Exploring the Spindles


“Listen to many, speak to a few.” The quote immediately struck her as both a revelation and a cause for anxiety.

Badging “Shakespeare’s Reality” has been a holistically enlightening experience for her. Her “structure” setting on low, Ada’s been jumping around the TOC, diving in at the various node heads and exploring the hyperlinks within, tapping between experiences inside the nodes. So as not to get too lost, she has avoided links that take her inter-node. Her cousin Brady loves to do this, but she finds that even with the handy “spindle map” navigation, she still gets lost and loses focus. Besides, her subscription to LearnVerse is node-specific. Cross-node linking costs extra.

And her explorations have been rich. With her “author width” set to wide, she’s been discovering the rich array of content authored by other users. These are often quite useful and seemingly always more creative than the usual spindles and subs created by the sponsored authors. She’s particularly enamored with the marginalia of a user from Portland, whose comments are all in the form of insightful yet lewd limericks.

Recently she found a rich vein—a collection of Shakespeare lines, speeches, and scenes which sync up to one’s private-side system. The API scans email, texts, searches, e-book content, recent purchases, etc. and offers handy Shakespeare quotes and scenes based on your life. These arrive by text, email, and even phone calls with recorded quotes or actors citing The Bard. She heard a rumor that someone had a group from the “Enacting Shakespeare” badge perform a recommended scene for her right in front of the restaurant where she had 6:00 reservations. That’s what you get for having your “transparency” set to high.

Just now, 8:00 am at the kitchen table, while exploring the Hamlet/Advice branch, she stumbled on a branch authored by student last year. That’s where she found “Listen to many, speak to a few” from Polonius’ famous advice to Laertes. This has sorta been her motto. Ada is shy and thoughtful. She doesn’t like standing out, doesn’t like being visible. However, an original performance module is required for her badge. That, or authoring a minimal spindle. And she just doesn’t have the time for that. It’s time to give back—to “speak to many.” And she’s drawing a blank.

Time to fire up a brainstorming sesh. Ada navigates to the commons and posts an invitation. Turns out three folks had the time to help out. They all synced up in the video chat with whiteboard enabled and got to work. They were all familiar with the usual battery of brainstorming activities. In about 40 minutes, they had all worked out a few good options for Ada’s performance. Also, one of the folks (a guy from Peru!) offered a link to a great acting coaching spindle from his Theatre Badge days. Ada would have to pay a small fee for accessing an outside node, but it’d be worth it. And it would count towards her badge. Cross-node exploration always does.

So this is what she will do. She will use those little figurines she printed from her “Artifact Manifestation” badge and shoot that speech from Polonius. She will do the voiceover and submit the whole thing to the Share Spindle. There, others will likely add music, filters, or maybe include it in a larger piece. From these, she will choose her favorite and publish it. Her scene may be helpful for others’ experience of Shakespeare as they explore the Shakespeare Reality spindles. Who knows, maybe some brave soul with their transparency set to full will get her piece as a text message as they prepare embark on a journey….

Ada’s Settings:

Language: English
Prior Badge Analysis: On
Structure: Low
Transparency: Low
Author Width: Wide
Analytics: Temporal, Physical, Content

One thought on “Exploring the Spindles

  1. Erin Walker Erin Walker

    I think there are a lot of very interesting ideas in here. One concept that I find particularly compelling is the idea that the learning environment is adaptively recommending Shakespearean passages based on events occurring in Ada’s life. It’s so critical to ground learning content in the student’s experiences, and this would be a really powerful application. The idea of “spindle map” navigation is something that I’ve been thinking about in my own research — I think some conceptual work is needed to figure out how to guide students in identifying the most relevant learning paths out of all possibilities.

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