Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MEDI 503

After reading all the blogs posted thus far, I am most interested in learning more about Second Life Machinima. I am going to look at each possible opportunity individually so as to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Noelle mentioned an article, "Enter Here," in an early post that I plan to read because it sounds like it may put things in perspective for me.

Meeting last night in SL was a great idea. Since we are not meeting every week, it is important to be in touch, and therefore motivated and informed.

In response to an article in NEATODAY

I found this article real interesting and relevant to our coursework in MEDI.

Turning the Page: Students Live in a Digital World. Are Schools Ready to Join Them?
(neatoday: October/November 2009, pp. 24, 25, and 27.

This articles explains how some schools are diving into the digital world, yet there can be drawbacks to it as well.

Many teachers are turning to WEB 2.0 literature and a wide array of digital tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) to allow students to collaborate, create, and share their writings. When reading literature, many students are digitally posing as characters, actively engaging them in the process.

As this articles mentions, the key to being literate is using critical thinking skills to anaylze, critique, and evaluate information that is shown to them and that has been shared by their peers. These skills are essential to have in an informational society, and as teachers, we are consistently reinforcing these skills through digital media. Students are now learning that collaboration with their peers and teachers are as critical to collaborating with others from around the world.

Our students are living in a different world, an information technology world, and we must provide resources for students to actively engage and use the tools that have been developed for this 21st century world.

However, many teachers are still resisting to incorporating 21st century digital media into their classrooms. The articles explains that many teachers are reluctant to use digital tools that they are unfamiliar with, but that their students might show a strong interest and intellectual ability in it. I disagree because isn't the student-teacher relationship supposed to be reciprocal?

Many teachers are combining using the "original" ways to teaching literature, but incorporating digital media where necessary.

Many students are becoming writers and are improving on their writing through the popularity of blogs, wikis, writing fan based stories, keeping a MySpace or Facebook page etc. Students are writing for global audiences online as they post or keep these digital spaces, and are not just writing for the teacher aymore.

I like the last point this article makes. Through the use of digital media, students are sharing their writing with one another, using collaboration as a means of communication and educating one another, not only in academics, but in social and cultural ways as well.

Thoughts on Second Life

I just wanted to put up a quick post regarding our meeting in Second Life last night. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect since I was not familiar at all with Second Life. However, I was pleasantly surprised and can't explain how much I truly enjoyed the experience. Not only did it open up my mind to an entire new universe, but it was also extremely helpful in terms of speaking to each other and Dr. Knobel regarding the course. Although I am still thinking on how to incorporate Second Life into my classroom, I did discuss my experience with my students and encouraged them to speak to their parents about exploring Second Life as well. See you on next week!

Erika 9/30/09

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What time we need to meet in SL tonight?

For Second Life Meeting, I can't get home until 7:00 tonight, is it too late?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting to know Second Life

Hi everyone! I finally created a secondlife account and avatar! It's awesome! I love it because I can recreate myself in a fantasy world. I'm still playing around with it but it seems very interesting. It was simple to create the name is stellauniverse Soulstar :) Hope to see you all there!
Mary A

Second Life

Hi Everyone!
I just created my Second Life avitar & I find it fascinating! I don't know much about how to work it yet, so go be-friend me if you know how: Dalygirl83 Haiku. What an awesome way for people to communicate.

Some Website Links

My boyfriend is a huge YOUTUBE fanatic! Over the past few weeks, he has been introducing me to some similar websites that I have been exploring for our final project. Here are a few that you may like to check out. Even if you don't utilize them for the class, they are very entertaining, interesting, and will surely make you laugh. Enjoy!


Course Progress and Second Life

What a start to the semester! Before I even began any of our major projects, my computer crashed and was out of commission! However, I am back in action just in time for our second life meeting.

I have to admit, I am not the most computer savvy person and not only was I a little intimidated by the course, but experimenting with the "unknown". While viewing the "Project New Media Literacies" website, I was struck by their list of "skills" needed to engage in today's participatory culture. One of the skills listed was "play". This motivated me to make a connection between the students in my class and myself.

