Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DM4Change Project Updates

The semester is drawing to a close. There has been a ton of activity in the DMC and I've had the chance to see numerous projects in their development. In an effort to get a pulse on where all DM4Change deliverable projects are at in the production cycle, I need workshop participants to check-in with me.

Specifically, each participant should indicate a) your plan for each project (if not completed) or if completed a brief reflection highlighting your production process; b) a couple of key learnings; and c) a few bits of advice for future podcast soldiers. Please remember that there are three deliverables for this course:

1. Event capture podcast (individual or group)
2. Produced podcast (individual or group)
3. Intersection Project and Portfolio Published on the Web/ Individual or Small Team-based

For details on these projects please refer to the blog post on the syllabus.

Your project update should be in the form of a forum post in the Project Updates discussion in our DM4change Ning! so that everyone is able to see where you are at. I also hope to compile your final projects in our Ning! for archiving.

Please note that the Intersection Project requires a reflection write up highlighting how you have integrated DM4Change ideas into your coursework. Please refer to Gulmira's Finance Function project as a great example. Some guiding questions you might address include:
- What was your goal for this project?
- How did you conceive the project?
- What training or help did you get from the DMC or others?
- What is your rationale for using the media tools that you chose for your project?
- In what ways would you say multimedia transformed or enhanced this project if it were a traditional paper or presentation?
- In what ways did the conception, development, and production of this project contribute to your learning experience in the class you intersected with?
- Now that the project is completed, how could you improve on it if you were to do it again?

Questions? Please reply to the Project Updates forum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Podcast Intro and Outro Template

Try this draft of an intro and and outro with the personalized outro:

Series: Environmental Speaker Series

Jingle Used: Elysium Long (if part of a pre-exisiting podcast series, jingle should be consistent across episodes)

Name of person/people recording Voiceover(s): Insert Names


The Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Hayward Family Foundation proudly present the Environmental Speaker Series - Tonight's topic "Seafood Sustainability. Is it real and is it enough?" This evening, you'll be listening to a panel discussion with Kim McCoy, Director of Shark conservation for the Sea Shephard Conservation Society, Dane Klinger, Stanford PHD student and former research scientist at the esteemed Blue Ocean Institute, Cassan Trener Director of Business Development at Fish-Wise, and Jason Scorse, assistant professor at the Monterey Institute.  Recorded live on campus in the Irvine Auditorium, Tuesday, February 24, 2009, this is the 2nd podcast in the Monterey Institute's 2009 Environmental Speaker Series.

  • In the intro you should be sure to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and sometimes why


This podcast was brought to you by the Monterey Institute of International Studies (and the Hayward Family Foundation).

  • If there is more than one sponsor, please be sure to include the name of the organization with their permission.
For more information about the Monterey Institute's International Environmental Policy Program, please visit our website at
  • If content in podcast references or relates to a specific program, suggest that here.  If not, simply say. "For more information about the Monterey Institute, please visit our website at

Sanaz Tofighrad and Andrew Volkman (candidates in the XXXX program(s) produced this podcast with the help of the Digital Media Commons whose mission is to connect the Institute to the world through digital media.

  • Be sure to credit yourselves and mention your program affiliations!

The Monterey Institute is an affiliate of Middlebury College.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Week 3: Asking Questions, Listening, Finding Stories

This week we are beginning to uncover stories as we think about moving beyond simply capturing an event on audio or video.

If you missed class last week, please take some time to listen to the rough cut audio recording of our video Skype conversation with Esra'a al Shafei.

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Business & Reminders:
  • Bootcamp Level 1 Training
  • Ning! Be sure to read my blog updates; Vision images coming through
  • Next Friday, February 27, we will not be meeting. We agreed to push back our meetings for an additional week so that some of us could attend the Advising retreat.
  • Take a look at this image
  • Take 1 minute to look carefully. What might be the story here?
  • Now let's listen to this NPR piece from today to learn more
  • Pay particular attention to the questions the interviewer asks
  • What makes for memorable interviews? Bad?
Our guest: Esra'a Al Shafei
  • Take 5 minutes with a group of 3 or 4 to brainstorm questions we might ask Esra'a
  • After 5 minutes, use the Live Question Tool to post your team's questions, paying close attention to those that have already been posted, promoting excellent questions with your team's vote. I will share the link to our questions with Esra'a so that she can respond.
Bio: Esra’a Al Shafei
Esra'a Al Shafei is the founder and Executive Director of, an award-winning, independent, interfaith network whose mission is to inspire and provide young people with the freedom and opportunity of expression, and promote a fierce but respectful dialogue among the highly diverse youth of all sects, socio-economic backgrounds, and political and religious beliefs in the Middle East. They use this freedom to prove that the collaboration necessary for stability is possible. Their online advocacy bridges seemingly impenetrable barriers of faith, geography and censorship to unite young people committed to fostering constructive discourse in the Middle East. Esra’a is also the founder and project director of a series of international activist campaigns for the rights of women, religious and ethnic minorities, and for freedom of expression, including the widely acclaimed, The Muslim Network for Baha’i Rights, The Alliance for Kurdish Rights, Migrant Rights, NoHonor (in honor killings), and Sexual Terrorism (to fight human trafficking and sexual slavery in the region). She is the recipient of the 2008 Berkman Award from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society for "outstanding contributions to the Internet’s impact on society over the past decade”. She also received the 2007 Templeton Freedom Award for Best New Intellectual Entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Monitor, The National, and other leading publications. Most recently, her live podcasts and blogs from Gaza during the Israeli incursions were featured on CNN International. She is 22 years old and is based in Bahrain.

