Attaining the Text?: Teaching Annotated Video Essays in the Multimodal Classroom

Writing in 1975, the French film theorist Raymond Bellour characterized film analysis as a writing activity “carr[ied] out in fear and trembling, threatened continually with dispossession of the object” (19). Much of this owed to the technological limitations that then made it all but impossible for critics and scholars (save the… Continue reading

A Thousand Hamlets

By Sarah Higinbotham, Fan Geng, and Dun Cao What does Shakespeare offer aerospace engineering majors, who often take eighteen hours of computational science, physics, and biochemistry in a typical semester? How does Twelfth Night—Shakespeare’s comedy about the flexibility of language and love—contribute to Georgia Tech students’ analytical skills? And how… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Three

In two earlier posts in this series, I gave an overview of why I use interactive fiction games in my composition classes, and described an “easy way” to do this: that is, using these games as “the reading” for a course unit.  If you’re just joining us and you want… Continue reading

Taking on the Trivial in English 1102

When this school year began, everyone was talking about the GT convocation video that went viral. “You can do that!” was the theme of the speech, where “that” meant things like changing the world, crushing the shoulders of giants, and building the Iron Man Suit. Big ideas! Big risks! Epic… Continue reading

Theatrical Training in the Multimodal Composition Classroom

I run my first-year composition seminar as an acting class several times per semester.  What does that mean?  If you were to visit us, here are some of the things you might witness: physical and vocal warm-ups movement and dance experiments improvisation games observation exercises imagination training scene study discussion… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies, Part II: Cinematography

Clint Stivers and Phoebe Bronstein In the last post, we discussed mise en scene–everything that is put/placed in the scene–and so for this post, we are moving on to cinematography. Cinematography refers to what the camera does from framing, to focus, and movement. In early filmmaking cameras were heavier, and… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies: Teaching Cinematic Style, Part I

Phoebe Bronstein and Clint Stivers As teachers of multimodal/WOVEN artifacts, we naturally understand how to teach students how to arrange images for effective designs in posters, presentations, infographics, and other visual mediums. Despite having experience in visual rhetoric, some teachers express difficulty in how to approach teaching film. In this… Continue reading

The V in WOVEN: Student Posters and the Rhetoric of Waste

 In this post, I’d like to write about student posters and start/continue a conversation about the importance of the V in WOVEN. The Rhetoric of Waste and Sustainability: Teaching writing at Georgia Tech, an institution that prides itself with training problem-solvers, I invite my students to use multimodal communication as… Continue reading

“We Can’t Stop Here! This is Tech Country!” Going Gonzo in English 1101

I’ve been thinking lately about one of the many useful comments my adviser made about the failed novel I submitted in the last semesters of my MFA program. She told me I’d shown bad manners. Instead of organizing the book into chapters, I used stick figure drawings to mark breaks… Continue reading

Telling Stories, Building Community: “This I Believe” in the First-Year Writing and Communication Classroom

In the spring of 2011, Georgia Tech started a “This I Believe” project in partnership with the Writing and Communication Program. The campus reading series and student contest are unofficial off-shoots of a popular radio series, originally hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s, and then resuscitated on NPR… Continue reading

The “This I Believe” Essay and Orality in the Classroom

I use the personal “This I Believe” essay as a means to develop and appreciate oral language skills in the classroom. My students script their essays keeping in mind that they will be submitting their essays in an audio-visual format. I have found that this project has a profound impact… Continue reading

Making [Multimodal] History: 21st Century Timelines and 20th Century Connections

One of my challenges in teaching students is that they often don’t get a lot of my references. I’m sure many teachers have had this problem: jokes that you think are hilarious fall flat, or mentions of pop-cultural figures that you assume are common knowledge end up getting blank looks…. Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Two

In an earlier post, I explained why I think interactive fiction (IF) computer games can drive valuable experiments in the multimodal composition classroom.  You can check out Part One for an overview of what IF is and what I think it can do for students.  In the present post, I’ll… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction

Regular readers of TECHStyle may remember my mentioning, back in September, my plans to use interactive fiction (“IF”) computer games in my multimodal composition classes.  After two semesters of teaching students to read, play, and write IF games, I can say that the experiment was mostly a success.  While we… Continue reading

Go Make Yourself Un-useful

In a previous post, I reflected on the successes and failures of a project I assigned in my Spring 2012 course on copia, and assigned again with some minor changes this semester. Students spend the first month of the semester gathering an eclectic mix of material, organizing it into categories,… Continue reading

Infinite 1102: A Collective Romp Through Infinite Jest, Part I

  1079 pages. 388 footnotes.  2 lbs 10 oz (and that’s the paperback). David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is nothing if not formidable. It languishes on many a “to-read” shelf alongside Joyce’s Ulysses and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Despite its intimidation factor, Infinite Jest can be a pretty accessible read, and it is absolutely… Continue reading

“Tech Gets Medieval” and Other Ways We Teach the Past

For many instructors, teaching about the past can be problematic, especially to Georgia Tech students who may have little interest in any time period that predates their existence, or who may have the interest, but don’t see how such topics can aid them in their pursuit of a STEM degree…. Continue reading

Once more unto the breach …

Or, Why Teach Shakespeare to Georgia Tech Undergraduates? This is the third term I’ve used early moden drama as the theme for my 1102 classes. In fall 2011 I taught a course on London City Comedy (The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Bartholmew Fair); last spring I… Continue reading

Are You Nobody, Too? Getting Dialogic in English 1101

In the first weeks of my 1101 course, The Allure of the Unreliable Utterance, I introduced my students to Socratic irony and to Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. We watched snippets of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show—programs which rely on irony for their satirical humor—and we read Plato’s Symposium—a… Continue reading

Thinking outside the box by playing inside the box: Games as texts and teaching tools

  On April 26, 1478, as part of a plot against the Medici, conspirators attempted to assassinate Lorenzo de’ Medici and his brother Giuliano in the Duomo at high mass. Giuliano died but Lorenzo escaped. The reverberations of this daring plot, known as the Pazzi conspiracy after the family who… Continue reading

Course Blogs: Commenting Privately on a Student’s Post

Rebecca Burnett and I had a conversation about the nature of commenting on student blog posts. As instructors, should we have the option of making a private comment – viewable only to the student author, or should all comments be viewable to all students? There is an argument to be… Continue reading