Unsplash- Domenico Loia

This course in Fall 2017 of English 221 has allowed to develop skills I didn’t have the opportunity to use in other courses. One of them was definitely creativity. Looking at all the assigment sketches and Podcasts, I see a large pattern of creativity and incorporation of writing skills as well as critical thinking. This course has given me the opportunity to reflect upon the work I have completed which has offered me insights to the progess I have made as well as the assignments’ goals.

It is important to note that respecting Digital identity and copyrights was a major component of this course as I used images to illustrate my work. In order to respect copyrights, I mostly used Flickr and Unsplash.

One of my favorite sketch assignments was the “Human development” which has allowed me to see literary work in a different context.

Christine Alexandru Eng221- “A poem”

Looking at the pile of pages we were given, it was hard for me to choose which is where I think is the most critical moment of this assignment. After I had chosen the page, I had to use analytical skills in which I had to read a narrative in a different light. Finding the combination of words was not easy as it had to be coherent. As a result, the ability to identify patterns that regular readers do not see is, for me, a good skills as it engages with our mind in a different light. It challenges the conventional reading of this text. This has allowed me to improve my critical thinking which was challenged.

Cristina.- “Literacy Narrative”

In my opinion, one of the major learning outcomes for the “Literacy Narrative” assignment was rhetorical composition as it was the one of the few tasks that resembled closely to a traditional essay. When writing this essay, I had to keep in my mind my audience and incorporate how different platforms of technology have shaped my life. I have used different examples such as video games which were the first step to me reliazing how technology has developed into a complex learning tool. On the surface, it might seem as though video games have the sole purpose of entertainment but through tutorials, we can realize that it mirrors a teaching class. When I was little, I associated computers with job-related purposes. When writing this essay, I started to see a pattern in the relationship with technology, starting from simple to complex but that overall technology has the purpose to faciliating peoples’ lives greatly. As a result, my critical thinking  was engaged throughout the essay as I developed my arguments and reflect upon my ideas. I found this essay to be enjoyable to write as it looked into my personal life unlike other essays for other courses I had to do and thus I found this essay to be more genuine.

 

Podcasts were also a major task that required rhetorical composition but it did so in a different manner. Instead of writing, we had to use collaboration skills in order to have a coherent and worthwhile discussion. I found that this podcast allowed us to reflect a compare and contrast essay through the debate that we created in the podcasts. When reflecting upon my work, I realized that this podcast had a lot of similarities with traditional essays such as it structure, the formulation of a thesis and the quotations used. For our first podcast, we had the opportunity to open up the project series, “Media Nouveau”, with “Soul Pancake” where we discussed the term “Spreadbility”  defined by Henry Jenkins and how it compares to old media where I was the producer.

Cristina- “Soul Pancake” Podcast

In this podcast, since it was the first, there were challenges such as the topics that were going to be discussed and the maintenance of the flow of the conversation. When first recording, we found that there should be more collaboration between the two speakers and so it was decided to script the text. However, the script would make the talking dull with no spontaneity. We tried to correct this by adding jokes and we continued to do this in the other episodes. In the third episode “Interactive Cinema”, where I was the assistant producer, we discussed how interactive cinema has come into play with: “Puss in Books” which is an interactive animation movie on Netflix where the viewer can make choices and influence the narrative.

Cristina- “Interactive Cinema” Podcast

The Podcast “Patients like me”, where I was the line assistant, we looked at collective intelligence in the medical field along with social media.

Cristina- “Patients like me” Podcast

In all the podcasts, one of the major components was the critical thinking where we had to choose the topics discussed and how it was going to fit into the series, “Media Nouveau”  which extends topics from participatory audience to spreadability and others. When writing our Podcasts, we had to make sure that we weren’t using too many technical terms as the audience may become confused. Furthermore, we had to make the discussion to the point and entertaining in order to encourage the audience to carry on listening, This proved to be particularly difficult as the text was scripted and didn’t feel natural and it was challenging to incorporate jokes in the discussion as it was more of a technical analysis of media.

 

In the “Equality of Opportunity Project”, we divided the project into three different groups where I decided to compare universities with high rates of social mobility to our university, Emory University. In this group, we divided into three different sections such as the narrative of people that attended universties and have an idea of their experiences, the policies of universities that influence universities with high mobility rates compared to others and finally the data that is behind. I worked on the data driven qualities of two universties: “Pace University” and “California State University” and compared it to “Emory University” by using data visualization.

Cristina- “Data Visualization” Equality of Opportunity Project

This part of the project required critical thinking as I had to make sure I took into account relevant factors and form a context around the numbers. I created bar charts in order for the audience to clearly see differences and follow my comments. This project required great collaboration as the whole page of our group had to be coherent even though we focused on different aspects.

 

Overall, I find that the sketch assignments all required creativity and blended traditional essay forms with new media elements. I find that the Movie Montage, for example, is a kind of data visualization that is used for analysis.

Cristina- “Movie Montage”

In this case, frames of the movie were screenshoted and it gives an overall impression of the movie. It has challenged my beliefs to the movie’s general atmosphere that seemed darker than it was when watching it.

This course has allowed me to thoroughly develop skills in technology when creating data visualization and the fusion of images as well as my rhetorical composition and writing skills which have been highlighted when developing my reflections.

 

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