Multimedia for Social Change


YOUTH RADIO by adampere
December 22, 2009, 12:31 am
Filed under: Reflections
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KEEN Video – Embedded by villard002
December 20, 2009, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Reflections


Reflecting Upon MM4SC by kathleencamarda
December 20, 2009, 11:37 am
Filed under: Reflections

Multimedia for Social Change was an enriching and engaging experience.  This multi-faceted course incorporated a collaborative learning process, hands-on learning with the community partners, learning in virtual space vis-à-vis the wiki, and reflecting on all of this knowledge via the blog.

I enjoyed learning about all of the thematic topics introduced over the course of the semester; issues of access, multimedia literacies, subcultures, public art, stylistics, entertainment education and games were particularly stimulating.  The fact that each member of the class was asked to participate in devising the class syllabus (enabling all of us to be active in our education) was inspiring and unique to other courses at USC.  In addition, structuring the course syllabus as a wiki that allowed for flexibility and change depending on our interests supported this three-dimensional learning style.  At the IML, we are constantly immersed in everything simultaneously; learning new software, academic material, virtual communication, physical communication, research, media, the list goes on! This is the beauty of the IML in its entirety – it teaches students to function in a non-linear manner just as new technologies require us to do – entirely relevant and necessary given the current and future day and age! At the IML both the readings and media clips are viewed equally as literacy tools and this course was no exception.  For example, studying remix videos was a good way to illustrate tactical media.  The workshops were helpful in increasing skills and understanding of various technologies, the introduction and inclusion of Prezi and Vuvox was especially useful as they communicate the information at hand in exciting ways.

In regards to MM4SC, we learned to ‘design social change’ both conceptually (by creating projects that would empower communities and provide opportunities for social change) and literally (by physically carrying out the projects and designing them to extend across multiple platforms).

The challenge of this course was juggling all of the different components, balancing time between doing the work for the nonprofit and the work for class.  I would tell other students to come up with a concrete plan so that they can manage their time appropriately and stay on top of everything.  There are many people and many people’s schedules to consider throughout the process.  Developing the work plan was crucial in the success of the project.  I would also tell them to utilize the workshops offered and keep building on those skills to enhance their projects, seeking assistance when necessary.

In terms of ways the course could be improved, just ensuring that it is one cohesive course with the discussion and lab time put together for four units.  I wish I could have attended the discussion portion on the readings in its entirety (as I found all of the material interesting) but I appreciated that my class conflict situation was understood and accommodated, and I still got to experience the readings and media clips through the wiki and blog.  In addition, maybe choosing a few things to spend more time on would work well, whether they are skills learned in the workshops or the themes discussed.  I liked that we had exposure to lots of different things all-around, just wish we had had more time to spend on them! On the other hand, this format lent itself well to our class because we were a small group, thus everyone was able to contribute and participate evenly.

I thoroughly enjoyed Multimedia for Social Change and would encourage any student to take it.  The course stimulates different and alternate modes of thinking while teaching ‘real’ skills that can be applied to academic and professional environments.  I look forward to future courses at the IML!



Amanda’s Semester Reflection by manderz
December 19, 2009, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Reflections

Multimedia for Social Change has been one of the most unique and applicable classes I have taken in my major. I knew this class was going to be different after the first day, when we were given sticky notes and the opportunity to help shape our syllabus. I loved that we all had a say  in shaping the class and I think it worked out really well. I also liked that the class was split up into two parts, it gave us a chance to not only learn about the different types of social change but also gain the skills in how to make multimedia.
In the first half of the class I really enjoyed the lecture on games for change. Susanna Ruiz shared valuable insight on how games can be used to promote social change. I also found the card exercise to be really helpful in getting our creative juices flowing. Multimedia literacies, entertainment education and youth media were also very interesting topics we discussed. The only problem I had is that I felt like there wasn’t enough time to actually learn about these many different topics we discussed. It felt rushed.

The skills part of the class was very helpful. Prezi and slideshare were two online tools that I didn’t know about beforehand and prove to be very helpful.

I highly recommend this class to other students who are interested in taking what we learn in other COMM classes and putting it into action. My suggestion is that there is only one class and people really try to come on time so we can all be on the same page.



by adampere
December 18, 2009, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Reflections

When I first signed up for MM4SC I really didn’t know what to expect. After the first day I knew this would not be like any other class. What I really enjoyed about the class was the unconventional methods the class to approach topics. Also, students had an active voice in what is being taught. On the first day we brainstormed on topics and skills we would like to learn about. From that, we formualted a tenative syllabus for the semester.

Although the class is still in the developing stages there is still great potential for future students to fine-tune the class. There are some tribulations I faced this semester. For example, because the class is
open for exploration it is easy to be over ambitious. How the class is structured you start working with your non-profit on the third/ fourth week. Thus, time because of the essance.

I learned that working a non- profit can be challenging. I faced lack of resources, miscommunication, and cooperation by participants.
When working with a non-profit or and organization collaboration and compromise becomes key to your project.

To future students I have three essential recommendations.

1. Have a focus plan. This will help you with time management but also give your community partner an over outline of what you are
going to do.

