New Media Faculty Seminar: Fall 2010 Closing Hymn
With more schedule challenges, Gardner Campbell and I missed a podcast last week, so last night we turned out the recorder one more time for the last of our sessions for the Fall 2010 New Media Faculty Development Seminars that Gardner facilitated at Baylor University, and was also replicated out in our networked groups.
One of the surprises Gardner's group at Baylor had for him was their desire and plan to create some t-shirts with the logo of Ted Nelson's Computer Lib reading which was covered earlier..
The discussion for the last session of the seminar was Scott McCloud's "Time Frames" found on pp 711-736 of the New Media Reader (not available online, the book is well worth a purchase!). The participant facilitators had prepared a very hands on activity, and Gardner was proud to discover one of them was secretly a serious comic fan, and had brought blown up copies of a section of a classic Fantastic Four comic.
The group was divided up into two teams and each was given a pile of the comic cut into panels, and they were instructed to wordlessly work together to re-assemble it into a meaningful whole. On group worked to assemble it back to original, while the other, took a different angle, and attempted to create a new telling be re-arranging the panels. This led to a rather rich discussion of the concepts of time and space that McCloud covers in the reading.
We discussed the differences in the faculty seminar which ends with the McCloud reading, and Gardner's first year seminar class at Baylor, which, having more weeks, ends with the Tim Berners-Lee essay on The World Wide Web (pp791-798 in The New Media reader, only available in PDF to ACM Members at http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/1994/8/8964-the-world-wide-web). Gardner discussed one of the summary blog posts by one of the students who was moved by the cross over participation the students had with the faculty group, and what it meant to see her teachers struggle with the essays:
It is strange to think that this blog post…these words…are my final legacy. I’m going to begin by revisiting my first blog that I wrote for this class, however many days ago it was. I titled my blog “colorblind,” because I have always been attracted to things without color.... Somewhere throughout the semester I forgot about this idea of mine, and I lost sight of what my blog was about. I even considered doing my final project about facebook (which I am so glad that I didn’t!).
During the faculty seminar, however, I was inspired. We started talking about editing videos and whether or not it actually enhances the experience of the video, or if there is a chance that things are better in their most simple forms. A lightbulb went off in my mind and I could not believe that these brilliant faculty members were making comments that connected to my very first, immature, naïve blog post. I took this as a sign that my final project needed to follow my initial instincts. I began to process everything we had learned and came to the conclusion that everything I was trying to connect together came down to one, simple idea: perception.
Then Gardner let out his big news that next semester we would be taking a new position at Virgina Tech and would be in transition there from Baylor in November. The good news is that the New Media Faculty Development Seminar will carry on both here at Baylor, but also with re-commitment from the groups at University of South Carolina Upstate (where Cindy Jennings noted there might by a "202" version with returning participants), Houston Community Colleges, and Occidental College for sure.
We will be working on more materials and guides for the networked group leaders, but we agree that the key participation element is the regular blogging by participants (see the Baylor MotherBlog for a taste, as well as the blogs from HCCS, Sourh Carolina Upstate, St Lawrence University, McLennan Community College, Penn State University, and Monterey Institute for International Studies.
Yes, the seminar will be back in the Spring, 2011!