“Graduate Students Professionalizing in Digital Time/Space”: A View from ‘Down Below'” by Kendall Leon and Stacey Pigg really helped bring this course together for me. After reading it, I have a much better understanding of what we are doing in this class. Not only have we been exposed to social media tools and their use in teaching/learning, we also have the real opportunity to apply them to our own professional development.

I just want to make two points about the article. First, the act of reading it marks a turning point for me in moving from paper to digitized reading. For years, and I mean years, I have printed out articles to read and annotate because I needed to have them in hand to understand and sort of remember their contents. Finally, because of this unit’s assignments, I tried a technology new to me that allows highlighting, underlining, commenting, and a host of other commentary tools, to be used directly in the PDF file onscreen. I used Foxit Reader, a free download for reading PDF files, that I got the basics of on my own in one frustrating but productive half-hour. I learned about it here, from a tip on Deltina Hay’s website. (I’m always looking for free tools.)

I’m not saying that this technology doesn’t have unknown costs or that I will never again print out sources to hold and annotate while I’m taking a bath. But now I do have an alternative to consuming massive amounts of paper and ink to produce hard copies that I need a small storage unit to house. The reading process online is a little different for me: I read more slowly and carefully because I am thinking about how to make note of what I want to remember about a particular passage. (This may change as I become more proficient with the technology, which also has nifty advanced features I hope to find time to explore.) Using Foxit also geographically limits my reading to my desktop currently because it’s installed on my primary computer’s hard drive. No doubt, I will also install it on my laptop, and when I break down and buy a tablet, there, too.

Finally, I will need to investigate storing my annotated PDF files because I’d like them to be in the cloud, rather than on a device I own. I can hardly believe I just wrote that, but the fact is that personally and professionally, I need and want to lighten up. Like the climate, the times, they are a’changin’. Lugging around the physical artifacts of my history is something neither the planet nor I can any longer afford.

Okay, I’m out of time. Second point later.

* So how would you capitalize my title? I want to insert a simple survey here with choices for readers to select, but I don’t have time to research how to do it! Here are the choices I would include for you to check:

Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article was so Important for me

Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article Was so Important for Me

Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article Was So Important for Me

Y Rdg the Leon/Pigg art. was so 🙂 4 me

None of the above

Like this article on Facebook

(just kidding except to say that the finer points of capitalization remain a mystery to me)

Kendall, Leon, and Stacey Pigg. “Graduate Students Professionalizing in Digital Time/Space” A View from ‘Down Below.'” Computers and Composition 28 (2011): 3-13. Science Direct. Web. 3 Apr. 2012.