Monday, February 29, 2016

Assignment: Index Card Pitch Post

we are using index cards
to prototype visual communication ideas
My students just went through a round of presenting their preliminary ideas for their individual semester project by using 10 index cards in a five-minute presentation to their peers in class.

I'm now asking them to create a blog post based on that presentation. First I will say why, and then how they should do so.

Why repeat the presentation as a blog post? To answer this I appeal to a principle of communication of increasing relevance in the digital age: translating one's ideas into a new format helps one to refine and develop those ideas. For class, they used handwritten images on index cards combined with an oral presentation; for this blog post, they will re-use those index cards as described below

This post is due by 10am (earlier if you can do so); and comments on others' posts are due by 11am.

Here are the requirements for the post:
  1. Consider revisions
    Based on the response/feedback to your oral presentation, consider what you might change in your images or ideas. Also consider the core argument Dr. Burton announced -- the connection between your topic and the general topic of communication within civilization at this moment. If possible, begin making a tie-in to that topic. 
  2. Begin a new blog post
    You will need to have accepted the invitation to be an author on the blog in order to do this. Didn't get it? Contact Dr. Burton. Then, go to the course blog, log into Google/Blogspot (top right), and then click "New Post" (top right).
  3. Give the post a title
    This should be meaningful, suggesting the topic or one's angle toward it. Do not give the title "blog post" or "assignment #1" or anything like that.
  4. Include a picture of yourself as the first image in the post -- not directly related to your presentation, but an indirect way of building your ethos. Choose a photo that isn't goofy, poorly lit, or that includes anyone else. Consider including a profile picture from a social media profile, and even linking to that if you wish. Note on photos: Be sure you don't upload photos that are too large. If the file is over 2 mb or the pixel size is wider than 1000pixels on either side, you should reduce the size to between 400-1000 pixels on the long side. This can be done with many programs such as Preview on Macs, or use the free PicResize online service.
  5. Introduce yourself and your topic/argument at the same time, right at the start, like this: "I'm Gideon Burton, and scholarly communication matters to me because I'm an academic wishing to work through the limits of the current system of learned communication. Here is my idea." 
  6. Use the "jump break" (to divide the first page of your content -- one picture and accompanying text -- from the rest of your post):
  7. Scan in / take pictures of your 10 index cards. Upload those images
  8. Insert captions or brief comments between the pictures
    Here are two models for this from a different class: model 1model 2. As can be seen, in those posts the student gave captions or provided text between each of the cards, giving the gist of what he/she might have said in their oral version of the presentation.
  9. Use the "Labels" feature (top right in editing mode). At the very least, include "posted by [FirstName] [LastName]" (Don't capitalize "posted" and don't use quotation marks.) Separating by commas, include any other labels that help to tag your topic.
  10. Respond to three other students' posts.
    It would help to respond to at least one of the presentations you heard previously in class; and to at least one that you did not.
Please do not create your post in Word or another application and then copy it over. Compose right within the editing windows on Blogger.

Word to the wise: After creating your post but before clicking on "publish," use Cntrl-A (or Cmd-A on a Mac) and select all that you have drafted. Then click Cntrl-C (or Cmd-C on a Mac) to copy everything into RAM. If you then click "Publish" and something goes wrong, you can create a new post and paste in what you created and saved into memory (Contrl-V or Cmd-V on a Mac). This will save you getting upset when submitting a form that eats your hard work.

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