Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merchants of Cool

I apologize for the late posting of this movie / reading. If you watched the film MERCHANTS OF COOL, you win great kudos (because how did you find it?), but since most of you couldn't -- we will watch part of it in class tomorrow and the remainder of it will be due on Wednesday.

The link to the movie is here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Introduction to Media Stories

You will create a digital story telling a story about how a particular media text (or group of texts) affected someone personally.

The story should focus on the ways that a favorite or important media text or set of texts (formative media) has shaped or interacted with someone’s life.

You may tell a story about media in your life, but I encourage you to branch out and learn about media in someone else’s life. Each story will be five minutes or less. Your story should include sound & images and will eventually be posted on the internet.

Our in-class discussion about stories should help you, but you may want to check out these materials I allude to in the training sessions I offer in the mac lab in the basement of the library so you can feel at least somewhat familiarized with the process.

The rubric I will use to evaluate your story is available in document sharing in e companion.

I've posted a number of media stories from other semesters at this new blog. I recommend watching them for ideas of things that work, and things that don't work as well.

I also recommend watching the stories posted at the digital storytelling center and on the stories for change site. The stories posted at Media Storm demonstrate even more technical innovations, but may enlarge your vision for how you can proceed through this assignment.

I'm eager to see what you create!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


1. Develop your story. Make an outline. Try developing your outline both with pictures and then separately with words.

2. Develop a storyboard. Tell your story using pictures. Lay the narration out beneath the pictures. You can find storyboard templates here.

3. Collect your pictures. You may want to find pictures on the internet. I assume you'll find some pictures from your past (or your story-subject's past). You may want to take some picture. There are other effective options, too remember. Click here for a post where I talk more about pictures and images and how they function in your story.

4. Digitize your pictures (scan them into the computer. Save them to a flash drive, external hard drive, CD or DVD) Make sure you scan them in at the largest size possible. You may want to crop photos or add filters or effects in Photoshop.

5. Drag and drop your photos into your project box (the top box on your screen).

6. Record your voice-over. You may record your voiceover in the Mac Lab or by checking out a recording device from Media Services and recording in a quieter room.

7. Add your narration to your project. You should be able to either drag-and-drop your audio file directly into your project box (the top one) or open it through itunes (look for the itunes icon in the right hand corner.)

8. Arrange your photographs in the timeline in order. Then adjust their time in relation to the narration. You may also adjust your narration to include pauses. Remember that silence and pacing are very effective emotional tools for a storyteller. To adjust the image time or the audio clip time, you click the little mechanical wheel icon in the corner of each image or of each sound clip. You can adjust by choosing in these options.

9. Add music. You can drag and drop song files or import them through itunes (look right to see the itunes icon.) You can adjust the volume by using the wheel icon and adjusting the volume. Remember you don't music throughout the whole story and sometimes more is less.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Filmic Grammar and Visual Literacy.

I mentioned in class that there would be a video for you to watch to gain some more vocabulary connected to filmic grammar and visual literacy.

Thanks to Sarah M for reminding me to post!

Here's a helpful video on youtube. There are more like it. You may want to peruse some of them. Clearly this comes from the perspective of a filmmaker, developing the knowledge to be a "maker" -- while I don't expect most of you to aspire to the "maker" level of filming (except for your media story!), clearly we can benefit from his helpful indexing.

This link is actually more geared toward the savvy reader. It approaches film from the perspective of "film theory" & "film criticism" more fields of expertise that I don't necessarily think you need to aspire toward -- BUT fields that will definitely aid you in achieving the aims of this class -- shaping you into a media literate citizen.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Assignment Rubrics

So you can succeed better at each of the assignments in the class, I am providing the rubrics I will use to assess your work.

Media Text Analysis Rubric

Digital Media Story Rubric

Political Economy Rubric

What is "community involvement?"

Many teachers assign a grade for student participation in class. While I agree that student participation is very important for a successful classroom experience, I am even more interested in developing a community of learning that includes student (and teacher) participation both within the classroom and outside of the classroom. A community of learning encompasses both formal communication patterns and informal communication patterns. It includes our explicit discussions about mass media in our lives and world, but could include conversations with one another as we consume media. It also includes relationships between students just as much as the relationship between the teacher and each individual student.

This grade will be calculated based on multiple assessments, all of which will be measured considering the ways that you contribute to the community of learning in this class. Therefore, some of the areas that will be evaluated in this category include:

1.) your constructive contributions in class (amount, depth of insight, and other-orientation are all important here),
2.) your verbal and non-verbal interaction with others in the class,
3.) your attendance,
4.) your interactions with your peers both inside and outside of class time,
5.) any way you facilitate the learning of other students (clarifying examples in class, phone calls in the evening, sharing notes together, after class discussions, and study groups, commenting on blogs) or
6.) any other contributions that you can make to improving the learning climate within the class.

You should focus on developing a culture of learning together; while the development of relationships with one another is important – it is essential that you orient these relationships toward developing one another’s ability to think about and use mass media well. I assume that in order to succeed in this portion of the class, you will need to have read well and been an active participant in class lecture and discussion.

This grade will be evaluated several ways. I will invite the entire class to advocate on behalf of other members of the class. I will journal after class, noting contributions made by individuals. On some days, I will take notes. Halfway through the semester, I will suggest the grade that I think most appropriate for your community involvement thus far (based on my assessments and the assessments of your peers). If you feel that this grade doesn't accurately reflect the way you contributed to the community of learning, I URGE you to talk to me. We can together reflect on our differing perspectives, and set goals for a better understanding in the second half of the semester.

Clearly, this system doesn’t allow you to either be invisible or domineering in this class. Hopefully we can co-construct a positive learning environment together.

At the end of the class, I will assign the final grade, but will consider the following factors: your personal assessment, your peers advocacy, and observations from my class journal throughout the semester.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Will we be exposed to controversial media in this class?

Because this is a course that deals specifically with the relationship of media and society, each of you will encounter messages, images and ideals with which you disagree. While we’re used to encountering such things in more removed and formal contexts within history, literature and art, they sometimes feel more threatening when we encounter them within the popular media of our time. The objectives of this course and the Mission of this Department encourages you to embrace these experiences as opportunities to develop your own ability to be an “agent of truth reflection, transformation and reconciliation”. I will try to warn you when we’ll be encountering “controversial media,” but I encourage you to envision such moments throughout the semester as opportunities to develop your own character and your vision of the world.

Want to think more about this idea? Check out our Department's Statement on Hospitality and Cultural Engagement.