretations rather than give our own as not to plant a bias in the student. Having students use a tool like Pinterest to flesh out and explore different interpretations, we are placing students in the driver’s seat of text analysis. Pinterest was originally created to share craft and food ideas, but it has exploded into a place where users share everything, including a huge amount of pop culture references. Why not use the platform to build off of that pop culture (that I am sure appeals to students more than simply seeing an image or only hearing the words), and then letting them create their own “frame” that represents their analysis and interpretation of the text (Jones and Hafner, 2012)?

Towards the end of Chapter 4 of Understanding Digital Literacies, Jones and Hafner mention that recipes and images go hand-in-hand, texts in the ELA classroom should follow the same line of thinking. I wouldn’t understand a complex recipe without some visuals, so complex texts need that multimodal representation too (Jones and Hafner, 2012). I chose to use this platform for this Makercylcle because Pinterest is true vehicle for remediation and multimodals!

While I promise I am not paid by Pinterest, let’s talk about some affordances of this kind of digital tool. Every “modal” is represented.
Because Pinterest is a true multimodal, every medium is represented on the platform. There are images, videos, posters. GIFs. etc. Another one affordance that goes hand-in-hand with this is the creativity it allows for. Students (and teachers) can explore various forms of expression and representation.This can be great for students that lean more to the creative side as it can even help inspire other projects and lesson plans that are “out-of-the-box” like Multi-genre Research Projects.

There some constraints that go along with Pinterest. Like with Padlet in my last post, Pinterest can be too overwhelming. There about 50+ categories of pins to explore and an unlimited amount of pins, so a student or teacher can easily fall down a “rabbit hole” of sorts. A constraint, as well as an affordance, is the creativity the platform supplies. There is a reason there is an entire website dedicated to “Pinterest fails.” Sometimes the ideas and boards are simply too big or complex, which I feel, is where students may fall if not given some teacher constraints when using the platform.

Suggestions:

1.) Give students (and yourself) parameters when using the platform, be specific with what you are looking for or want to see.
2.) Make sure the links you pin actually work
A students may make a “pin” or board, but none of the links work, which can also suck for the teacher if they needed to show the class an example.

Cautions:
1.) The user still has to sign up for an account that is public (students and teachers are vulnerable to hacks and having their info shared)
2.) The “rabbit hole” issue (see above for explanation)

Question:
1.) So I have established that Pinterest is great for letting students explore their interpretation of a text once they have analyzed, but what do I do with analysis? Are students now going to share their findings and boards?
2.) I know several schools that have actually blocked this (teachers and students), so what is a way around this that still allows us to use the site, but in the constraints given? No, I am not talking about a proxy, I am talking more outside of class, or in their own time maybe (if that makes sense).

Until next time!

Ms. D(ickenson)




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