Sandra Dodd

Meg (ransomenote@...) sent me a link to something big and important.
It's an article in the NYTimes and it's apparently longer on the
webpage than it was in print (A version of this article appeared in
print on November 23, 2008, on page MM48 of the New York edition.)

Here's a quote, where they're talking about video editing, for fun,
at home:

-=-The real achievement in this subculture is to win the Iron Editor
challenge. Just as in the TV cookoff contest �Iron Chef,� the Iron
Editor must remix videos in real time in front of an audience while
competing with other editors to demonstrate superior visual literacy.
The best editors can remix video as fast as you might type.-=-

One thing I've said several times over the years is that kids who use
instant messages (now more often phone texting, but I noticed it when
so many kids were IMing) are doing something that isn't taught or
done at all in school, and that is using the written word in real
time. Speaking as someone who taught English for several years, I
know the closest things are passing notes in class (disruptive and
discouraged) or short-answer tests (not really communication in a
dialog way). In typewriter days, and even early online text
communication days (e-mail and bulletin boards), people had plenty of
chance to proofread, and they would go away and wait maybe hours or
days before getting a response.

The article linked here is talking about the same sort of thing,
using computer editing tools and then uploading videos to YouTube,
where other people post their own versions (maybe of the same thing
that poster worked with, and maybe a new variant on what was just
posted). And she goes on to talk about movie editing, and the
future of the searchability of images.

Most of the next paragraph is my commentary, not about the article

The article also talks about what was valued and planned upon and
around before books were the big thing, and that was the spoken
word. People used to listen! After dinner, when it was too dark to
go out and maybe too early to sleep, people told stories and sang
songs--LONG songs. I know many of those traditional ballads, but
even in the context of a medieval studies group where they have after
dinner times and fires and late-night campfires, they don't have the
skills to listen very well. Keith and I have gone prepared with
longer more serious (or funny, but still long) songs just in case
there's good reception (among the people there) and also some short
slapstick rude humor in case they aren't able to listen. But it's a
lost art in general. The stories we know as "fairy tales" were
called "household tales" in German, and they weren't about fairies
much at all, but were stories about the old days, and fantasy places,
and what might've happened in a non-specified time out in the woods
there, not so far away.

The timeline for change is steep and fast now, and it's another
reminder that we can't prepare our children for what they need to
know in ten years. We can let them explore and discover, and makes
sure they have access to what others are discovering, and tools to
play with!

If that link cuts off you could go to and search for

becoming screen literate


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