Thursday, May 24, 2012

Knowing What I Do Not Know

Federal Pass Not knowing is good. 

I start my AP English class every year by telling them that "confusion represents an advanced stage of understanding," wisdom from my first NCTE conference.  I wish I could remember the presenter's name to give him credit -- his words have liberated so many of my AP students from their worries that they need to know it all.  Those who know they are confused as they look forward know a great deal about where they are and what they already know.

I am taking my own advice as I head to DMAC: embracing the chance to wander paths, knowing I do not know where I will be going (well, I am going to Columbus, OH, but where will I intellectually go?) and knowing that what I do not know is much more important than what I do know.  Here is what I do not know about digital media and composition, what makes me confused.

  • I do not know how to make a video.  Sure, I can point a video camera at something, hit record, and play back my video.  But there is a world of video creation out there for me to enter ...
  • I do not know how to manipulate sound files beyond cutting off unwanted pieces of track.  
  • I do not know how to create a presentation joining still and moving images with sound.
  • I do not know how to use WordPress as more than a personal blog and a syndication blog.
  • I do not know visual design beyond my own likes and dislikes (having been raised by a mom who is a master of interior design) and CRAP principles.
  • I do not know how to make a site good for mobile use, and for my seniors, mobile is the way they want to access the site.
I am ready to play, explore, find new confusions, and learn.

P.S What I do know about digital media and composition and am terribly excited that I now know because two months ago I did not know ...
  • Open source images (I obtained this image from the Creative Commons collaboration with Flickr, something I learned about in my DMAC reading.)
  • HTML (I hand-coded the image to allow the text to float around it with a margin.)


  1. This made me laugh...because I know how far you have come-- and you know SO much. But your attitude is perfect. I try to maintain that as well. It's all about the questions, isn't it? Have a great time. I look forward to hearing all about it over tea (or something!)

  2. I like that your "I do not know" statements are also "I want to know more about" statements. However, I also look forward to reading about the stuff you "didn't know that you didn't know" and that you learn about during DMAC.