Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Video, Read the Book

For a final project in my writing classes, I assign a short call-to-action video on the topic students have been researching all semester. It's supposed to be a simple slide show with voiceover narration - not a music video. Images have to be public domain, noncopyrighted, or the students' own photos.

Objective: to raise their awareness of how word and image create meaning when you put them together. Also how to use them persuasively. The term for this is visual rhetoric.

I have my own research topic (mythology of the American cowboy) and do all the assignments first, to show the class what I've got in mind for them to do. This was my stab at the video assignment:

Read the Book from Ron Scheer on Vimeo.

"Read the Book" is for sections of the course in the social sciences and arts and humanities. The "Stamp Out TB" video that comes up next is for students from the health sciences.

Coming up: Andre Dubus, Broken Vessels


  1. I'll have to try again later. My satellite doesn't always download videos well. And we've got some cloudy skies today.

  2. A succinct kick in the ass if there ever was one.
    Good for you for point out the importance of reading the book and getting the real story.

  3. That's fantastic, Ron!

    I'm curious; what made you choose Vimeo over YouTube (I've been toying with making the switch myself). Also, did you use iMovie for that video, or something else?

  4. Ron, thanks for showing us this video. I agree completely that Hollywood and the movies have made the cowboy a fantasy figure that never really existed in real life. As you point out the real cowboys were low paid hired laborers who seldom bathed, shaved, or ate healthy food. Their few days off often were spent drinking, whoring, or gambling. It was a tough life and not like the movies at all.

    Yes, by all means read a book and find out the facts!

  5. I love hearing your voice. Really a great idea for students.

  6. Charlie, darn that satellite.

    Leah, it's all in the job.

    Chris, youtube got too commercial, and vimeo is a quieter online space. I used iMovie '08 with an external mic.

    Walker, I just get so frustrated by most kids' aversion to books and their willingness to settle for any old crap that's online.

    Patti, thanks. As for my voice, it's pure Midwest farm boy. Never changed.

  7. Ron, Extremely well done video and it is good to hear your voice. I would love to sit across from the table and discuss cowboy history some time.

  8. I'll happily sit at that table too . . . especially if there's BEER on it!

  9. Good video. But books can be as misleading as well, depending on the author's agenda. The variations never fail to amaze me when reading different versions of the same event. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to figure out how it really happened. But books are still a better learning tool in my opinion.

  10. I agree,I agree in spades. It's true of western fiction as well as films.