Last week, time charged a toll at a booth I didn’t notice on my map. That’s because I wasn’t looking at the map or the road but somewhere else…perhaps straight at the sun. In any event, I had time to rethink my map, not in terms of the “X” that marks my destination but the “ABC’S” of getting there alive.
- In terms of progress, I can at least don’t have to state the numero uno. No, I’m in the negatives, retrogressing, but this this reversal is like finally admitting I missed my exit, swallowing chopped pride, and getting on with the ride. It’s not that I was unhappy with my initial attempt. Instead, two decisions forced me to take that U-turn. First, the “immersive experience” I described provides a perfect Capstone project for the final class, in which I may employ a virtual world strategy.
- My project requires not only repairs but a complete overhaul. For that reason, I have provided a revised Revised Instructional Media Design Plan at the end of this section. Fortunately, I am “overhauling a rocket into a pencil” rather than vice versa.
- In terms of timeline, my revised project entails far more practical goals than the “on-hold” original project. I might not have even completed the latter. The former, given this late revision, will require the usual bodily fluids, but not so many and not at a possibly fatal level!
- Flaws in the original concept for once announced themselves before the fact. Namely, I overextended myself and overestimated what I could accomplish within the time constraints, while failing to realize until just yesterday that the first project would better fit the criteria of the final certificate student class. This project allows me to work with basic Flash animation, still meeting one of my goals, which will then provide the groundwork for more ambitious projects later in the course.
REVISED INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA DESIGN PLAN
Briefly identify the specific topic of the proposed lesson.
|Enhancing the teaching of media literacy by applying the basic ideas (and only ideas necessary to implementing) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy to learning and teaching media literacy.|
|Description of Subject Matter:
Provide a one-paragraph description of the subject matter of the proposed lesson. Compose your description as though you are explaining it to someone with no previous knowledge of the subject. Remember to clarify any obscure terminology.
|As a high school teacher, you know that curriculum demands and deadlines leave scarce time for teaching students how to use media, rather than be used byit. Lesson One* demonstrated a fast, efficient and effective means of creating media literate students. Lesson Two is similarly practical, a short animated film explaining how to apply Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) concepts to learning and teaching media literacy. This sounds complicated, but as you’ll see, it’s as easy as ABCDE.*Lesson One served as my ETC RILS project. I currently envision my Capstone Project as a portfolio with the same title as Lesson One: Teaching Media Literacy: The One Hour Solution.” The completed portfolio will showcase individual projects completed in each class, allowing me to learn the multimedia design platforms for which I chose Full Sail, in this case Flash animation. However, I am always open to suggested alternatives.|
|Behavioral Learning Objectives:
Provide at least two properly stated behavioral learning objectives. Follow the method for writing behavioral learning objectives described in the Writing Objectives PDF attached to the Week 1 Textbook Reading assignment.
|(1) High school teachers assimilate the key ideas necessary to applying the very commonsense-based REBT to learning and teaching media literacy by watching the video and simultaneously completing brief video-based exercises and (2) teachers will apply REBT to media literacy by choosing a specific poor shopping habit and examining and changing the irrational thoughts that lead to that unwanted consequence.|
|Target Audience Characteristics:
Provide a one-paragraph description of the target audience for the proposed lesson. Include factors such as age, education level, job role (if applicable), and any socio-economic factors. Describe how the characteristics of your audience will influence your choice of media and/or the composition of your lesson content.
