Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Avoiding Death By PowerPoint

Say it with PowerPoint - but please, don't bore me to death!
Here are some resources we discussed in our classes the week of November 5-9:



Monday, October 1, 2012

Images: Copyright, Copyleft, Copy in the Middle?

Students in CM 410 (Introduction to Digital Literacies I) will discuss various licenses for digital images, such as:
Students will also explore digital image resources at a number of sites in Dr. Nichol's Delicious Links here:

(They will especially note Wikimedia Commons, Morguefile, US Government Photos and The Library of Congress Flickr Stream.)

**Students will review their own image-editing software, or will download and become familiar with GIMP - either for Windows, or for Mac. They will use the tutorials here to resize images and other simple tasks: Lite Quickie Tutorials

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Design Anlysis


Type/Font - Consistency, Contrast, or Conflict?

Colors - Meanings, Moods, Complimentary, etc...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vlog for the People

Here's my vlog - see our students' vlogging experiments at their blog sites. 

(This was probably the seventh take - the wi-fi in my office kept resetting - 
and I didn't like the early takes.)

Links to Video for Visual Communication

Links to Video for Visual Communication

Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Everyone is Her Own DJ...

Learning about Digital Literacies from a Business book??
In comic book form?? Yes, We Can!

And you will... preview the Smarter Comics version of Chris Anderson's The Long Tail and discuss it in your blog entry...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watch your Language - and images - Young Blogger!

Take a look at some leading blogs and evaluate how they use language, images, links, etc. Also note how they set a tone to communicate with their audiences. What can you learn from the blogger by seeing how the blog is composed? what can you learn about the blogger's (perceived) audience by looking at how the blog is composed?

You might start here:,28757,2075431,00.html

Monday, August 27, 2012


Digital Literacies students are knocking the rust off and getting underway in a couple of meaningful ways this week.

CM 410 Students will be digging into two seminal readings this week. They will read:
  1. Kevin Kelly's "Becoming Screen Literate" from the New York Times, and 
  2. Nicholas Carr's "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" from The Atlantic.
  • Before Tuesday at Midnight, they will post a blog entry responding to this prompt: **Reflect on Kevin Kelly’s comments on a “Second Gutenberg Shift”- What is changing in the way we “read” and “write” in current media practices? What are the implications for you as a student? As a member of society? As a new professional in your career? 
  • Before Friday's Class, they will post a blog response to this prompt: **Reflect on Nicholas Carr’s comments on Nietzsche’s typewriter – How have new media changed your habits and style of composing and communicating? What are the implications of your observations? What other things stood out to you in the "Is Google Making Us Stupid Article?"
CM 412 Students will be tackling a client-based print design project that incorporates QR codes and that displays the best practices of semiotics, design, color theory, appropriate typography and visual rhetoric. Watch for their work to be displayed on their blogs soon - and around campus! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And So It Begins... Again

The adventure of Digital Literacies begins - again... 
Some of you are returning for Part Dos - Welcome Back!
And some of you are entering Digital Literacies for the first time - Welcome!

We will use this blog space - and your connected blogs - for our ongoing class discussion for both classes this term. You will link your blogs to those in your class - but you can come here to see what students in the other section are doing. Occasionally, we will have a combined classes open discussion. It should be synergizing and fun... if synergizing is a word. (And I think it is because I just made it up if it weren't already.) Anyway...

Digi Lit I (CM 410) Students - Take Note - Complete Before Friday's Class:
Getting Started with Blogger

  1. Create a Blogger blog and customize it to your selection of colors, etc. (You will revisit and redesign it many times throughout the course - so just get something you like that is easy to use and easy to read.)   Click here to go to the Blogger Help Guide.
  2. Watch the Video below. Then think about these questions:
    • When you were a young child, what did you imagine the future would be like? What inventions, improvements, changes?
    • Which of these things have come about so far? Which of these things have not come about? Do you expect some other facets of your vision of the future will come about soon?
    • What things developed that you would never have imagined as a child? What would the "child you" think of this future?
After watching the video and considering the questions - post your first blog entry about your thoughts.

Digi Lit II (CM 412) Students, Take Note - Complete Before Friday's Class:
  1. Revisit your blog and make sure it is still functional. Give it a "Spring Cleaning" facelift to freshen it up. 
  2. Visit the Smartphone Museum in Granberry Hall and pay attention to these features:
    • The content - tracing technology in areas such as music, pictures, movies, teaching, etc.
    • The use of QR codes. (If you have a smartphone, you will need to download a QR scanner and log into the Granberry Wi-Fi to explore the material.)
    • The use of Facebook as a "landing page" for discussing the exhibit.
After visiting the Museum and interacting with the exhibits, post your first blog entry of the term about the exhibit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Can Haz Permission-Granted Images?

Students are exploring issues of image copyright, public domain and sharing (commons) licenses - and, at the same time, learning basics of image editing. They will be putting all this knowledge together by making mock-ups of popular internet memes like LOLCats and Feminist Ryan Gosling.

They will also be working to craft a "Fair Use" statement to account for legal use of copyrighted materials in educational settings.

Pecha Kucha Comes to Class

Students are combing many of their skills and much of their new knowledge towards presenting in the form of Pecha Kucha. Students will build and deliver a presentation on a subject of their choice that will show off their learning in these areas:
  • Basic Design Principles
  • Digital Photography
  • Color Theory
  • Fonts & Typefaces
  • Image Editing 
  • Storyboarding - and more...
And - they will show  off all this knowledge in 400 seconds - using the Pecha Kucha standards of 20 slides at 20 seconds each with accompanying live delivery.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Saw the Sign (and it opened up my semiological understanding)

The Treachery of Images (reversed)
Limestone Digital Literacy Students are delving into the secrets and mysteries of everyday (and otherwise) signs and how these icons, symbols and signifiers convey meaning. One interesting item they are investigating is the interactive Semiotics website at the University of Virginia.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top Blogs,28757,2075431,00.html

Students are looking at some of the top blogs to get ideas on design and writing. For example, they may view a blog like "The Huffington Post."

Sample Headline from the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gutenberg and Other Paradigm Shifts

Students are exploring three major shifts in communication:
  1. The shift from spoken and written word to printed page.
  2. The shift from printed page to the screen.
  3. The shift from broadcast media to new media.
And, of course, we are discussing all the significant ramifications that come with these shifts...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Screen Literacy and the New Media

Students in CM 410 are exploring the shifts taking place from the dominant old broadcast media to the democratizing new media. For starters, they are reading Kevin Kelly's NY Times Article, "Becoming Screen Literate," as a way to understanding how things work differently in this brave new digital world.

 For example, understanding this shift helps us understand why President Obama is doing a commercial for Marlboro cigarettes as the new face of the Marlboro man.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Smart Students & Smarter Comics

Students in Intro to Digital Literacies class are reading an excerpt from Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. They are posting thoughts about how cultural influence has shifted from broadcast media to new media.Ohm and did I mention that they are reading this NY Times bestseller in COMIC form? and in an ONLINE format? Yeah, these are pretty smart and savvy students! Check out their observations in their posts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Students Look at their Screens When I Talk

photo by Randy Nichols
      Teaching a class where every student is "on the computer" most of an entire class period is a little unnerving, but necessary. Limestone students in CM 410 (Digital Literacies 1) are currently working to set up their blogs - trying out different templates, experimenting with colors and images, and adding functionality like a "blog list" to connect all our classmates into a social-networking community.
       Their first posts will be introductory reflections about their involvement with digital media - but they will also be reading and responding to Kevin Kelly's NY Times article on "Screen Literacy." Watch the blog list at the right of this column for their posts on these and other interesting reflections as they matriculate through this class and engage the Brave New World of Digital Literacy!