Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's start recording some audio

In this week's class we will be touching base briefly about your audio projects and then spending most of our time learning how to tell stories with video.  Tim McCarty from the Journalism/Digital Media Department will be joining us again to conduct a workshop on camera technique.

You should come to class with a script for your audio project.  And when you are ready to record some audio use this link to reserve a time with one of our TEAC recorders.  I will post a short video soon showing how to record and download your video to a computer.  You'll find that the TEAC's are very easy to use.

Our assessment test will be available on Angel for you to take soon.  This will include 75 multiple choice questions and you will need to complete it by midnight on Tuesday, March 15th.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Story structure analysis, planning audio projects

Script from Office Hours
In this week's class we will take some time to talk more about story structure and plan for your audio projects.  To prepare for class:

  • Choose one of the class blog posts from the past week that you think did a good job of following the three act story telling structure we talked about in class (do not pick your post).  Take notes on how that specific post followed this story structure and be ready to share this information with the class on Wednesday.  Your notes should explain how each act is reflected in that post.  I will not collect these in class, but be sure they are detailed enough for you to walk the class through the post you are analyzing.
  • Work with your audio project partner to come up with your project idea, or at least develop a short list of ideas.  Be ready to share this in Wednesday's class.
  • If you have not emailed me with the name of your audio project partner, add this information to the audio project sign-up google document using the link that I emailed to you.
I would like to push the final audio project due date to after spring break - March 16th.  We will talk more about the technical aspects of doing this project in this week's class.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blogs by AU biology grads

A handful of our biology alums have made a valiant effort to maintain their science blogs or start new blogs after graduating from AU.  Here are a couple to check out and encourage:
And while you are at it you may want to add AU's new environmental science blog to your Google Reader accounts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New posts and planning your audio projects

Storyboard panel by Jay Hosler
for Office Hours.
I hope that today's discussion with Jay Hosler and Tim McCarty provided some background for thinking about story structure in your writing.  As I mentioned in class, we will not be meeting next week since a number of us will be in Columbus presenting research posters at the Statehouse.  But I have some assignments for you nonetheless:

  • Add a new post to your blog that uses the three act structure we talked about today, and that Randy Olson describes in chapter 3 of his book.  As you think about this classic story-telling structure, see if your first post used it, and whether the science blogs you read utilize this structure.  Your new post should be between 300 and 500 words and once again convey something in science.
  • Identify the person you will collaborate with on your audio project.  Ideally you will be working in pairs, but if needed you can work in groups of three.  Four is too many.  Email me if you need help identifying a partner/partners.
  • Once you have an audio project collaborator, think about potential topics for a one-minute audio segment.  What ideas/information do you want to convey?  How will you do it?  What will be the structure of your segment?  What is the story?  Perhaps you could use our list of what biologists should know to find a general area of interest, but then you will need to focus in on specific content? Is there an interview you could line up?  A faculty member on campus, or a scientist somewhere else?  Phone interview?  Your goal for this week is to develop ideas for potential projects.  Next week we will focus on fine-tuning those ideas into something more concrete.  Your audio segment will be due March 2nd.
  • As always keep on eye on your Google Reader account and this blog.  You may find some good project ideas by keeping tuned into the science blogosphere.  And keep commenting on each other's posts (and posts from blogs in the real world if you dare).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Want to hear how your audio compares?

Here is a sample of the re-mix submissions I received.  As you listen to them think about how the edits change the story being told.  For the next few weeks one of our topics of discussion will be story structure.

Science blogs as a communication tool

Kevin Zelnio has a great editorial on his Deep-Sea News blog on the value of blogs and other social media for engaging non-scientists with science.  His comments tie directly into the ideas we have discussed in class and are worth reading.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Seriously though . . .

if you are heading off to graduate school next year or thinking about it for the future you should check out a free guide from the journal Science about career steps from undergraduate degree through post-doctoral positions.

You will need to sign up for Science's free career service when you request the booklet.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preparing for audio and video projects

I have been very impressed with your first round of posts.  They have been entertaining, informative and engaging.

For this next week I would like you to do some preparation for a guest speaker coming to class.  Dr. Jay Hosler, a Professor of Biology from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, will be coming to Ashland to give a talk on his new Evolution graphic novel Tuesday, February 8th at 4pm in Kettering 112.  The next day Dr. Hosler will come to our class with AU journalism professor Tim McCarty to talk about storyboarding, science communication, and video design.  Over the following weeks you will use these discussions and your new-found audio editing skills in your team audio and video projects.

Here are some resources for next week:

And to get you thinking about how a science audio project might sound, check out some science stories from NPR.

And lastly, your group will need a platform for discussing and planning your projects.  Now that you all have Google accounts have someone on your team start a google documents page that you can all add to.  After starting the page you will need to share it with the other members of your group.