2. Know what your community partner needs and be able to distinguish that from their wants.

3. Take this class for four units. It’s worth it.

Finally, to all those who are considering taking this class. I enthusiatically say Do it! The class always you to be involve with an underserved community in LA, learn and produce multimedia, and in the smallest sense create chanege.



Semester Reflection by villard002
December 18, 2009, 9:13 am
Filed under: Reflections

Not only did I find the objective of this course to be exciting and necessary, I found the execution process to be invaluable. This semester has been very insightful and enlightening. I have learned a lot about the world and how to make an effective impact by using multimedia tools.

Growth

I learned new programs like Zotero, Wiki, WordPress, Prezi and Final Cut Pro. To be honest, I have had little to no experiences with any of these programs prior to this class. This class has given me a new perspective on technology and how it can affect the world. I have learned ways to be resourceful and creative in helping KEEN.

I’ve enjoyed discovering innovative ways to evoke change. One of my favorite lessons was the Games for Change session. After playing a few of the games online, I saw that there is plenty of opportunity to reach young minds through online game play. Large corporations who partner with organizations of change should further explore this area. As a huge game person, I found the game we played with Susanna to be really interesting and thought provoking.

On a different note, I was able to apply some of the principles of Final Cut Pro to other class projects. For my advertising class, I had to create a radio spot. The cutting and moving of video bytes in Final Cut Pro helped me navigate through GarageBand (which I had never used).

Some of my favorite lessons/readings were grassroot initiatives and multimedia literacy.

I loved that we learned by reading, watching, talking, playing and doing. I feel like this is the definition of multimedia and was an integral part of our class. I’m eager to continue to expand my multimedia literacy.

Difficulties/Challenges

One of my biggest challenges in Multimedia for Social Change was being less tech-savvy than the class. Although this was difficult in the beginning, I learned to use the class as a resource instead of a barrier. By asking questions and learning new tactics, I was able to expand my multimedia and technological knowledge. Because the class was small, it lent itself to a very collaborative and interactive experience.

The other challenge that I had was learning a new software editing system: Final Cut Pro. Prior to this, I had had no experience with filming or editing video footage. I overcame this challenge by asking questions and seeking the guidance of more experienced friends/classmates. It was a great learning experience and I feel much more confident using a camera and editing software.

Suggestions for future students

  • Engross yourself in the non-profit. Become familiar with their mission, needs, objectives and team. This is essential in growing their multimedia. By knowing what they have, what has worked and what hasn’t, you can cater your project specifically around their needs.
  • Google everything that comes to your mind for the project. If you think you can’t do something, there is a solution for it. I learned that there are plenty of blogs, comments and websites that explain or provide resources for thousands of technological bumps.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of the instructor and your peers. Initially I was shy when it came to asking questions that seemed obvious to the rest of the class but then I realized it was my learning experience too and the best way to learn is to ask questions and get hands on with the work.
  • Open your mind to learning about different global problems and expand it to create innovative solutions. Part of this class is about exploring problems, creating answers and finding creative ways to enact change.

Overall, I truly loved this class and learned so much this semester!



Coup d’etat (A Copy of My 1st Blog – Moved to MM4SC) by kathleencamarda
December 18, 2009, 4:14 am
Filed under: Reflections

Below is my first blog post.  I had posted it to the wiki at the time (from my blog) but am moving it here with the rest of my blog entries!

Coup d’etat

By kathleencamarda

I have been giving a lot of thought to issues surrounding “the digital divide” as of late.  As Brett Meyer (Brett Meyer) discussed how technology has the power to finally mend socioeconomic gaps, he referenced Bharat Mehra:

“The internet has tremendous potential to achieve greater social equity and empowerment and improve everyday life for those on the margins of society.”

However, we seem to be re-writing history, as oppression finds its niche in the twenty-first century, quickly seeping into virtual space… As Meyer went on to say “With revolution, however, comes the unknown — and unintended consequences.”  Danah Boyd’s article (Danah Boyd) illustrated this new reality by studying Facebook versus MySpace, concluding that though MySpace seems to have fewer users than they used to, in fact they still have the same amount – as many or more than Facebook – it’s just a different user than it used to be…

It makes sense that if we live in a culture that has created class differences that the virtual world would be no different than the physical world.  However, if communities that lack access to these new means (i.e. computers, social networking, and information of all kinds) are able to amass…

Would we suddenly be living in a world where every citizen was “equal”? What would happen in the domestic sphere versus the international sphere? Would it be utopian or anarchistic? How would information travel and how would it manifest?

I was surprised to read that even in rapidly developing twenty-first century nations such as China that have seen a recent increase in their number of internet users “…just over 19% of Chinese people have access to the Internet and the digital divide is growing due to factors such as insufficient infrastructure and high online charges” (Wikipedia).  It is already difficult for me to conceive of a world without the web, though I certainly grew up in that world, as computers barely existed when I was a child and my family didn’t have a computer or internet in the house until I was well into high school.

I am signing off with a YouTube clip on the “Social Media Revolution” whose description poses the question:

“Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?” (Social Media Revolution).