Category Archives: updates

high-quality video CFPs

[argh, there is nothing like losing 20 minutes worth of posting because you accidentally hit the wrong button. grumble grumble…. here’s take 2.]

Due: 4:30pm Monday, October 13.

What: High-quality version of revised video CFP. High quality = exported for best playback on computer (MovieMaker) or DVD/CD quality (iMovie), or similar wording. The goal is to give me a BIG copy, not a small, super-compressed copy.

How: three options

  1. upload MOV or WMV to your student server space (see instructions on Resource page) and email me your URL
  2. make an appt with me by Sunday 4pm to meet with me sometime on Monday to hand me your flash drive with your video on it
  3. drop off a CD or DVD to the english dept office by 4:30 Monday. They’ll put it in my mailbox.

I’ll make a single DVD and take these to play at the conference. Below is the feedback from peer-reviewers. The first reviewer is a Watson attendee, the second is not, so take your audience feedback into consideration when revising. You’ll have to match up URLs to actual people, sorry.

  • I thought this was pretty effective, but as it remains analog/physical throughout, it does lose some of the effect of the challenge of working between/with two ‘media,’ if such a simple term can cover the difference. I’m thinking of Michael Wesch’s really impressive “A Vision of Students Today” and how effective the mix of media is in that video.
  • I really liked. (As a nonspecialist) I think that the combination of new technology and old technology was especially poignant. At one point about 2/3 in, the music sounded like it was looped and got distracting. I love Dylan so it was reminiscent of the classic video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” without being a copy.

  • Effective introduction, but the interview at the end seems to close elements of the conversation, at least to me, by giving an opinion. Also, the typing effect is supportive of the message in the early part of the video, but I think near the end it becomes more tiring than dynamic. Going back to the nameless PowerPoint scholarship (I can hunt this down if desired; I really need to build a reference database instead of relying on my already failing memory!), I’m wondering if the animation at that point supports the message.

  • I’m reminded of Michael Wesch’s work with this one (and I should be, since it’s part of it). I really dug it and found it to be effective. It could be complicated, of course, but anything could be and it might lose effectiveness. I think that maybe the visual balance of the URL might be improved, but that’s probably more a personal thing (I’d rather logically balance by organizational units than justify it as a text block and I don’t think http:// is necessary these days for URLs in videos).
  • was very interesting visually, but the music was a bit too choppy and the use of “Imagine” after writing the word “Imagine” on the screen was just too predictable.

  • I don’t know about the use of The Matrix to support these questions, but I’m probably just being finicky (a professional antagonism that developed while I worked in information security and had to endure endless comparisons between my work and the Matrix). I think the film might, instead of engendering new questions, confirm existing expectations of the work of new media studies because of the very expected man vs. machine structure of the film and its place in culture. Putting that aside, my concerns are that the text is too small and that, like the others, the typing effect works early on but then gets in the way of the information later on. Also, the sound on the Matrix clip could use a boost.

  • I love the opening and I love the first question (and its use of Sex and the City, which at 32 I absolutely know), but the second question and the Dead Poet’s Society clip loses the focus on composition (and the changes) and starts entering into the types of questions that Ray Kurzweil ponders. While these are some fascinating questions, I don’t know if it matches the focus that I see in the first question and in the other CFPs I’ve seen so far.
  • typo: “If technology make humans obsolete…” From an English major even….

  • Effective introduction, but the exploding graphics may be a bit too much, a bit too focused on  ‘I can do this with text’ rather than the function of the CFP. Much of the scholarship on animation and PowerPoint covers my concerns on this (sorry, I don’t have names right now).
  • was OK, but it felt more like a public service announcement warning me of the dangers of teenage computer abuse. Maybe I just don’t like being attacked by yellow letters on a black background.

  • I like the concept on this one quite a bit as the pure analog format seems to fit the function. It’s direct, to the point, and I think the music is an especially good choice (like the format, it’s not expected). However, I think some of those pieces of paper need to be re-written (traditional is fairly hard to read and the web address is illegible, at least to me – I struggled to recognize the URL of my own school!). I liked the playing around with moving things to and from the camera, which I think could work in the same way that effective text animation works.

  • On the video side, maybe a bit too heavy on the textual animation (especially when the words “How will the idea of writing change?” flew past), but otherwise the question of what is composition might take a bit from the other videos that included texting and other, less omnipresent technology (rather than the computer as word processor, which is pretty set in my mind).
  • The last one was good, too, except that the web addresses were unreadable (blue letters against blue sky).


  • All in all, some awesome, really impressive work. I hope some of this feedback is useful, and I hope the tone of this email doesn’t strike you as too unprofessional. If it does, my apologies.
  • Overall, I enjoyed seeing what your students are doing. Keep up the good work. Of course, I teach my Intro Linguistics students that 99% of all writing throughout human history is to fuel the economy and that is the specific reason that it was invented 5500 years ago or so. I wonder how that fits into the notion of “New Media” and “composition”?

homework: Watson session and research prep

Hey all, here is your updated assignment to prep for next week’s class (our last before the Watson conference).