“Activism 3.0”

In this presentation, Esra'a will take us on a tour of her cyber community, and discuss the challenges of activism in the closed-off countries of the Middle East, where speech and information are tightly controlled; how she and her colleagues maintain a fierce but respectful dialogue among members of diverse and often warring factions; and what the Internet can bring to the many religious and ethnic minorities in the region. She'll share how she and her team of cyber-activists are tackling the region's widespread human rights issues with Twitters and tweets, bytes, blogs and bleeps!

Contribution Options for the Ning this week (choose 1)
  • Write a reaction and engage in a Ning! forum discussion about our talk with Esra'a
  • Attend Esra'a's talk on Activism 3.0 on Tuesday evening 3/24, and write a reaction in a forum or your Ning! blog
  • Check-in to be sure you are on schedule to produce your first podcast
  • Begin getting your ideas out for your produced podcast episode for Global Voices series; use the Ning! to start organizing and forming groups

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bootcamp Level 1 begins

Ryan Gonzalez, Digital Media Commons graduate assistant, kicked off our Digital Media for Change Bootcamp series today with a group of workshop participants.

They will be introduced to Garageband basics, and simulate the production of a podcast using raw materials from an October 2008 Hayward Family Foundation Environmental Speaker series talk given by Dr. John Isham from Middlebury College who spoke about Carbon Offsets. To listen to the actual podcast from that event, visit the Monterey Institute iTunes U site.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Week 2: Freedoms, Vision, and Purple Cowness

It's midday Sunday and there's a little time to write. The kids are playing peacefully and it's raining as a southerly storm is blowing in. We had our second dm4change session last Friday. I felt challenged to maintain or maybe sustain the level of energy I experienced from our first session. The overall goal for this session was to bring to the fore a conversation about connecting with our work with a larger vision.

The night before class I spent a couple of hours reading and listening and following hyperlinks about Esra'a Al Shafei's work with Esra'a will be coming to Monterey and speaking about "Activism 3.0" on Tuesday, February 24th at Irvine Auditorium here on campus. I've arranged to have her Skype into our third session on Friday, February 20th for a conversation with us. I haven't met Esra'a but this workshop has allowed me to look differently at what people are doing and creating with new web tools. Often despite my own trumpeting for the world of possibility afforded by these tools, I still fail to find meaning or relevance for myself. Why should I blog, make videos, or twitter? What do I have to offer? Who is listening? Is it a waste of time? Like the participants in this workshop I'm exploring these questions for myself. No doubt that this is one reason the "change" in dm4change was purposely left undefined. What change? Who's changing who? How? Where? Why? I often suggest that digital and social media offer new possibilities for people to connect, to collaborate, and to communicate outside of the otherwise ordinary limits of time and space. I've heard uplifting stories, but I still have some reservations. Are we better off with these tools or are they a distraction? Do we have a responsibility to put these tools to a better use?

Down the Rabbit Hole
Originally uploaded by alister
I'm looking forward to the questions that are generated by the group. We're experimenting with the Live Question tool to aggregate and promote excellent questions for our talk with Esra'a. I learned about the LQT at the 2009 Educause Learning Initiative conference in January during a terrific presentation by Cole Camplese, Alan Levine, and Jim Groom. I've asked our workshop participants to go down the rabbit hole to learn as much as possible about Esra'a, with a particular mind towards exploring the impact of individual voices amplified by the use of digital media. There are rewards to late night web-searching. Mine was a link to a Reuters article about a music school in Iraq; this quote by young musician, Haneen Imad,
"When I play my oud, I defy violence in society... When I hear the sound of a helicopter droning over my head, I play louder;"
and by the story of Acrassicauda, a heavy metal band from Iraq. I was reminded of a documentary I saw by one of my favorite musicians, Michael Franti, titled I Know I'm not Alone.

Tip of the hat to PenPen Blog for help with embedding a video with a timestamp start!