|High school teachers are the target audience. Eventually, it is hoped, this project will prove successful and then be “downsized” to meet the needs of teachers beginning at kindergarten and continuing through high school graduation. The entire project was conceived as a somewhat subversive teaching strategy, by which any instructor, anywhere, can help students become media literate no despite the pressures imposed upon them buy standardized testing and other factors. This piece provides a new dimension to media literacy, quickly and effectively showing teachers how REBT can be used by themselves and then by their students as a way to detrigger “negative media messages” (the kind way of saying “menticide”),.|
|Delivery Method:Briefly describe how the lesson will be delivered to the target audience. For example: web-based training via the internet, web-based training via company intranet, viewed asynchronously as part of a flipped classroom, viewed synchronously as an enhancement to a face-to-face class, viewed via mobile device (M-learning), etc. Describe how the delivery method will influence your choice of media and/or the composition of your lesson content.|
|This video will be provided via website or some other online means, and as one part of my current plan for a Capstone Project portfolio. It’s not intended as a process to which users will return except for purposes of refreshing their memories. Rather, it’s intended to provide exactly what it promises: enabling any teacher, anywhere, to teach media literacy, in one hour or less via all the materials my portfolio will eventually provide.|
|Media Selection:Provide one to two paragraphs describing the types of media you have selected to communicate your lesson content. Provide an explanation of how this combination of media will support your learning objectives, based on the information provided in the Media Selection handout.|
|Simplicity without somnolence is the goal. Therefore, I will explain REBT using Flash animation and a very straightforward narrative tone, to which REBT is most conducive, then combine it with media literacy basics, using exercises or — on a very outside chance — simple Flash-based games/exercises.|
|Design Tools:List the software tools you plan to use to design your media asset. These tools should support the media types you identified in c. above.|
|For this class, I wish to learn Flash animation, not only to create the proposed video but also as one of the software platforms I feel I will need in the future. To do so, I have chosen the Lynda.com Flash Animation Project class. For audio, I will likely use the Sony Suite, which I prefer for sound editing. I may include Adobe Premier as well as Sony Vegas HD; I often use multiple platforms, some of which I cannot yet predict, and some of which require Windows. I will also incorporate storyboarding. The visual, audio and narrative styles/structures must all fulfill the goal of the video, already explained, rather than “show the designer’s hand.”|
1. I see myself incorporating virtually everything I learn in this class into the rest of my studies and new profession. All of the readings and other materials have challenged my thinking and created new perspectives. Example: Arnold states in Exploring Visual Storytelling (2008, p. 11), “Audiences want to be asked questions by a story, but if the audiences’ understanding of the story hinges on the answers, they will feel threatened, not challenged. Audiences want questions raised; they do not want to be quizzed as viewers.”
I find this thinking quite contrary to mine. I believe audiences have been essentially trained to share general expectations, embedded in screenplays right down to the pages on which key events occurs; any screenwriting how-to manual will provide one or another description of these “plot points.” I don’t believe this “training” entails any conspiracy. Instead, to create a mass and predictable audience, one needs to create their expectations, especially in any new media. The early days of films in some ways surprising found cameras being used to create the first documentaries. But looking twice, what do most people want to see when shown a photograph? Themselves or their surroundings. In his terrific Documentary: A History of the Short Film, Erik Barnow (1993) describes how this natural response led to some extraordinary experimentation that ironically only now seems experimental. Example: Berlin: Symphony of a City (Ruttman) is just that, one day in the life of Berlin, during the Weimar (pre-Nazi) era, intercutting scenes on the “visual beat,” using repetition and other techniques more often associated with music. at the time, however, viewers probably watched it as they would look at a scrapbook depicting a particular vacation.
The experimentation, which was no doubt conscious for Ruttman if not his audience, became more and more conscious. But the Second War War combined film with propaganda, making propaganda all the more effective, and gradually the documentary took shape…a predictable shape that pleased viewers in the manner Arnold describes.
So what are the choices? First, this is just the kind of question this class fueled and one that I am sure I will spend my creative days considering and reconsidering. I’ll wrap this example up by offering a counter-argument to Arnold’s: Viewers have the expectations they’re given by screenwriters, and screenwriters meet those expectations if they want to sell a script. The process becomes circular. Of course, the inventors, tricksters and daredevils continue experimenting, and a few manage to both please audiences and maintain their vision. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 2001) is a well-known example. Though a basic script existed, the film was truly written in the moment; it’s commonly known that scenes like the killing of innocent Vietnamese civilians aboard a riverboat were decided upon not long before filming those scenes. The result is still electric because audience’s expectations are violated. And yet Coppola returned to more formulaic filmmaking. Profit, perish, or profit and/or perish: That’s the lesson I learn from the above.
That thinking all derived from just one idea discussed in this class. I only hope I can assimilate as much as possible of these questions, which interest me as questions.
2. I can’t dismiss any of the DAE curriculum as irrelevant to my project. That might have differed with the original project. But the revised project requires ideas just like Arnold’s, which I disputed above. The questions never end, even for such a simple project as my revised REBT/media literacy video.
3. DAE significantly shifted my direction for the remaining semesters the moment I revised the project I’ve discussed here, which is simpler and thus allows me more time to think rather than trying to shoot the works in learning Flash. I now know I want to assimilate the kinds of questions I’ve mentioned and apply various “answers” that fit its goals. Lastly, as mentioned, by changing my DAE project, I now know my GSM class project. Or will I revise that project yet again?
I’d hate to leave any question answered.
Apocalypse Now. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Perf. Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen. 1979.
Arnold, Brian. Exploring Visual Storytelling. Cengage Learning US, 2008.
Barnouw, E. (1993). Documentary: A history of the non-fiction film. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ruttman, W., Film Preservation Associates., Image Entertainment (Firm)., Fox-Europa (Firm)., & Olympia Chamber Orchestra. (1999). Berlin, symphony of a great city. Chatsworth, CA: Image Entertainment.