wrt spring 2010 daily homework

About Homework Assignments

The assignments that are listed on this page are to be completed before class starts the day they are due. The latest assignment will be placed at the top to reduce scrolling.

for Wed, April 14

Past experience has taught me that it is important to back up oral history interview footage as soon as possible, and I’d like to do that in class on Wed. Please have with you ALL of your interview footage so that we can back it up the course space on the university server. This will ensure that your footage isn’t lost just in case of a computer crash, software error, or anything else that we can imagine.

Please also have with you your final drafts for each of the projects we’ve completed so far: The One video, Remix 1, and Remix 2. We’ll be backing these up, as well.


for Mon March 29

Please read the essay by Edwards and Tryon, the essay from Tryon, and the selections from Tryon’s book that can be found on the Readings page of the course web site. The readings ask us to consider the implications and meaning-making potential of online video creation, remixes, and mashups.

Go through the Remix options again in more detail, thinking specifically about the topic or subject of your video, why it is important to you, contemporary society, and so on. Think about the kinds of images that are used to depict that topic in our society, or how issues relating to that topic are raised by certain visual representations in our society. For example, think about how beauty is depicted in magazines, TV, toys, and games and how that shapes our culture. How is education depicted? Gender? Race? How are these, and other issues, exploited? How are stereotypes reinforced?

Please also re-watch the two mashups of archival video and audio footage in class on Wednesday (“Communism” and “Ain’t We Got Fun?“), along with the commentary that accompanies them. Think about how the videos are employing video and audio, as well as our own sense of understanding of history, media, government, dread, fear, and so on to create meaning.

Locate one or two topic areas you might be interested in exploring for the Remix #2 project. Go through the videos in your area and locate videos that speak to, inform, and contradict traditional notions of that topic. Think about how older videos evoke different reactions from the viewers, and how animations and animals have a different impact than non-animations and humans. How can we exploit those differences? How can we engage them to help make our point?

After completing the above, create a 1 – 3 minute synopsis video in which you discuss the topic you have chosen, why it is important to you and general. Discuss the kind of point you want to make about this topic and why you think that point is important. Discuss some of the videos that you watched that you think you might want to mash-up and how you might bring those videos together to make your point. Talk a little about the sequence, the music, the kind of cutting you might do, and so on. In general, start talking about the kind of video you want to create, why you are going to use, how  you are going to use it, and why the statement you are going to make is important.

for Mon March 8, Wed March 10, & Fri March 12

For Monday, March 8, please read and be ready to discuss chapters 5, 6, and 8 in the Oral History Reader.

For Wednesday, March 10, please read chapters 9, 10, and 11 in the Oral History Reader.

Please also get started on the following, which is due by 11:00pm on Friday, March 12:

As discussed in class, Institutional Review Board (IRB) materials are an essential part of conducting research that involves human subjects. These materials include: completing the Protecting Human Research Participants training, completing an IRB Proposal, and completing an IRB Consent Form.

For the Protecting Human Research Participants training you must first Register. Go to the course, Protecting Human Research Participants and click on the Register link. Register for the course and then follow the instructions to complete the course. The course has 7 modules, 4 of which are followed by quizzes. It should take up to 3 hours to complete. Once you have completed the training, you will be presented with a congratulations screen (and perhaps an email will be sent to you). To see your certificate of completion, click on “Get Certificate” from the main menu. Take a screen shot of the certificate and sent it to Dr. Wolff in an email. If an email is sent to you, you can forward that instead of sending the screen shot.

The IRB Proposal is the document where you discuss your research goals and methodologies, why the research is important, and what safeguards you have taken to ensure the rights of your human subjects. The Proposal is a formal document, standardized by the institution to which you are submitting it.

I would like you to complete your own IRB Proposal. I have prepared an IRB Proposal Template (.doc, if using Internet Explorer, right click on link and save to your computer) to help you complete the proposal. You will see instructions at the beginning highlighted in yellow. They instruct you to to find all spaces where I have used ALL CAPS to tell you what to include in a specific space. I have filled in many of the responses for you already; please do not replace those responses. Please read the document in full before you begin to replace the ALL CAPS text with your own text. I have also prepared a sample IRB Proposal (.pdf) to give you an idea what they look like when completed. This IRB Proposal was submitted to the Institutional Review Board so that you will be able to conduct this research.

I have prepared your IRB Consent Form (.pdf) for you. Please look at it. You do not need to alter it in any way, but are still required to turn it in with the other documents.

You are also required to turn in a copy of your Protecting Human Research Participants certificate.

Instructions for turning in all materials are available at the bottom of the last page of the IRB Proposal. Make sure you complete the Investigator Checklist and turn in all materials by the requested time.

