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Create to Learn at ECA

The Media Education Lab team is presenting at the Eastern Communication Association meeting in Providence!

DATE: Friday, April 12th, 2019

TIME: 12-1:15PM

LOCATIONL: Omni Hotel, Washington - 3rd Level.

Create to Learn: Pedagogies of Digital Literacy

More and more students arrive to college having had experience with digital media, but apart from uploading photos and creating PowerPoints, few have had substantial experience as media creators. In this session, we explore the practice of students creating media as a way to demonstrate their learning across any subject area or field of inquiry. When students create media in forms including infographics, podcasts, videos, animation, remix and blogs, they engage in a process of accessing and analyzing information as well as reflecting on the social power of mediated communication. Create to Learn pedagogies promote a critical response to multimedia texts and cultivate creativity through collaboration. For these reasons, create to learn pedagogies are engaging and motivating for learners. But faculty face certain challenges in making use of create-to-learn strategies as a pedagogical practice, including classroom management, control over content, and assessment of student learning.

Renee Hobbs, University of Rhode Island

This panel applies core elements of the create to learn pedagogy, based on Hobbs’ Create to Learn: Introduction to Digital Literacy (2018) to particular learning contexts including K-12 and college teaching in humanities, writing and rhetoric and communication/media studies. By learning how teachers have applied these ideas in practice, we see the potential of the pedagogy and reflect on unanswered research questions that are generated from observing student learning.

Norbert Mundorf, University of Rhode Island

Norbert Mundorf will discuss how online debates using a number of evolving communication technologies can influence American, Russian, German and Chinese students’ intercultural sensitivity and awareness, as well as associated sustainability-related outcomes. Past research indicates that through multiple and continuous online debates between American and students and their global counterparts, intercultural sensitivity and awareness may increase on both sides of the digital discourse. This approach has increased participants’ understanding of each other’s culture as well as gaining insights into social problems such as urbanization, Greenwashing, corporate sustainability, and sustainable development. This project (1) approaches the exchange of ideas and communication in an innovative way: students communicate with one another directly, using WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime or Google. (2) Sustainability issues serve as a focal point, and students in both countries develop their intercultural competency while gaining a better understanding of economic and social development and sustainability. Preliminary results show online debates have some positive effects on intercultural sensitivity and awareness as well as positive changes in participants’ knowledge and attitudes toward sustainable economic and societal development. A model will be proposed which other institutions may adopt in order to foster productive conversations and exchange to improve intercultural awareness and competence.

Collaborative writing - Frank Romanelli, URI

When we consider collaboration as part of writing, we start with three fundamental ways in which any authors collaborate: authorship, assimilation of outside ideas, and revision/feedback. But as we look at media in digital environments we see opportunities to make connections in new and more powerful ways: crowdsourcing, electronic real-time authorship and revision, social media, electronic asynchronous authorship and revision, multi-modal media combinations to create new meaning. For example, in a hybrid class setting, students can present an idea in a live class, with classmates offering suggestions, recommendations, and critique on a live document using a google document or an etherpad. Students may, as a group analyze a website, a video, or another form of text and present their analysis as one voice using video, audio, Prezi, Flipgrid, or a plethora of other digital media through which they can publish their ideas. Students can present to a hybrid audience using Instagram, Zoom, and Twitter. The idea of collaboration in writing is not new, but the media through which students can collaborate continue to evolve. As students use new media to create and collaborate, they discover new ways to reach new audiences and be more successful in their rhetorical purpose.

Infographics - Mark Davis - Barrington Middle School

Infographics are multimodal texts that use words, symbols, and graphics to tell a story or reveal complex information. Our world is inundated with infographics in our user interfaces, media displays, and print and digital texts. Though students receive explicit instruction in close reading and writing traditional syntax, there is limited instruction in infographics as an essential text for learning. College entrance exams, technical instructions, and mobile devices require an understanding of how to decode an infographic. A pedagogical approach for infographics beginning at the elementary level ensures long-term success for post-secondary success. We will examine several resources for decoding and designing infographics in K-12 classrooms and support for pre-service professional development.

Vlogging - Zoey Wang, Rhode Island College/URI

In recent years, the popularization of Vlogs and Vlogging has drawn more and more attentions on digital and media research. Vlogs are user-generated videos that often document personal lives and experiences with a wide range of topics, context, and styles. YouTube as a participatory culture, not only involves social and economic presence, but also evokes cultural and educational engagement. Many researches suggest that content creation and sharing on digital social platforms enables more creativity, collaborative activities and engagement among teachers and students. Students are more interested in real life related activities and are more likely to achieve better learning outcomes when their level of engagement is higher. As the increase ownership of smartphones of teens has raised the amount of vlogs among teens recording their daily lives. While more and more educators seek to utilize digital technology and media platforms to engage students and their learning, concerns also are raised when vlogging involves schooling. This session will discuss what how educators can utilize the opportunity of vlogs and vlogging to engage student learning.

Screencasting - Elizaveta Friesem, Temple University

It might be intimidating for teachers to envision including video production into their classes. Fortunately, one can easily find free tools that will allow students to create simple videos. One such tool is Screencast-O-Matic, and in this presentation I will share with participants my experiences of using it in the classroom. I will provide a step-by-step explanation of how this tool can be used, and show a short video that I have produced. The steps of using Screencast-O-Matic include writing a script, finding images, recording voice-over, and finalizing the video by adding special effects. Each of these stages can be used as a teachable moment. For example, writing a script will help you discuss with students how to express their ideas concisely and to the point, and also to reflect on what media messages need scripts and why. The stage of finding images can lead to conversations about copyright as well as about visual communication. The voice-over stage can be accompanied with discussions about diversity in voice-overs of commercial images (e.g., how gender is correlated with genres). Finally, the stage of finalizing the message can be used to discuss how special effects can be used to attract viewers’ attention.

Stop motion animation - Yonty Friesem, Columbia College Chicago

Stop motion animation has a long tradition going back to Muybridge 1872 historic filming of hours race that evolved into the birth of cinema. Today, with mobile phones anyone can record video and pictures through a variety of applications, and create their own stop motion animation. In my Communication 101 class, I use stop motion animation for students to learn about strategic communication and representation. Using LEGO, students create a one minute stop motion animation video to showcase an idea from their research paper about the field of communication. Through the creative process, students learn to plan, record and share ideas they generated strategically. The kynetic process of building a LEGO set with the visual representation in the frame and then the sound added to the video allows me as an instructor to address various learning style and apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Reflecting on media representations helps us address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The analysis of the stop motion animation videos is a useful media deconstruction practice as it allows students to look at the single frame as well as at the whole sequence and representations to discuss how other people might interpret their message differently.