Thursday, November 6, 2014

Production Schedules & Concerns

We are working through our post-shooting process as follows:
  1. Determine CONTENT
    • what do you want visitors to see/hear?
    • identify and mark the assets - lines, text, time code, etc.
  2. Determine COMPOSITION
    • Storyboard the piece to show intentional composition - cmaera angles, cuts, use of stills, effects, transitions, audio concerns.
  3. Execute PRODUCTION
    • Audio Synch
    • Layering
    • Ripple Cuts
    • Transitions
  • REMEMBER: Render Work Often! Save Work Often! Keep Assets in proper folder!
Here is our production schedule - let's get it done!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tidying Up Your Digital Work

For most of the remainder of October Tuesdays and Thursdays, our CM412 class will be shooting video at the Arts and History Museum in Gaffney. Plan to be on-site at 11:00am promptly to set up lights, cameras and audio for our guest shots.

We will go into post-production in November with video and audio editing, and will post our videos and smart-code them for guest access. We will also look over our curated research and select other materials to link to the museum exhibits.

BUT - for THURSDAY, October 16, you will play "catch-up/tidy-up" with your blogs! Review your blogs for content, writing, links, embedded video, etc. Rewrite your blog entries to reflect a quality style fit for a professional blog, add hyperlinks to access outside material, and add video and photos to make you blogs interesting.

Check you colleagues' blogs to make sure you aren't missing any entries - and steal as many good ideas as you can from one another!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Investigating Best Blogging Practices

CC3.0 -
Students will investigate a list of "Best Blogs of 2013" from DailyTekk - as well as TIME Magazine's list of "25 Best Bloggers of 2013." They will peruse the wide variety of blogs, observe how they function as a communication tool for a wide range of concerns, and see just what makes these blogs "the best."

Students will review 4 blogs with this selection criteria:

They will write a brief review of the fours blogs they selected, and will provide a list of tips from each blog relating to these areas:
  1. Best Visual Practices (Design, color, use of photography, use of fonts, layout, etc.)
  2. Best Verbal Practices (Topic treatment, content, writing style, ethos, etc.)
  3. Digital User Experience (Navigation, interaction, collateral content, social connectivity, etc.)
Students will post their reviews and share their "best practice findings" on their blogs.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Get Your Act Together! (and your links, too)

As students work towards completing their Pecha Kucha presentations, they will be delving into many digital resources, ranging from video clips to informative blogs, from legal-use images to online magazine articles. How can they keep such disparate digital information sorted, saved, organized and available from anywhere?

Glad you asked! Students will explore digital Curating Tools and will set up a board, topic, category, wall, etc. on the curating site of their choice! They will share how they use these links in class on Wednesday. Students will use curating sites such as:





Friday, March 28, 2014

Putting Presentation Power To Work in a Pecha Kucha Package

Students will combine a number of techniques from class discussion and exercises, ranging from Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen Tips to the Assertion-Evidence Approach (and much more) to create an engaging presentation in a "liberating constraint" called Pecha Kucha!

Pecha Kucha is an intentionally innovative mode for presentations that require presenters to use only 20 slides and to speak for only 20 seconds per slide  - for a total of 400 seconds in a presentation! It forces communicators to think carefully about the visual communication taking place in each slide - and to write carefully to maximize the verbal communication in each slide.

Students will begin developing a Pecha Kucha presentation which will showcase all their knowledge in the course topics - and will present their masterpieces LIVE as part of their final project requirements. Check out the class resources here:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Speak to the Eyes: Visual Presentation

Yeah, PowerPoint can be pretty bad... but there is a reason for the badness. In class we discussed how new media literacies are formed via Remediation (Bolter & Grusin.) We also considered Marshall McLuhan's observation that, in its infancy, every new medium contains the old medium/media as the content. We previewed four ways to break bad PowerPoint habits: 1) Get Better Examples, 2) Think Outside the Box (Break the template), 3) Explore the Methods of New "Best Practices," 4) Adopt Liberating Constraints.

Students will post their reflections on our discussions, and will try their hand at imitating a better example of a "good" slide show from SlideShare - and will discuss what makes their selection a "good" example.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Movie Posters: Color, Type and Meaning-Making

CM 410 Students will adopt a book on digital literacies, social media, or design from the collection at Limestone's A.J Eastwood Library and will imagine the book being made into a movie. They will create iterations of three or more movie posters imagining the movie as different genres (comedy, action, mystery, crime drama, documentary, love story, etc.) and will compose "movie posters" that utilize all their existing skills and knowledge on issues such as:
image made at
  • Fonts and Types
  • Color Theory
  • Basic Design Principles
  • Digital Photography Principles
  • Image Editing
  • Rhetoric of Framing
  • Semiotics, and more...
They might glean ideas from sites such as Fandango, IMDB,, etc. but will also explore the design of great movie posters from the past at Paste's The Top 100 Movie Posters of All Time, and Salon's 50 Beautiful Movie Posters.

