Week 3: How is “multimodal” different from “digital”? Why does the distinction matter?

Now that everyone has created a Twitter account, I’ve added you to a Twitter list for our class, so you can see (and hopefully follow) each other. A few of you have made your Twitter accounts private, but that will hinder your ability to participate in our class’s conversations on Twitter, so I would encourage you to make your tweets public. If you’re new to Twitter, here are a few articles that will help you get started:

We’ll check in on our Twitter experiment on Monday, so here’s a mini assignment to complete this weekend: follow at least five new people who regularly tweet on a particular topic. For instance, if you want to use Twitter to keep up with campus news and events, follow a few of the accounts on the university’s list. Or use a hashtag search to find out who is regularly tweeting about your favorite sport, television show, band, etc. In my experience, Twitter becomes much more useful when you install one of the apps on your phone and/or iPad. And finally, when you tweet about something related to our class (tweeting links to your blog posts is a great idea!), don’t forget to use the class hashtag: #engl3844

Next week, our workshop sessions will help you refine your video narratives, and we will continue our conversations about multimodality. Here are a few more details for each day:

  • Our class discussion during Week 2 didn’t go well, so let’s hit the reset button and try again. Before you come to class on Monday, please RE-read the Introduction and Chapter 1 (pp. 1–38) in Toward a Composition Made Whole. Bring your book to class and be ready to point to specific passages that you want to discuss. Here are a few questions to consider as you prepare to “put your oar into the water”:
    • Why do we tend to equate “multimodality” with digital technologies?
    • How has technology shaped your writing/composing process(es)?
    • How should college English classes change to account for the ways in which students communicate today?

    In addition, if you have not finished the storyboards for your video narrative, please do so this weekend and bring your completed storyboards to class on Monday. If you need a little more inspiration as you think about your video, I would encourage you to watch (or re-watch) a few of the sample videos I’ve collected on Vimeo and YouTube.

  • On Wednesday, we will spend most of class in workshop mode, reviewing several different hardware and software tools that you can use to create your video narrative. In order for you to choose a specific tool (or set of tools) for your project, you’ll need to have a fairly solid idea about how you plan to tell your story, so your homework for Wednesday is to write a draft of your voiceover script and bring it to class. (If you’re worried about the length of your script, try timing yourself as you reading it out loud.)

If you have questions about these plans, or if you need help with your video narrative, please come see me during office hours (Tuesday 1–4 and Wednesday 9–12) or send me an email. (Big hint: it’s much less painful to have me look at your draft during office hours than to be surprised by my evaluation of your project after you turn it in.)