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: http://www.darthcrimson.org/klynt-zeega-prezi-and-the-evolution-of-digital-narratives/