After perusing the wide collection of movie posters for ideas and inspiration,  students will consider the principles in WebDesignerDepot's "7 Elements of a Great Movie Poster Design"

Limestone's library has many books that would make ideal movie treatment topics - some sample titles are listed in this ad:

Each Student will produce a project that meets these criteria:
  • 3 posters – each a different “take” on the same book.
  • Posters should be printed in "tabloid" or "ledger" size - 11"x17" and may be either landscape or portrait in orientation.
  • 1 poster must include original photography taken by the student.
  • 1 poster must feature a “legal use” image – with credit given, license identified, and source cited.
  • Design consideration should be given to EACH element identified on the full Design/Semiotic/Rhetorical Analysis worksheet.
  • The Posters will be accompanied by a written “rationale” explaining your process, how your design(s) address the elements on the Design/Semiotic/Rhetorical Analysis Worksheet, skills you’ve learned and applied, etc. Each rationale should be expressive and complete, but each should be limited to 500 words or less.
  • All 3 complete drafts due Monday, March 3 for workshop and review.  
  • Final Drafts to be presented, with rationales, to the class on Wednesday, March 5.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Photography: Making Your Own Images

Students will learn Digital Photography Principles from:
They will shoot photos and post a gallery of (at least 5) original photos that illustrate the concepts and principles they have learned. They will keep their hi-res images for print projects, but will optimize an image for the web to include on their blog. Each photo will be followed by a short description of the principles illustrated.

Watch for the students photos in their blogs linked in the column to the right.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Exercises in Image Use and Editing

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 five (5) mock-ups of popular internet memes like LOLCats and Feminist Ryan Gosling. (or "Bosses Be Like" or Ashley Wagner or "You Had One Job" Memes.)
untitled, author unknown.
Public Domain CC0
CC 2.0 (Image modified with text)

They will use legal-use images in all the compositions - EXCEPT FOR ONE!

They will be working to craft a "Fair Use" statement to account for legal use of ONE IMAGE that is a copyrighted material used in and educational setting. Students will explore the issues of copyright and legal use of copyrighted materials in connection with Section 107 of the  U.S. Copyright Code, which reads, in part:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
 While students will use, for the majority of their work, images that are in the public domain, or that are licensed under a Creative Commons license, they may, from time to time, find it is necessary to use a copyrighted image in their educational multimodal compositions. In these instances, students are expected to write and attach an explanation in keeping with the "Fair Use" section of the copyright law.

AP Photo/Darren Cummings
Fair Use Statement Below*

They can find more info at Wikipedia, or at the US Copyright site.

* The image in the Ashley Wagner Copyright Meme is used for educational purposes to instruct students about the nature of "memes" and the use of images and other intellectual property with respect to their designated licenses. The image is a file photo from Associated Press.The entire photo is used as it was released on the AP website. Its use in this non-profit, educational context does not affect the value or marketablility of the work.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Types & Fonts: Design & Meaning

Have you ever just searched through the pull-down menu to see what fonts looks like? Have you ever wondered what dingbats and webdings were all about? Have you surfed for a cool font that matches the Coca-Cola or Starbucks or Lego or IBM logos? Is it possible that font choice is actually a rhetorical decision that carries meaning?

Students in CM 410 are exploring typefaces and logos, and will re-visit their sample book design to experiment with different logos and note their effects on the feel and meaning of the design. But first, it might help to wonder... WHAT FONT AM I?
Take this Quiz to learn your "type"
Students will strive to avoid conflict, while optimizing contrast and concordance in their font/type selections of their re-design of their book covers. Watch for their designs in the links to the right.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting Images Without Fear of Getting Caught

"There are no Google images."
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, StockExhange, 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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Analyzing Print Ad Designs

Two Great Weekend Projects:

1. Students will complete a Design Analysis of several print ads for discussion and evaluation in Tuesday's class. Here are some sample ads (from BestAds) they will work from:

2. Students will use "Freegal" image sources and the graphics program of their choice to recreate a similar display ad - AND and ad for a product (real or fictitious) of their choice!
Image resources can be found here on Dr. Nick's "Images for Multimedia Composition" Pinterest Board.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Making Meaning in Your Blog Design

Students are investigating the use of color in design - AND they will promptly apply what they have learned to their own blogs, and will write a reflection on the changes they made, and how these changes affect the "meaning" of their blog design. Some of the artifacts, articles and engagements they will utilize in their research are:
  1. Chapter 7 of Robin Williams' The Non-Designer's Design Book
  2.'s Color Design Chart: Psychology of Color
  3. Claudia Cortez' interactive "Color in Motion"
  4. Adobe's Kuler Website
  5. DigitMatt's Intro to Semiotics

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Future of Music is Now?

