Friday, November 10, 2006


I came across this essay about using hypertext in the classroom (it happens to be about teaching Victorian Literature specifically, but I think it translates for everyone). I think it offers a good case for asking students to think about and use hypertext. The author and others he cites use Storyspace, which seems like a really interesting program. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I was thinking it might be a really interesting thing to use in a class devoted to the intersections of literature and culture. If part of the goal of such a course is to ask students to consider the broader context of literature in a specific period - the ways it in which it relates to visual art, architecture, industry, science, etc - I think that hypertext might be an interesting way to get them to consider these relationships in the writing process. Hypertext would force a student to analyze each of the relevant cultural productions rather than simply mention them in relation to the literature under consideration.



Blogger Brian said...

I don't have time to read the essay right now. Storyspace is interesting software, and I don't necessarily think that it would fit your needs, Sarah.

However, I agree that hypertext can be a useful way to bring people into conversation with multiple aspects of art at once. The difficulty--with Storyspace or other hypertexts--is that in order to be really effective, you have to map/plan them very carefully and make lots of alternate routes through the material so that the students really ARE getting a varied experience of the richness of the art/literature of the time, rather than the de facto path through it that might as well be done in a PowerPoint presentation.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Michael Elliott said...

What about using something like this to teach writing? Could that work?

2:56 PM  
Blogger rachel said...

i haven't had time to read this essay yet either, but am interested. I'm about to teach a novel about an interactive book and have been thinking about ways to amplify our discussion using hypertextual materials. there's something about the way the interactive book responds to queries and adjusts itself that is decidedly hypertextual; reading thru hypertext is a very effect learning technique for me, as i tried to get at in my discussion about how much i learn using Wikipedia. any additional thoughts about how i might effectively employ this would be awesome ....

i've correlatively been thinking abotu using it to teach writing as well, but i keep coming up with applications that are not all that different than using the comments or track changes function in MS Word.

3:06 PM  

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