Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Credo & Digital Media Production

“Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself in a dark wood.”
           So begins, Dante’s Divine Comedy as translated by Anthony Esolen. 

And here we are about midway through the #CLMOOC with our own invitation into composing a credo with particular application to the principles of Connected Learning.  Here's a video on mine and a few production notes:

Credo July 9 2013 (the link)

 I find this an imposing task, even slightly frightening, and yet much appreciate the opportunity and the models that have been offered.  I’m increasingly aware of the importance of making access, a topic that Terry Elliott rightly emphasizes.  The first weeks’ focus on comic-style avatars and re-mixing toys probably paved the road, opened gates, or lowered barriers, in Terry’s metaphor.  The early stage of HOMAGO (Ito, etal.) suggests that our design efforts with digital media, with connected learning, should consider how to allow and encourage “hanging out.”  It’s not only a foundation for the apprenticeship of observation, it builds the trust needed to go into the dark wood. 

So after checking out a variety of takes on credos, I returned to some of my treasures, favorite photos I’ve taken and depths of living I’ve tasted.  I thought I might try some of those apps (like Haiku Deck or Story Creator, both added to my iPad from the MOOC), but I chose to work with my medium of choice.  Not exactly, because I thought I’d be using Camtasia as I favor some of its editing capacity; but it didn’t want to import images I’d mixed on Power Point.  I find it easier to play with text fonts, shaping and sizing photos, etc., in PPT than in the production programs I use.  Then it’s easy to do screen captures of the slides and import.  I found it easier to bring them into iMovie than to Camtasia, and I want to keep working with iMovie because it’s more and more the program of choice and use by my college students.  I prefer other programs for adjusting visuals, mixing audio tracks, but . . .

My sound track came from a mix I’d composed on Ujam.com.  I’d recorded our front porch chimes (key of C) and birdsongs in our woods.  I mixed that with a jazz option, I think.  I wish I had more knowledge and skill with music, but I’m determined that digital media production should be as authentic as possible.  So I “make” as much of it as I can. 

The script for voice over came through early morning musing, travel to tend my horse (not able to ride due to a lameness issue so I’m currently soaking her front hooves in Epsom salts instead of riding), reading other credos, and dialoging with favorite images. 

I’m thinking making credos might be a good activity for professional development with teachers.  Choice is so important and I’ve seen terrific variety in the apps and other presentational formats that have used for presenting credos in the MOOC.  I also like this focus because the content is anything but superficial; and this depth, therefore, counterbalances the capacity of technology to go glitzy.  I remember far back in rhetoric classes when I first heard, “Style is the man.”  The split of style from substance costs dearly.  Integrity must be key.  Authenticity.  Meaning.  However we make literacy, let’s walk the talk.  And let’s make a path toward someplace worth going.