Do not wait until the last minute to get started on this. The materials must be turned in correctly and approved before you can conduct any interviews. If you have any questions, please email me.

for Wednesday, March 3

The below video assignment was recorded last year, so please ignore any mention of the work being due on Monday, or discussion of considering “experts” in our proposal (we’ll address that issue at another date). Upload the assigned video to the course YouTube channel. As well as the web sites addressed in the video, and before your recording your proposal, please also take a look at the videos at the Oral History Video Archive to get an idea of the kinds of topics students explored last semester. Please upload your videos by class time.

for Monday, Feb 15 and Wednesday, Feb 17

Although it’s fun for class to be canceled due to snow storms, it does put us in a bind when we have a tight schedule like we do in this class. As a result we’re going to have to squeeze in the work on RIP: A Remix (so we can get to the remix assignment) and the beginning of the oral history project. So, I am giving you the homework for Monday and Wednesday at the same time so you can take advantage of being snowed in for the next few days.

for Monday
For the first part of our remix assignment (assignment to be handed out on Monday) we are going to be critiquing and engaging a wildly popular YouTube meme: The Hitler Downfall Meme. I’d like you to familiarize yourself with the meme by reading stories about it in Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and The Times Online. I’d also like you to read the short blog post “The Director of Downfall Speaks Out on All Those Angry YouTube Hitlers” and the analytical post, “Memes as Mechanisms: How Digital Subculture Informs the Real World.” Please be sure to watch the videos, as well. We’ll discuss these, the ethics of such work, and the overall assignment in class. There is no response due (unless, of course, you want to do one).

for Wednesday
The below video explains the homework for Wednesday in the Oral History Reader and Acts I and II of When the Levees Broke. It was recorded last year when students had their own individual YouTube channels. Please post the response to the course YouTube channel, and note the correction that you are to read the Intro and Chapter 2 in the Oral History Reader, not the Intro and Chapter 1 as stated in the video. Please give yourself plenty of time to watch the movie. I’m looking forward to beginning the oral history discussions.

for Wednesday, Feb 10

The assignment for tonight is going to focus on fair use when using video and audio in an online environment. Please watch the following video:

Please also read Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video (the above video comes from this page; no need to read the section “Getting to know your Code of Best Practices”) and watch a selection of videos from each category on the page Researcher’s Top Five Videos in Each Category (scroll down a bit) to get an idea of the complexity of current copyright law, see Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States 1 January 2009.

for Monday,Feb 8

Please download to your computer and watch the movie RIP: A Remix Manefesto. The 87 minute movie is downloadable via pay-what-you-want. You can pay $0 or $100, the choice is yours. Follow the links on the home page. Here is the trailer:

Be aware that the video is a huge file that can take up to 2 hours to download depending on your Internet connection speed.

Post a 3 – 5 minute video response in which you discuss the movie. If you would like, in your response, remix a portion of the movie trailer (importing the full movie into Movie Maker or iMovie would take too long). To download a copy of the trailer, right click on the compatible file link, select Save As, and save it to your computer. From there, you can import it into either iMovie or Windows Movie Maker: Windows Movie Maker-compatible version; iMovie-compatible version.

We will discuss the movie on M and W next week as we prepare for our second unit on memes and remixes.

for Wednesday, Jan 27

Upload your response to the assignment for Monday, Jan 25 to the WRT Spring 2010 YouTube Channel. Please give it a meaningful title, description, and assignment meaningful tags. And, as Steve noted in the comments:

When you upload your 3-5 minute video responses, make sure you add it to the playlist (Response #1). Using playlists to organize our videos will make more sense once we’ve done several assignments; instead of having dozens of videos listed single-file in our uploads, visitors will instead be able to click the “Playlist” tab and view the videos by assignment. (By the way, when you have some time, add some more tags to the playlist.)

Please read Clive Thompson’s “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.” Please also think about the question that you would like to ask for “The One” assignment. Post a 1 minute video to the WRT Spring 2010 YouTube Channel in which you introduce your question and talk about your reasons for choosing it, what kinds of responses you expect to get, and whatever else comes to mind. Perhaps even answer it yourself. Please post these by class time on Wednesday.

back to top

for Monday, Jan 25

Please download, print, read, and bring to class the course syllabus (.pdf) read Computer Classroom Etiquette.

Download and install the Firefox browser (if you already have it, make sure it is the most recent version), and install the Download Helper plugin (requires Firefox). Download Helper allows you to save YouTube and other videos to your computer.

Log in to the class account at YouTube (if you do not know the username and password, please email me). Look around the course channel a bit and make some changes to the layout and color that you think will help make the channel your own.

Create accounts at Jamendo, Moby Gratis (film music), and Open Source Cinema using your school email address as your contact email. Jamendo and Moby Gratis are sites where artists have provided music that can be used by anyone for free. Moby’s site is specifically for “independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.” Splice Music allows you to connect with musicians and create your own music online. Open Source Cinema provides video clips that all users have permission to remix. Take the tours on each of these sites over the next week so that you become familiar with their features. They will be referred to in class but not necessarily shown how to use.

Please watch the following videos. The first two are explorations of the implications of YouTube. The others are on Creative Commons licensing and copyright. After watching the videos, use your Flip Video camera to record a 3 – 5 minute response to the videos. Do not merely discuss whether you like them or not. Rather, talk about them in terms of video, contemporary culture, and the evolution of communication and writing. Do not compose your response on paper ahead of time. Rather, just set up the video camera on a flat surface and begin talking (yes, have some idea of the main points you want to have). If you start and stop some drafts, so not erase them. We will use them in class. Or, instead of stopping and restarting the camera if you goof, keep the tape rolling and just keep on going. The goal is not a flawless execution, but to get your ideas out. Bring your video to class; we will work with it a bit and then upload it to YouTube.

“An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube,” by Michael Wesch (55.33 minutes):

“A Crisis of Significance” by a student in one of Wesch’s classes:

“Larry Lessig on laws that choke creativity”

“A Shared Culture”

“Wanna Work Together”

back to top

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *