Creating Journalists at Emmanuel College

A guide for ENGL 2501 and ENGL 3801

In an act of solidarity, I attempt my own homework assignment. Results are mixed.

Sometimes I look at my syllabus, months after I’ve written it and while I’m in the swing of teaching the class, and wonder what the heck I was thinking. This is what I wrote back in December when I was putting together Writing for Electronic Media:

REALITY SHOW: Today, you are going to chronicle a day in your life. Take a picture at least once every hour that you are awake, starting with when you get up and ending when you go to sleep. The photos do not need to all be of yourself and they should all be appropriate for public consumption. Yes, you will take a photo during this class. You will then combine all your photos into a slideshow, with a voiceover.

It sounds easy, right? College students love taking selfies! They get to practice with video and it nicely ties in with the discussion of podcasting and the storytelling of “Serial” from a few weeks back! They’re going to have so much fun!

I did this assignment on Monday and put together the video today.

Sorry, guys.

Assembling the actual video and photo snippets themselves was easy. However, we’re using Videolicious this semester, and the free version we’re using only allows 10 shots total. So keep this in mind when you’re putting your video together — I will freely admit to cheating and actually assembling all my clips together using another video program before exporting to Videolicious for the voiceover.

The still images can go by quick. I made a script, but had to do many many many takes before I was able to match what I wanted to say with the images on the screen. My coughing fits didn’t help. Jendha, the Sun editor you see briefly in the video, can attest that when it’s my turn to do the daily video newscast, I usually mess up the report multiple times.

There’s a reason why I went into print journalism, after all.

Keep this in mind as you assemble your video:

  • You’re going to want to edit the existing sound in the video when you are doing a voiceover. You can alternate between using the sound on the video and the voiceover.
  • The photo clips can go by fast. Be prepared to improvise.
  • One minute is pretty quick. I kept messing up the end by running out of time.
  • Correct your photos before you load them in the video — adjust for lighting.
  • Allow for plenty of time for the video — if you’re doing it right before class, it is not going to be your best work!

Videos, along with a brief story discussing how you put it together and what you might have planned knowing it was a Reality Star day, should be posted to by the start of class.  Don’t forget to set a featured image on your post. We will be watching everyone’s videos in class on Monday.

Have fun with it!


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This entry was posted on March 26, 2015 by in Digital Tools and tagged , , .

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