(1) Read through the linked session descriptions for all the lettered sessions (Concurrent Session A-G) and choose one session during each time slot that you plan on attending. Most of your choices should figure into your group topic, although not all of them have to. Pick some you just find interesting as well. Post these 7 sessions (titles and authors) to your blog by midnight, Tuesday, October 7.

(2) Also in that blog post, list 5 assets you plan on gathering to support your project topic. These might include specific things like the following:

  • I will interview Richard Selfe, Laura McGrath, and Geoff Sauer [i.e., three people listed in the conference program who seem to know about what you’re going to ask them about, given what they’re presenting on…] about faculty technology training in English departments.
  • I will read Richard Selfe’s article about “Sustainable Techno-Pedagogy” that I found in Teaching Writing With Computers (Takayoshi and Huot, editors).
  • I will ask 10 of my dorm/apt/living-mate/students what computers they have access to on campus and whether and how their teachers ask them to integrate technology into their assignments.
  • etc.

iow, these assets can be things you want to gather at Watson AND (esp for those not going to Watson) things that you can research while you’re here.

(3) Meet with your groups prior to class next week and strategize how you will go about collecting assets and who wants to do what part of the group work, etc. Remember the pre- and post-production readings we did earlier this semester and assign roles accordingly. For instance, in the group consisting of [made-up names] Susy, Daisy, John, and Jonah, Susy isn’t going to the conference, then obviously she needs to choose a group role that doesn’t involve interviewing people at the conference. Maybe she does more research, or video-editing, than someone else does. It all will/should balance out, as you share responsibilities in the group. I can help you with this in class, but the more you can do before class, the better prepared you will be for the conference. (See the other post for a listing of who’s in what group, with which topic.)

Let me know if you have questions.

open lab hours

Here is a schedule of when our classroom is unoccupied and available for your use outside of class time. Keep in mind that this schedule may change weekly, as our secretary sometimes schedules meeting in the lab during open hours. Posting these hours does NOT coincide with when Andrew or I will be there; it just means the lab should be open for you to use.

  • Mondays/Wednesdays: 8-9am; 3:20-5:25p
  • Tuesdays 8-9:30am; 5pm-
  • Thursdays 8-9:30am
  • Fridays 8-9am; 2pm-

For your CFP revision, I’m not sure that we’ll be able to have consultant hours next Tuesday; we’ll let you know. I will be at school Friday afternoon, tho, but in a meeting, but could help from 2ish-3ish and then maybe a little after 4pm. Come find me in my office (STV 421g), or I’ll pop in/out of the lab.

lab times & URL update

Hey all. I will stop by the lab today around 4:30, but it might be closer to 5ish. Also, we will have lab hours, with Andrew’s help, from 2pm-8pm tomorrow. We may not be there the whole time, but the lab WILL BE OPEN for you to use.

Secondly, for those who wanted a permanent-ish URL for the book CFP, use this one:

It’s not live yet, but it’ll prolly be what the actual URL is. And we can always change it later, especially seeing as what’s due tomorrow night is your first draft, so revision will likely be in order before the conference.


assignments page & resource updates

Hey all. I’ve added a new page to the class blog, which includes details about all future (big) assignments (it won’t include in-class-assigned blog posts or small stuff; just, um, more detail-oriented projects that will involve some time). Currently, the VIDEO INTRO and the SCREENSHOT ANALYSIS assignments are posted there, with links to instructions made whenever possible. On the Resources page, you’ll find links to tutorials to support you through various stages of these projects. I’ll add Resources as you suggest them and/or we need them. If I’ve overlooked some part of the assignment(s), please let me know by commenting here or on the Assignments page.

I suspect that you might run into some VPN problems with uploading and/or embedding your videos. If you can’t get it working, default to uploading your videos to YouTube and embedding them that way and also bring your playable (wmv) files to class on a jump drive so we can work out any kinks at the beginning of class. (But please don’t wait until then if you’re having problems. Imagine the classtime lost if *everyone* needs 5 minutes of help.)

Finally, the thing about Moviemaker (moreso than iMovie) is that it’s very difficult to move an editable (mswmm) project from one computer to another. So for this project, plan on sticking to one computer and if it’s not your home, personal computer, or a lab computer in STV 408 (which is open when classes aren’t in there during the day — I’ll get a schedule soon), then plan on finishing the project in one sitting (if, for instance, you’re in a public lab like the library). We’ll talk about moving MovieMaker files from one computer to another in a week or two.


permissions forms

Hey all,

I’ve (finally) updated the permissions forms. They have a lot of questions, but it’s to help give you options and to explain all the ways we might be using your project texts. If you have any questions about the forms, please either post here in the comments or let me know in class. The permissions forms are located on the page labelled Resources, which is linked on the right side of this blog.


news about DVDs and homework

Hey all. The systems administrator says that we should be able to use DVD+Rs or DVD-Rs (iow, either one will work) in the lab. So go ahead and purchase either kind and that should work.

Secondly. if you have newer versions of firefox or safari, the video embedded in the RiceBall reading for next week may not work (it needs some fancy plug-in that’s difficult to find and install). So I’ve linked to a copy of the student video that’s featured in the RiceBall text. You’ll have to watch it separately from the reading. It’s a WMV, so you’ll need Windows Media Player or, if you have a Mac, the free version of Flip4Mac.