When given a "free choice journal", asked to explore a new website during learning centers, or generate their own discussions during literature circles, I often notice that my students are almost at a standstill when they are not given "specific directions" or asked to enter the "unknown". When signing up for Second Life, I felt the same way. I was intimated and nervous to break away from my structured universe. However, once I logged into Second Life I couldn't leave! Although I encountered some frustrations and road blocks, I kept challenging myself to overcome these difficulties.

I began to realize the importance of learning and gaining new knowledge through the process of "experimenting", learning from my mistakes, taking risks, and not being afraid to fail! This method of "play" takes problem-solving to a more advanced level of critical thinking. Being able to participate and function in a highly literate society entails that we not only instruct students to "consume" new media literacies, but promote them to take a chance and gain the courage to become "producers" of media. As the saying goes "Practice what you Preach", I firmly believe that this can only be accomplished when we too free ourselves and branch out into a "second life". See you all in the virtual "playground" tomorrow!

Erika Pavlecka 9/28/09

Thursday, September 24, 2009

test new photo

Just put the photo to my profile, to see how it works.

Questions about teacher tenure

Does anyone know about teacher tenure requirements? Do we need to stay in the same position to obtain tenure in a school? Can teacher and librarian be counted as a same position. I was a math teacher first year and latter I changed to be a school librarian in the same school and I have been in this position for another 1 and half years. If anyone knows the rule or any website I can find out the answers, please let me know. I am curious about this. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”

Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”
This article mainly describes the literacy achievement gap between the economic, cultural, and linguistic minority groups and those privileged students whose culture and language are the mainstream in the school curriculum.

However, the previous researches suggested that students who have low achievement in schools can manage very well in their intellectual and literate works outside of schools. Therefore, those minority and low achievement students can perform better if the school provides a “permeable curriculum” with culturally diverse contexts. This paper studied the case of Horatio, a Latino Sophomore, who participate an after-school digital movie composing program called “the Technology and Literacy Project” (TALP) which was coordinated by Michigan State University. Horatio was a fan of hip-hop. He creates a movie with his hip-hop passion and uses a lot of hip-hop literacy. The movie is reflecting his after school knowledge, and successfully, he interplays very well between his after school experience and the content in his movie.

In Horatio’s movie project, he demonstrates not only his engagement to integrate audio and video texts from school knowledge and home literacy, but also proves that his engagement and use of out-of-school literacy can help his performance in-school work.

This study is an empirical support for the permeable literacy curriculum to facilitate engagement and academic achievement for cultural minority students. Horatio’s case tells us that students can perform well if the conventional school curriculum takes into account of their diverse cultural and linguistic background. The school curriculum can build a bridge between students’ literacies in and out of school by reflecting their cultural knowledge in the school standardized assessments for literacy achievement.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Brass Article "Local knowledge and digital movie compsoing in an after-school literacy program"

In our first class, we didn't really touch upon this particular article, but I figured that I would shed some light on it.

I found it interesting to read the story about Horatio. He was an engaged teenager in outside literacy practices, but he could not engage himself in in-school literacy practices. He is involved in an after school activity called Technology and Literacy Project. The focus of his project is on a remix of Nelly's popular song, #1. Horatio takes this song and incorporates images from his home that are meaningful to him such as images from hip-hop magazines and clothing popularly worn by teens that are his age (basketball jerseys, athletic shoes, etc.). Horatio entitles his video "What Does It Take to Be #1." In this video, Horatio questions whether status symbols, such as having expensive clothes and accesories are really what are needed to be number one.

It is interesting to read how Horatio recontextualizes images and lyrics from Nelly's #1 song and creates his own version and remix on his take of the song. He incorporates his home and school culture, and different status symbols that are important to them. It is amazing what one can do with all of the technological advances that we have. With technology, especially with photo and video production, one can produce a twisted remix on anything that comes to mind and create an amazing piece of art that still has a literacy conception to it. It will be interesting to see our class' take on how people take an idea and create a multimedia twist that you never thought could come about!

