E-Lit exceeded my expectations. It was everything I thought I was looking for in an electronic literature class and more. I learned more than I ever thought I was going to learn. Honestly, I didn't have true expectations other than I thought we would read different stories online. It didn't really dawn on me how the stories would be presented. Or that the mere fact that these works live in an online space make them electronic literature.
Growing up I was always a fan of stories where I got to choose my own adventure. All of the electronic literature pieces we read where the course of the plot relied on my decision to click a certain word were some of my favorite e-lit pieces. The last text we read Quing's Quest sticks out to me as it is the most recent but I really enjoyed the bright and vibrant colors.
Originally, when I thought of electronic literature I used to think in terms of fan fiction websites where people create their own storylines to their favorite books, tv shows and movies. I was a little disappointed that we did not discover any e-lit pieces that served as windows into this fanfic world now did we get to explore any sights already dedicated to this literary artistic art form. I have never had the chance to be a part of one those online fan fic communities, but I've always admired them and had I been a teenager when these worlds were introduced online, I would've joined them for sure.
I really enjoyed the interactivity allowed by the electronic literature pieces we explored in class. Social media has become a large part of electronic literature in a way I don't think anyone could've predicted. In spaces like Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, we are all given an opportunity to create our own pieces of electronic literature, on a daily basis. Even if we aren't aware we're doing so. Daily postings of positive words, funny memes, quotes or GIFs are all apart of the electronic literature landscape.
My presentation was on bots and unfortunately, I couldn't do it up the way I would've liked. Technology failed us that night. But I love bots and after learning how to make one. I really like the way they add to the electronic literature landscape. Bots can take on their own life and spit out their own story in a semi-random way. Even in its unpredictableness, it makes sense and it lends itself to being able to be included in literary conversations. Especially ones that you can program to spit out parts of a literary work.
I was surprised that I didn't allow myself to get frustrated by the technology. And my inability to use some of it. I started off wanted to do something really grand with my e-lit piece. I wanted to have it be a backdrop for my main character but I didn't know how to manipulate the different sites in the way I envision. I started off using Presi then I was introduced to Thinglink and I felt that had a better flow but it still really wasn't what I had in mind. But I learned how to navigate two new sites. I am even thinking of including Presi into my presentations for work. Google slides is dull in comparison, so I'm really excited about using this in my classroom.
The best part of this class was our discussions after a presentation. I was able to get a deeper understanding of the piece when it was presented in the class. There were some of the e-lit pieces that I just didn't connect with at home but as they were presented I got a better understanding of their meaning because each of the presentations was so thoughtful.
The most challenging part was pushing through the technology when I found it difficult. I often found myself wanting to just engage with text without the use of technology. In some instances, I didn't like to be spoon feed the narrative and I just wanted to read the stories "straight" through. When it came time to creating my own e-lit piece I was frustrating and I found it hard taking my big ideas and tailoring them down into ones I could actually do myself. I wished I had more time just to work and experiment with things on a technological. More time with the creating part could've really helped me to bridge the gap in technological capabilities. I was able to get some help from my classmates and during our work sessions in class. And I suspect if my personal life wasn't so chaotic I would've had more time in class to connect with my peers and fill in the spaces where I needed more clarity.
In terms of a final grade, I would have to say I deserve an A-. Simply because of the days I wasn't physically present in class and because my Twitter particpation wasn't as robust as I wanted it to be. But, when I did tweet or participate in class it was meaningful and I enhanced the learning environment.