10 thoughts on “Cultural Storytelling

  1. I seem to remember someone’s comment last semester in ED 431 regarding your posts–that’s it’s difficult to be critical of something so well-formed and well-executed on so many levels. I think this is one of those times. But here goes…

    First, on a purely technical level, this is precisely what Storify was created for. It’s a compelling collection of source material from a wide variety of sources (solid research) in a narrative format that flows like a story. The fact that you took the time to explore the tool to the extent that you did (downloading the browser extension and experimenting with its features) shows in the overall flow and organization of the topic. It’s one of those tools, like Diigo (I think) that gets better the more you use it. Additionally, your closing comments about letting the source material speak for itself underscores the strong balance that you have struck between the material itself and your narrative explanations.

    As a story, your archive begins with an attention-grabbing collection of biographical data about Ada Lovelace and other women who have made critical contributions to writing code throughout history leading eventually to the contrast with current male-oriented coding structures. Your inclusion of tweets from girls in coding classes is a powerful way to close your narrative–and, I think, good justification for girls to reconsider current attitudes about coding. It strikes me that your archive could be used as an element in any 5-12 coding effort as a way to engage girls earlier. I hope you’ll share it with as many folks as you can.

    Finally, your comments about using Storify in your courses made me think about this tool as a writing standard. On the negative side, it does make simply copy-pasting content from one place to another facile and therefore easy to forget to add meaning and context to one’s work, but a strong archive such as this would seem to me to be a good model for 5-12 students to develop and share understanding of a topic on a much deeper level than simply reading some source material and writing about it.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Skip! Working with Storify will definitely be on the list of activities to work into my curriculum. I think students would be super into organizing ideas visually and could be great for formative assessment. The downside would be their lack of access to social media on the school network, which is such a cool aspect of Storify 🙁

  2. I cannot emphasize how much I LOVE this topic! A really good video that might be beneficial is Buzzfeed’s video about the Try Guys and coding link >>>> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Vzo-iPGCo)

    While I, personally, don’t code I do know quite a few people (girls and guys) who do. It’s so important to get this into classes when both genders are early. There are some really great resources to teach kids in a fun and engaging way (one that comes to mind is CodeCombat.com).

    I think you found a really nice balance between using storify and having comments. I struggled with that aspect of this assignment but I really agree with you in that you just gotta let storify do its job and show instead of relying on words to tell.

    I would have liked a little more information on uses in the classrooms and why it’s important that we have coding. Maybe a bit of background on coding would have worked well with this piece.

    Overall I really enjoyed going through your storify and your comments.

  3. Clarity of message
    I love how effortlessly you tie the objects embedded in your Storify into the narrative. You did a wonderful job with the entire thing. You bring up some intriguing points about regarding goal vs. issue and the ramifications of getting too focused on ‘coding for girls.’

    Depth of message
    Your coverage seems complete. I found your balance between narrative and artifacts to be just right. Excellent work.

    Writing Standards
    Typo: whether that be signing up for an “Into to Coding” (intro)
    Typo: Their AP Computer Science Principles course website includes a page on “Recruitment Strategies”” (extra quotation marks)
    No further suggestions.

    I especially loved the tweet about MySpace. When I was 19 I made a personal website on Angelfire with a lot of customization (programming) just because I wanted to. I had to teach myself how to do it. It never occurred to me that this was a guy thing… I just wanted a really cool looking page and that’s what I needed to do to get it. 🙂

    • Thanks for the close read D’Arcy! I wonder if teaching coding through social media could still be a productive angle when so much about our online/mobile experience is pre-made now (everything is cyclical right? So, maybe if I just wait it out). I want to think it could be, because I LOVED working on my MySpace page, and embedding all those ridiculous “Which character are you?” results 🙂

  4. I noticed one small typo: Under the section “Coding” after the tweet from girlswhocode.com, “it is better than is has been.” I assume the 2nd “is” should actually be “it.” Otherwise, I think your writing is very clear and strong, as is. To build on what Skip said, I think this is one of the most organized and beautifully-constructed Storify stories I have ever seen.

    There was one thing I’m left wondering, just out of curiosity. You say issue-focused messaging has a tendency to be short-sighted, so what are some other resources (aside from coding classes/workshops) that women need “to truly pursue a career in the [STEM] industry?”

    • Also, that tweet about coding on MySpace really resonated with me, too! It didn’t even occur to me that I was coding when I used to fiddle around with HTML codes to make the perfect-looking profile! 😀

  5. Clarity of message
    Wonderful, clear message – coding for everyone!

    Depth of message
    Blog asked and answered many critical educational questions.

    Writing Standards
    No problems noted.

    Quality and appropriateness of media
    Media moved your story forward. I loved all the tweets from individuals.

    My son is taking a python coding class in middle school. It is offered to all students, and the class is made up of several grade levels – and he said the class has
    “lots of girls”.
    I had never been exposed to coding in school, so it is wonderful that the ‘younger generation’ is afforded the opportunity to succeed in this digital information age.

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