Second Life

Hello everyone!

I just went to Second Life. It is cool. I think it will be exciting when I get handle on how to move and get around Second Life. I have a question about Second Life. How do you navigate the tutorial on Orientation Island? It seeems like I am just moving around and not getting any information. Therefore, I am confused. Can someone help me? Thank you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Make your own point-and-click games!

This might be something very much worth your while to spend some time mucking around with (might be useful for creating your media artifact to accompany your main video project). You do need to understand flash animation a little--let me know if you need a how-to resource on this and I'll email it to you.

Basically, is a game engine accessed online that you can use to create your own point-and-click games (i.e., your mouse cursor is the control device, and you can use it to navigate through or around settings, to select game options (e.g., "ring bell", "talk to ghost"), and to access additional information about the game narrative to help you solve or complete the game itself. The truly excellent thing is that it looks like the FableForge engine helps you to create really polished-looking games with just a modicum of knowledge about how such games are developed. That's our kind of produser service!

The website itself is designed to be both a space where you can create your games, play other people's games and comment upon/review and discuss these games (cf., Gee's concept of "affinity spaces").

The introductory video tutorial is a gem--the creator of Fableforge is a delightful commentator, and the tutorial is really comprehensive. Marco is also in the process of developing additional vdieo tutorials, available through his YouTube account.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meeting virtually in Second Life

Right, now that you've had time to recover from our first class, it's time for us to plan our virtual meeting in Second Life. This will be an opportunity for you to ask me questions about course content, about your video making, about your transmedia ideas, and about the readings.

We will meet inside Second Life (on Montclair's island) on Tuesday, September 29 @ 8pm. In what follows, I list the process you'll need to follow in order to get yourselves signed up for a Second Life account, to get the software you need for accessing Second Life downloaded to your computer, and then I'll tell you exactly where inside Second Life we'll be meeting. At the end of this post I'll also ive you details about how to get additional in-person support for getting yourself up and running (flying even!) inside Second Life if you find you're having trouble doing it on your own. Okay, so here we go.

Well before Tuesday, September 29, do the following:

1. Set up a Second Life account (, download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL:

2. Once you have completed the tutorial, you should know how to teleport yourself to different islands. Here is the URL for accessing my meeting space on Montclair's island: This is where we will met as a group for our question-and-answer session. So, you can click on this link hen you have your SL client open and it will teleport you to our meeting space. When you are there, create a landmark for this space (you'll have learned how to do this in your tutorial as well). This will make it easier to find tis particular space again later.

3. Send me your Second Life username once you have set up your account--that way I'll know who is who when we meet.

4. Once you're inside SL, you can also make me a "friend" (I'm Nell Aquacade inside Second Life)--that way you can send me private messages during the discussion if you need to, or if you get lost in SL, I can easily find you and get you unlost.

5. To help support you, my assistant is available in person between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesday, September 22 (this is next week, a week ahead of when we will all meet in Second Life). Come to room 3173 in University Hall (my office) and she will be able to talk you through any difficulties you're having with getting yourself onto Second Life and to our meeting place. She will only be here, though, if you let me know you need her help.

6. We also have at least two Second Life experts in our class, so feel free to ask them for help via our blog. And if you are familiar with using Second Life, don't be shy about sharing tips and hints with everyone via our blog.

Best of luck everyone, and see you in Second life on the 29th!


Additional hints-and-tips sites include:
+ use Google to help you troubleshoot problems you're having, too.

spend time exploring different video genres and affinity spaces

As you are thinking about what kind of story to tell and how to tell it, you're going to want to explore video hosting sites like YouTube,, Break. com and others, looking for excellent examples of the kind of video you want to make.

Here is a listing of some of the vdieo types you can consider making--or spend some time exploring:

Podcasting (useful for creating your soundtrack)

Podcasting once referred to digital audiorecordings that were issued as part of a single series. Listeners could subscribe to each episode using software like iTunes or online syndication services (e.g., Podcast Alley). Now, the term “podcast” is used to refer to almost any edited digital audiorecording that has been made publicly available.

