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Week 7: Fan Fiction

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B. I'm really excited for the topic this week. Anybody know what fan fiction is?

A. Isn't that where people take characters from existing books or movies and write their own stories?

B. Yea, that captures the feeling of it.

A. So why are we talking about creative writing in a class about instructional technology? This isn't literature, you know.

B. Thankfully, yes. I'm even less qualified to talk about literature.

A. [with a wink] You're doing fine.

B. [winking back] I appreciate your confidence. We're talking about fan fiction because it shows off the way in which communticating over the network can facilitate really cool learning happening.

A. What does communicating over the network have to do with improving someone's creative writing?

B. That's what you have to figure out this week. Here is an article to read, first though.

  • Anime-Inspired Affiliation: An Ethnographic Inquiry into the Literacy and Social Practices of English Language Learners Writing in the Fanfiction Community ( PDF )

A. So we're just supposed to figure out how creative writing relates to instructional technology?

B. I'll give you a hint. How many kids do you know who enjoy writing? Who would do it, unprovoked, just for fun? And yet you'll see in this week's assignment literally hundreds of thousands of stories many of which are written by kids. What is it about the online environment that makes writing different? Why do they suddenly care about their writing in this space, when in school we generally can't get them to write at all? Why would they volunteer to critique each other's work?

A. [overwhelmed] Ok, ok, ok. At least that gives me something a little more specific to go after...

B. The assignment this week is going to take a little longer than previous assignments, so we're going to jump right into it so you can get going on it.

Assignment: You're the Fan

  1. Spend two (2) hours browsing www.fanfiction.net , reading through the stories there in an area you know something about. Choose 3 authors whose writings you enjoy.
  2. Post reviews or comments on the writings of the 3 authors whose writing you like.
  3. Write your own piece of fan fiction in the same area as the authors whose work you selected. Post your piece to fanfiction.net and monitor comments others make about your writing.
  4. Post the following to your blog:
    • the names of the three authors whose writing you enjoyed, and a URL to one of each of their stories (three URLs total)
    • the URL to your story on fanfiction.net
    • a brief piece of writing explaining why you believe fan fiction is so popular, and how these factors might be harnessed to improve formal instructional uses of technology

A. You mean I have to write a new episode of Gilligan's Island?!?

B. Something like that, yes.

A. And how is this supposed to...

B. [cutting in] Wax on, wax off, Daniel-san . Trust me.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Week 7: Fan Fiction. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/instructional-technology-learning-sciences/understanding-online-interaction/Week_7__Fan_Fiction.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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