Annotated Bibliography – Tweet Your Topic

Hi (Journalism/PR) Students:

Your annotated bibliography provides you with an opportunity to explore interesting issues typically covered by professional journalists.  Using various data bases, texts, and visual media, you will build a body of knowledge to support subsequent course projects, like your Zeega project and print news report.  Please reply to this blog post with information about your topic.  Do not forget to tweet your topic to #mcotxwes so that your fellow student colleagues can tweet any cool info they find on twitter to our hashtag (#mcotxwes) or to your personal twitter handle.  Write & Research On!

Seeking the Zen of Grammar

My communication students and I are on a quest—we are seeking the Zen of grammar.  As we progress along our journey, we will share the resources we find most helpful.   Here are a few we have recently uncovered:  Working with Words, by Brooks, Pinson, and Wilson; Aim for the Heart, by Al Thompkins; and Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark.  Join us on our journey—please share any grammar tools you have found to be easily accessible to young journalists.

Welcome Students – Spring 2014

This will be a semester full of exploration, excitement, and reflection.  I welcome you to my classes this spring where we will explore the ways in which we create ourselves in text and and online spaces, find new ways to examine our world, and reflect about the meanings of our ideas, ourselves, and others. Please bring a sense of wonder, an inquisitive mind, and a backpack full of craziness–it’s going to be fun!

Using Zeega for Critical Thinking

I just received an email from Ahmed Kabil at Zeega–here is what I told him about my classroom project (Speech 1301) using Zeega:    I love Zeega—it is a great tool for teaching students to move away from “text” and allow the visual to convey a greater percentage of their messages.  With Zeega, students are also learning about consonance and dissonance—(image and text juxtaposition)—irony and metaphor.   Zeega’s rich availability of images and animated objects has made this fun and exciting for the students.   They are working in groups of two to four.   Their assignment was not just to profile a person, but to drill down and identify key moments where their subject made a difference “in the world” or “for a group of people” and then discuss the various impacts (hopefully, news worthy) that the “key moment—or achievement” made on different audiences (locally and globally). 

 Next week, students will be performing (speaking) “in front” of their Zeega while the Zeega is in progress.  I asked them to think of their Zeegas  as their background singers—the student as the lead vocalist.  [Kind of a take-off on Pecha Kucha.]  But, they also have to consider that their Zeega will stand alone on the web—for unintended audiences—so there is a great deal of discussion going on in class around audience understanding, images/text combinations, etc.   We plan to video their Zeega performances and put them on YouTube— 

This is the first time I have used Zeega in the classroom, and I really like how the students have connected with it.   (They will also use Prezi and PowerPoint this semester.)  My hope is to provide our students with multiple platform choices, so they do not feel limited to PPT, but consider using the appropriate tool/interface for any given situation.  Finally, I really enjoyed reading this article discussing the differences in Klynt, Zeega, and Prezi from Digital Arts & Humanities at Harvard:

My Hope for My Students

Here, at the beginning of this semester, my hope for my students is that they begin to feel the urgent need to learn, not only their academic content, but more about national and global issues.   I hope the use of Twitter in the classroom helps to connect them to the BBC, CNN, The Daily Show, and other news outlets.   My intent is to use Twitter to engage them in the world of ideas and connect them to the key people discussing those ideas–so that my students actively participate in the conversations that will define their futures.