Music video editing
Do-it-yourself music video editing can take any number of forms, but typically refers to the process of splicing together still and/or moving images in a meaningful sequence and synching this sequence with a pre-selected music or song track. It entails using video editing software like Windows Movie Maker (ships with PCs) or iMovie (ships with Macs) to edit both images and sound.

Music videos can use “found” images and footage, or can include live action footage you’ve shot specially for this project. Music videos typically pay close attention to mood, interpretation (well beyond merely illustrating the lyrics literally), the appropriateness of transitions and effects, etc. For assignment purposes for this course, your music video needs to include multiple images (with at least two of these being moving image clips) and multiple edits (transition and speciual effects, etc.).
• watch lots of DIY or fan-made music videos on (if you don't have a favourite music artist to search for, just try searching "music video") (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Anime Music Video remixing

Anime music videos—or AMV for short—are a subset of music videos. They draw entirely on anime—animated Japanese cartoons—as their source material for the music video. Thus, AMVs work on a number of levels; fans, for example, can read entire universes of meaning into the music video because they are familiar wit the series on which the AMV draws. AMVs can be “in cannon”; that is, the AMV draws from only one series (e.g., Naruto, Card Captor Sakura), or can draw from multiple series (e.g., search for “Anime Hell” on YouTube).
• Main affinity space: (search for how-to guides; watch lots of AMVs) (for copying videos from DVDs—watch copyright rules) (Creative Commons licenced music)
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Stop motion animation

Stop motion animation is a process by which physically manipulated objects or drawings can be made to look as if they are moving unaided. It begins with a series of still images taken of a scene wherein carefully planned, but slight, changes are made in each still shot. Run together, these still images create the illusion of movement. Digital stop motion animation is like an analogue flipbook animation created with a digital still camera and video editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Popular examples of commercial stop motion movies and television series include: Wallace & Grommit, Coraline, Corpse Bride, to name but a few. stop motion animations can be music videos, or short stories, or full-length movies.
• You’ll need a digital still camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you.
• Stopmotion animation comes in a range of forms, including: whiteboard line drawings, hand-drawn images, action figure or doll stop motion, Lego stop motion, claymation, and so on. Search YouTube for examples.
•An overview of the process:
• A useful affinity space:
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac

Live action video that includes multiple edits

Live action video is anything captured “live” and in the moment. YouTube is replete with live action videos. For the purposes of this assignment choice, your live action video needs to include multiple edits; that is, it can’t be a single, one shot take with a title slapped onto the front end and credits at the back end. Your live action video can be narrative in some way (tell a story, an anecdote, etc.), documentary-like (e.g., interviews about local history; multiple perspectives on local key issues), or even mockumentary in nature (a spoof documentary).
• You’ll need a digital video camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you (you’ll also need an IEEE cable to hook up your video camera to your computer. Check to see whether you need a four-pin or six-pin plug.
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
• You might also want to play around with live action video and

Flash animation

Flash animation is a form of digital animation, as distinct from cel-based animation we all grew up watching, where each cel of the animation was painted by hand. Cel-animation comprises two types of frames: key frames and in-between frames. Key frames mark principal points in the animation (e.g., where a character starts to fall, a hand moving to brace for impact, etc.). In-between frames fill in the moment between key frames. Key frames are drawn by the master artists, and in-between frames by “tweeners” or people specially hired to this often-tedious work. Flash animation automates the in-between (or “tweener” “cels”, saving the animator hours and hours of time. For this assignment, your final flash animation video should be at least 1 minute long.
• Search YouTube and, and watch lots of examples
• Use Google and YouTube to search for how-to tutorials (e.g.,
•Online service for creating your own flash animation:
•Download and muck around with the trial version of Adobe CS4 (popular flash animation software): (click on “Get the trial”; for PCs only)

