Category Archives: Academic Multimedia

Multimedia usage within the classroom: Four mini case studies

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Remember the once-popular education games Oregon Trail and Sim City? Thankfully it can no longer be debated; multimedia has officially (and finally!) re-entered the classroom. Companies and teachers have been trying for years to bring education into the 21st century. It is still very much an initiative in the making, but I have been reading more and more about efforts such as Apple’s strategic shift into the education market that aren’t just baby steps to educational reform. Let’s learn about four such initiatives and what it means for the future of academia.


A primer to tablet usage in the classroom: 10 apps, 3 accessories and 3 tricks

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Congrats on your new tablet purchase, alternatively, congrats on taking the bold step in using it to take notes during class. I’ve spent the last Mod taking notes exclusively on my iPad 2 and I want to share with you, dear reader, some tips and tricks, along with my most often used apps that make note-taking possible. I have jumped into the deep end of the cyber-pool and completely replaced paper use with my tablet, at least when it comes to schoolwork. I do all my note-taking, homework, and case-studies with my iPad laptop so that hardly any paper is used. You may wish to do the same, or pick and choose what you want to use your tablet for.


Top 50 multimedia packages of 2011

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It’s always fun to revisit multimedia projects at the end of the year when I create my ‘top 50′ list. As I do each year, I must stress that this is my list and not a definitive ‘best of’ list simply because I have not seen all multimedia created and thus cannot create a comprehensive list. Therefore, below are 50 projects that have inspired me most in 2011. A reader suggested last year that I better organize the sites, so I decided to pick 10 each from the five sectors: journalism, advertising, student work, philanthropy, and documentary. Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming inspiration and happy holidays!


Multimedia must-see: PNC Christmas Price Index Express

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After seeing ingenious interactive campaigns such as the 2007 Get the Glass! game, I get incredibly excited about the potential for interactive media. Now I get to add PNC’s Christmas Price Index Express to my list of inspirational interactive media campaigns. Seriously spend 15 minutes with this site – it is well worth your time!


UNC launches “Coal: A Love Story” for 2011 Powering a Nation installment

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You might remember me blogging about the website “Powering a Nation” the past two summers. I was part of the 2010 team of producers, and it’s inspiring to see what the 2011 team did this year. Rather than covering a handful of stories like what was done the first two years, this year 11 UNC students focused all of their efforts on “Coal: A Love Story.” Furthermore, they strung the content together in an interactive interface – the result of which is a fun and engaging visual exploration of our obsession with coal.


Behind the scenes of “Reframing Mexico”

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Thirty-two students from UNC Chapel Hill and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology will soon publish their latest documentary project, Reframing Mexico, which documents stories other than the drug war in Mexico. Several months ago I attended a screening of the stories and by far my favorite was Cath Spangler’s “Enough to survive,” a story about a mother who works in a dump to feed her children. Thus, I asked her to detail her experience finding her story subject, dealing with unexpected challenges while documenting in the field, and finding a way to give back to the mother.


Behind the scenes: “Soul of Athens: Our dreams are different”

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For this year’s Soul the senior producers came up with the idea that we should have a small number of strong stand out stories. For past Soul projects the number of stories was anywhere from 25-40. For this year’s project we decided to have 15 stories. This set the bar extremely high for the students to create multimedia projects that would stand out not only with strong visuals, but that told great stories as well.


Receptive Cinema: A novel interactive cinema project open to collaboration

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To kick off the 2011 summer guest blogger series, UK-based HCI specialist Keith Bound discusses the background of interactive videography and discusses his latest research that “enables the audience presence to restructure their story world in real time, creating meaningful personalized experiences.” He is looking for collaborators so read on to learn more!


Multimedia must-see: Climate Wisconsin

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Over the holidays I received an email from Finn Ryan, a multimedia producer at Wisconsin’s Educational Communications Board. I was immediately curious because I normally hear from producers at newsrooms and multimedia students. Finn pointed me to a new educational multimedia package that they just launched, titled “Climate Wisconsin.” With 10 videos, two interactives, teaching tips, background material and more, this site is a wealth of information and inspiration.


Multimedia must-see: “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Cheatham Williams

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This time of year is always exciting because students publish final projects for their respective photography and multimedia courses. Each year I feel as if students’ work as a whole improves, which, to me, says that multimedia storytelling is more of an innate skill for those born in the 90′s. It also reinforces my decision to learn the business side of multimedia since these 20-somethings are totally inspiring me with their exceptional storytelling skills! As an example, check out “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Cheatham Williams. It’s a story about a mother trying to balance responsibilities taking care of her ailing mom while taking care of her kids. The photography is absolutely beautiful throughout.


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