Thursday, January 08, 2009

designing a syllabus for digital media production

i've been working hard on the syllabus for one of my two new spring courses - digital media production. the syllabus is about two-thirds finished. classes begin january 26.

it's a media production class and i expect my students to produce a lot of media. for fifteen weeks, we will make digital media using facebook, flickr, blogs, twitter, google maps, online video, yelp, zotero, google docs, and wikipedia. readings and discussions about digital media culture and theory will accompany our production and participation.

the course readings come more from popular magazines than academic articles or books. for example, to better understand facebook and flickr, we are reading clive thompson's "brave new world of digital intimacy" from new york times magazine. to learn about blogs, we'll read emily gould's "exposed" from new york times magazine and andrew sullivan's "why i blog" from the atlantic. to help us understand wikipedia, we'll be reading stacy schiff's "know it all: can wikipedia conquer expertise?" from the new yorker and marshall poe's "the hive" from the atlantic. and to further our understanding of fanfic and user-generated content, we'll read henry jenkins's "why heather can write" from technology review. course readings also include short (think common craft), shorter (10-20 minute), and longer (one hour) videos to be watched prior to class.

question: can you suggest any other feature articles from similar sources that explore twitter or yelp?

over winter break, i've been reading books about black mountain college, the unique and inspiring experimental college (1933-1957) near asheville, north carolina. i am particularly struck by the teaching practices of josef albers. albers' class met twice a week and classtime was spent not making art but discussing art - student art. as martin duberman notes in his book black mountain, albers' students were admitted into class only if they brought with them some work they had done in the interval between classes. albers would then spread all the art on the floor and each student would take turns explaining his or her work. after the brief presentation, the student was critiqued, challenged, and praised by their fellow students as well as by albers.

digital media production meets on tuesdays and thursdays. on tuesdays, we'll discuss the readings. on thursdays - demo days! - we'll demo our work.


Irina G. said...

very cool!

Amber said...

This is so exciting! I'm jealous.

Amber said...

This probably belongs more in the Comm Law and Policy class, but I just ran across this article in the Chronicle about a libel lawsuit over a Yelp review. Could be an interesting discussion, if you're talking about Yelp.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Video Vortex reader on YouTube. Not what you were asking about directly, but a great resource.


Download the pdf at:

Unknown said...

Sounds good. I normally would not have associated "media production" with Flickr, Facebook etc. But you're right. It is part of the entire process of media production.

I'd recommend to be part of those tools/ platform you're considering. To me it presents a turn-key solution to this whole concept of Creative Commons, social collaboration, social networking, music creation, remix and reuse. e.g. I share an audio loop; someone uses it and shares it again in ccMixter; I get informed; I make a new friend and hear my original work in a different light.

Oh, Creative Commons and Copyright has to be part of your discussions too, if it isn't already.

Sara said...

I was going to mention the Yelp case, but Amber beat me to it. It just so happens that a certain digital civil liberties group might be representing the defendant. ;-)

As for Twitter, Tim O'Reilly did an interesting post on why he twitters. I found that post and some others by doing a google search on the phrase, "why I twitter."

Anonymous said...

amber and sara - i'm totally using the yelp article, great suggestion. (sara: i may even assign it for the day that you come in to guest lecture.)

alex - i remember the video vortex conference but was unaware of the reader. i will look over its contents in the next few days - thanks for sending this along.

ivan - i will look more into and will absolutely cover creative commons. i also plan to read over your web 2.0 + young adult services primer for librarians article for some ideas.

sara - good suggestion about the "why i twitter" google search as well as o'reilly's influential blog post about twitter. that'll make its way onto the syllabus.