Second Life machinima
Machinima (machine + cinema) describes the process of using video games or 3D worlds to generate the scenes, sets and actors for a movie. A Second Life machinima is a movie filmed using the world of Second Life as your location. Your actors will be the avatars of each person in your group. the easiest way to create a Second Life machinima is to sign up for an account, explore Second Life a little, then watch a whole bunch of Second Life machinima in order to get a sense of how it’s done. In a nutshell, creating a Second Life machinima requires three different pieces of what we’ll call software. The first is the Second Life client. This client works like, say, MSN and Yahoo Messenger, where you have to install the interface software before you can use the service. This is what you use to log-onto the virtual world of Second Life. As you are moving around in Second Life you use screen capture software to record what’s happening on your screen. This generates a video file that you can then edit in the third piece of software, your video editing application (e.g., windows Movie Maker or iMovie). You can use a digital voice recorder—a separate device, or audacity, free recording software—to create your spoken soundtrack. For the purposes of this assignment, your Second Life machinima should be at least 2 minutes long, involve multiple edits, and be a stand-alone story.
• The Second Life Machinima channel:
•Search YouTube for “Second Life machinima”
• How-to guides and other resources (including links to free screen capture software):
• Set up a Second Life account (, download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL:
• Audacity (for creating your sound track; free software):
•How to use Audacity to create a soundtrack:

Additional hints-and-tips sites include:

I started film making on my dog,

I started film making and my dog, Bella, is the main character in my movie. It is story about "Bella and Me". I already made several videos on him. Bella is very cute; however, this is the first time I make videos for him. I will catch more funny stuff for my movie.

Is here the only blog site we use for MEDI 503?

So we should post in “Education Media Moguls” blog instead of our personal blogger site. Am I right? I used to post in my personal blogger, I guess for MEDI 503, we all need to post in this “Education Media Moguls”, not personal blogger.

Thank you for any response.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I just created my first movie.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enter Here article

I just finished reading the short article by Kajder, "Enter Here". I thought it was a great article of how the teacher motivated her students to complete their own digital stories. Also, I think the steps listed in the article on completing the stories will be very helpful when creating our own digitial stories (if that is the type of project you might want to do for this course). Just thought I would share that with you, in case you were like me and had no idea where to begin. Hopefully it will be helpful. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hi Michele

Well done everyone!

What a sterling job you all did today!

If you are looking for the video editing software on your home machine and can't find it, here are links to downloading it:

For PC users ("Windows Movie Maker"): (this version won't work on Vista, though)

For Mac users (iMovie): (if you the iLife suite, go to to update your software)

Throughout the course I aim at introducing you to free or nearly free software and services so that you can use them easily in your own classrooms. Video editing software is a cool tool to have at your finger-tips in any classroom!


I am hoping this works now! :)


Hello everyone! Looks like I had to create a gmail account which took longer than excepted! Thank you, Jessica, for your help. :)
This class seems interesting so lets have some fun.

Excited and Confused

Greetings to All!!

I'm excited about posting my blogs but still slightly confused!!!

Thanks for the Invite!

This looks to be quite an exciting course, even though we are only meeting four times! I look forward to learning how to use, create, and manipulate media to produce some interesting results. I am wondering, is this going to be more difficult for PC users like myself than for those who have a Mac?

Hello Everyone :)

This course seems like it is going to a lot of fun. I am excited to get started on the final project. Seems like I have a lot of learning to do of the different programs to use, but also should be fun to create :)

MEDI 503

Hello All! Ask me how I am doing in a couple of days!
I am excited about this class:)

First class

Hello everyone. This class seems to be exciting.

Kelly's First Blog for Ed Media Moguls!

Hello! My name is Kelly, and this is my first post! I've used before, but a while ago, and I'm not very famaliar with how it works....I hope it's as "user-friendly" as they say and I can figure it out!!!

Talk to you all soon, Kelly

Erika's First Post

Greetings! I hope you all enjoy using It is a fun and user-friendly website. Can't wait to get more practice using it!

Til next time,
Erika P.
This is my first time making a blog so excited! haha
Hello MEDI class!
Welcome to MEDI 503, Fall 2009!