In the remake of the futuristic movie, TRON, we see a glimpse of what is purported to be the future of music:
And it seems that the predictive power of that sci-fi flick is quite significant when you look at the headlines in today's papers:
Cool. But how can we frame our understanding of how digital technologies have shaped (and are shaping - and will shape) the world of communication in which we live? Students in CM410 will reflect on their readings, and watch a piece from CBS Sunday Morning that aired over the weekend. We will look at digital inventions such as Mix Tapes, Napster, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, etc. and observe the way artists such as The Grateful Dead, RadioHead, and Beyonce have broken the old media paradigms with new media thinking.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Upsetting the Old Media Apple Cart

In this section of Intro to Digital Literacies I, students will consider how new media is changing the power structure once dominated by a handful of old media organizations. The will listen to (and watch) a lecture by Michael Wesch: "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube," and will consider how the web changed the landscape of communication, entertainment, etc. (Their blog posts will reflect select illustrations and information in the lecture that provoked their thinking.)

From Chris Anderson's
The Long Tail

They will also consider the implications of new media's impact as it relates to business models, commerce, and other concerns by reading selections from Chris Anderson's The Long Tail, paying special attention to the history (and future) of "The Hit."

Watch their blogs for insightful commentary as the prepare their minds to engage communication in the brave new world of the digital age.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some Ideas You Provoked (and Some Ideas to Provoke You)

A note to the students in Spring 2014 CM 410 - 
Some of your comments made me think about the question, "What is Even (Still) in Print?"
  • New York Times - daily online and in print
  • Christian Science Monitor - weekly in print, daily online
  • Encyclopedia Brittanica - no longer in print, all online (Want a print copy?)

Your comments about how "Commonplace/Easy it is to make movies" made me wonder about...
  • Vine/instagram
  • Reality TV
  • Remixing videos of others 

And of course the very popular "Bed Intruder" song - which became a #1 Hit on iTunes.

Your comments on letter-writing made me wonder if we will still have something called "Handwriting" in the future?

And many of you mentioned how multitasking and the ubiquity of screens might fracture our attention spans? Well, those comments are a perfect lead-in for our next assignment...

Now, to provoke some of your thinking with your next article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
As you read the article, think about these questions to provoke insightful comments in your next blog.
  1.  How does the author describe changes in his attention span?
  2. Do you relate to the experiences of Scott Karp or Bruce Friedman? How so?
  3. How did the typewriter affect the writings of Nietzsche? Can you describe how specific technologies have altered your reading, writing, thinking in similar ways?
  4. Authors Lewis Mumford and Joseph Weizenbaum both discuss a piece of technology that changed human life in incredible ways. What device was it? 
  5. How has the Net changed other media, like TV, newspapers, etc.?
  6. What do you think of Taylor's "system" and philosophy? Based on the info in the article, what do you think it would be like to work at Google?
  7.  What was Socrates' fear about the invention of writing? Can you apply that concern to other technologies?
  8. What does Richard Foreman see as the difference between the ideal human of hi stime and the ideal human of the digital age? Do you agree with him? What are the implications of such changes? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Class Blogs: How? What? Why?

How will students communicate their discoveries in CM 410?
Students in CM 410 (Introduction to Digital Literacies I) have built their blog sites as a place to record and share their research, writing and reflections on the course materials and projects. Their names will appear in the "Blog List" to the right soon - and they will also link to this blog, and to the blogs of their colleagues.

Students will also customize their blogs with some of the many GADGETS available, ranging from clocks to bio info to search buttons to social media links, etc. Students will investigate various design possibilities and will share ideas with others in class and in their blogs.

What will students talk about on their blogs?
Students will talk about their work, their growing awareness of how digital technologies shape, and are shaped by, their users, and - of course - about their thoughts on articles like these:
(Students will post their thoughts on the Kevin Kelly article over the weekend, and will tackle the Nicholas Carr article by class time on Wednesday.)

Why are the students doing this?
When students use this digital social media forum (a public blog) to write and thoughtfully about digital media, they are engaging a singular opportunity of "meta-literacy" that offers expanded self-awareness and perspective though their engagements andcritical users and composers of digital media.
reflections. That is to say - they will no longer be uncritical "consumers" of digital fare, but will be critical composers of digital media.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And So It Begins... Again.

Did you ever write a letter?
With a pen and paper?
And put it in an envelope, and attach a stamp and drop it in the mailbox?

Everything you need for our first class discussion can be found here:

Students especially enjoyed the interactive "The Wilderness Downtown".