So, my time reading about Esra'a got me thinking about freedoms that I take for granted. I feel fortunate to have access to the Internet, to cameras, to music. I feel fortunate to have connectivity when I need it. And I asked myself how I could raise this in our Friday session. It occurred to me that I could take this away from the group. We would simulate a lack of 21st century connectivity. Maybe we would awaken ourselves to something new. I had my doubts, but decided to give it a try.

We began the session with another mini-slideshow:
After everyone was settled in, the majority with laptops plugged in and open, very much like the group seen in the first slide, I asked everyone to stand up, remove their shoes, unplug their laptops, take out their cell phones, and bring them all up to the front of the room. We were going to remove our digital tethers for a little while and see how it felt. The forty pairs of shoes, the pile of cellphones, and the stacks of laptops were a sight to see. After a brief think-pair-share, reactions varied from:
"silly and naked," to "grounded,"
"re-c0nnected," to "appreciative."
With our shoes still off we watched a video mashup from that offers an alternative vision for Iran. There's striking contrast here between the video images and the audio track. Familiar voices from the past over images from recent events.

Why is vision important? As Lynn emphasized, it's so much more about the awesomeness of your 'gut,' and so much less about the tools. If we cannot express our core selves clearly, then we need to step back and re-evaluate. If we're looking to build the frameworks of possibility for the change(s) we want to see in the world, our tools should help us to amplify what we feel and know in our gut. Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander offer a set of criteria for visioning in their book, The Art of Possibility. A vision:
  • articulates a possibility
  • fulfills a desire fundamental to humankind, a desire with which any human being can resonate.
  • makes no reference to morality or ethics, it is not about a right way of doing things.
  • is stated as a picture for all time, using no numbers measures, or comparatives. It contains no specific of time, place, audience, or product.
  • is free-standing... [and] gives over its bounty now.
  • is a long line of possibility radiating outward. It invites infinite expression, development, and proliferation within it's definitional framework.
  • [expressed,] transforms the speaker. For that moment the 'real world' becomes a universe of possibility and the barriers to the realization of the vision disappear. (p.169-170)
During our session, we took some time to sketch out personal visions for the class and to express ourselves. Each participant will create a visual representation of their vision by selecting a single Flickr image and adding it to our photo pool on the DM4change Ning. Use of Creative Commons licensed material will be expected, and good practice for copyright considerations. I took a stab at this the other night and came up with:
I am shaping and contributing to an elegantly connected, intelligent, and creative community of learners and agents of change.
With our shoes back on, laptops and cell phones back in our hands, we moved on to view Seth Godin's Ted Talk from 2003 titled "Sliced Bread and other Marketing Delights."

I chose this video because of his discussion of innovation. Although his content focus is in marketing, aren't there some generalizations we can make about being remark-able, about diffusing ideas? What does a purple cow have to do with the realization of our individual and collective vision(s)? Could 'being the change,' equate to seeing, creating or being the purple cow? I don't have answers to these questions, but I suspect, as Godin suggests that there is a learning process, there is trial and error, and ultimately breakthrough ideas in the pursuit of innovation. To paraphrase a line from his talk, it very well may be that it is risky to sit back and play it safe these days. We need to continue to adapt and to look to the horizons for future trends, but we also need to be sure that we always honor and respect our gut, our purpose, and our vision.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Booya! Give me 60!

As mentioned last week, we'll be using our Friday time together to inspire one another, to organize, and to plan.

Boot Camp
It will be your responsibility to know your weapons of mass communication. To earn your rank with clearance to podcast, RSVP to one of the 60 minute Podcast Bootcamp Level 1 training sessions. We recommend that you sign up with a friend from class. Ideally, the first deliverable will work best if you pair up. You can do this on your own, but if you are nervous or not feeling the confidence, by all means collaborate! We're limiting seats to 15, if you cannot make one of these times, please send a message to Jeremy Robinson. (We initially were running this in a Doodle poll, but the Ning Event manager should work better; nod to Kristen Byers.)

Preparation for Session 2
We're going to talk about the world of podcasting this Friday and start organizing ourselves. To be best prepared for this session, search and listen/watch some interesting podcasts (audio or video).

What is a podcast?

How to find podcasts?
  1. As noted in the workshop overview, you really must have iTunes on your computer. Here are some tips on finding podcasts in the iTunes Store.
  2. Browse Podcast Alley or for top podcasts.
  3. Google it. Try the search terms [insert your interest] + podcast
As you listen to your podcasts, consider how it was produced. Here are some initial criteria you might note:
  • intended audience
  • length
  • style
  • formality
  • structure (e.g. intro, body, conclusion?)
  • editing / production
  • quality of audio, video
  • content relevance
  • subscribe worthy (would you come back for another episiode? Why?)