Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Andi's Hunting Blog


To just see the pictures of the deer click on "My Journey" then scroll all the way to the bottom

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Iconic photos

Chapter 4 Jones & Hafner

Traditional reading styles are interesting when applied to online spaces. The concept of given information and new information really make me want to reconsider my blog's layout. I have a huge section of text in the middle, with no information sorted between the left and the right. It's a space that is rooted in a paper reading style, rather than an online space. This text really changed the way I thought about writing online.

I also thought the way that advertisements on websites that seek to sell things work was brilliant. I do want to know if this trend in design was because of research into psychology or if one site created it popular and others copied until humans were just so used to the formatting that we just expected to read things in this formatting. The example of Chanel's website was helpful to visualizing everything. It really exemplified the difference between ideal and real.

The idea of framing a video to attract interest is really interesting to me, especially given that in my literacy and technology class we are extensively discussing camera shots and how the audience will interpret things differently based off of these shots. Our argument is truly multimodal because we now have to consider tone, image, language, narration, text, speed, lighting, and camera shots. All of qualities need to be ideal to portray our message accurately.

Chapter 4: Multimodality

In Chapter 4, Jones and Hafner explain multimodality and its forms on the web. I found some interesting things when considering what websites use multimodality to their advantage.

Wikipedia: A very textbook-style website where text is rampant and images are only there to provide examples or scenery of the topic. There is also audio from time to time. Simple, yet effective.

Youtube: Purely audial and visual. Text is there for description and commenting, both of which are limited.

Reddit: Another text-dominant site where in comments and stories, users can get lost in walls of words and is very conversation-based. A lot of reflection on other semiotic modes is done in the comment section. However, style of text can be manipulated to reflect tone of voice.

Facebook/Twitter: A very social gateway to multimodality. Driven by status updates and photo-sharing, these social outlets are about as passive as multimodality can get.

Blogger: A solid combination of text and audial/visual accompany. Blogger is what I consider an ideal form of multimodality.

What I found about the uses of multimodality is that it isn't exactly the whole package of text, audio, visual, and input every time. Certain sites flourish in making their sites very strict and to the point, while others just present the content right in your face.

Martonis Chapter Four

The majority of the information in the chapter on multimodality was already known to me.  I did find the section of how Western cultures read interesting and useful.  I did not consciously recognize that given information was on the left and new information provided on the right.  This makes sense because of the way traditional texts are read, but I will be able to use this information when organizing my blog.  I also must wonder how a reader is affected if the roles are reversed.  Does this grab attention or confuse and put off the audience? 
I also thought it was intriguing to think about the real versus ideal in the presentation of ideas.  I never questioned why the log in was at the top right corner, nor did I ever think it was a subliminal tactic used to get more people to sign up for the website.  When designing my blog I will be able to use this information to try and gain more followers and responses.
The section about appealing to emotions and visual arguments will be extremely useful when I go to create my video.  I have been thinking a lot about what tactic I would like to use, and if I can manage to pull in both an emotional appeal and a video sequence I think I will be able to create a strong video.

Chapter 4

In this chapter, Jones and Hafner address the growth of multimodality. Now, with our digital screens being able to display so much more than just plain text, what we see is only limited to our imaginations. I have never given much thought to multimodality (like most terms we have learned in this class, it is something I see everyday but have never discussed it) but it is everywhere. As an extremely visual person, I am strongly attracted to visually appealing things. As a product of my generation, I most likely won't even notice (and certainly won't pay attention to) plain text without any special effects to draw me in.

What I think is so interesting is how these rules of digital literacy are now influencing traditional methods, like print. The shift to digital has also created a shift to visual, emphasizing the importance of a clear, quickly understandable message. We have become bored of plain text, and with so many flashing neon colors all around us, marketing teams all around the globe have to find ways to get our attention and display their message clearly, and in a way which we can quickly understand and process it.

With a combination of pictures and text, a message can be understood immediately. A visual aid can even become more important that the text when delivering the message. For example, I have recently noticed a change in the packaging of  Wal-mart's "Great Value" food products. The old packaging resembled a traditional style of text and color blocking which varied amongst the different foods. Now, all "Great Value" food packages have a similar appearance: white boxes with very clear text, with a large picture of the food inside the box. This new packaging makes it very clear for the customer to actually see what they are buying, as apposed to relying on the text description.

In this digital age, making your message visually appealing is the name of the game. Whether it be online or in-store, the clarity and speed of which your message can be understood can either gain or lose your audience in just seconds. Multimodality isn't just seen online, it's everywhere and it's more important than ever.

Chapter 4

I think what was most helpful about this chapter was the useful discussion of the effect of an image on the reader of a text, as well as the use of camera angles and other tricks to capture the interest of the reader. For example, a camera angled straight at the person being filmed is more easily identified with, and seeing the image rather than just reading it is more emotionally powerful anyway. Using the Vietnam war as an example of this emotional power of image was definitely an effective and true statement on the part of Jones and Hafner. It was, after all, the first war with extensive news coverage, and this had a profound effect on the way people reacted to it. These facts are valuable information, and I plan on making use of this new-found knowledge for my video argument, which I now know will need to be properly paced matched with an appropriate soundtrack. Just reading this has made me feel like I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for the upcoming video, and I'm more excited than ever to begin filming. I want to also take care to avoid the mistakes we observed in some of the videos in class, to give it a really professional feel, and I think the tips this chapter has to offer will be truly valuable throughout this process.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ch 4 Jones and Hafner: Importance of Matching Images with Words and Argument

Reading this chapter has helped lower my anxiety over making the Video Argument. I’m not that technically savvy, and this chapter broke a lot of things I was worried about down.  The biggest aspect is making sure everything connects.  We touched on this in class already about the video that showed a lot of breathing but was really about climate change.  Because the images didn’t match what the video was really about, it was almost unanimous that none of us in the class thought it was a good argument or even enjoyed watching the video at all. Had it actually matched it could have supported the argument more and even created an emotional response in us that would make the impact more powerful.

How to use camera angles was also helpful to learn about.  If I want to be more direct and powerful, the camera angle has to be directly facing the object or person, not off to the side or too zoomed out. Making sure our words enforce what we are depicting in pictures or videos is also important.  On page 82, the camera angle is directly on the calf, which creates a more powerful emotional than if it had been far away in a field or off to the side.  The words are witty and the reader has to actually think literally about what they’re saying which also hits home. Seeing the example images and reading about how to create videos effectively using multimodal means is starting to give me ideas about what I think I can handle in making a video argument towards. Before this chapter I was struggling in trying to brainstorm so I’ll definitely use this chapter to my benefit.

Chapter 4: Jones and Hafner

The biggest thing I took away from this chapter was the case study because it catches my attention in all of the chapters we have read. I am also very interested in photography and digital pictures. They make many strong points about how digital images are cheap, immediate, can be cropped, and shared. These are the reasons why blogging and "vlogging" and phones and text messaging are the means of conversation and how we live now. Most people have a camera or a phone or a computer. We can take a picture on any of these 3 devices and now cameras even have wi-fi! That's nuts. We are in an ever-changing world and we will never be able to go back.

Sometimes we use print like books and newspapers, but only if needed. I know that I rarely ever pick up a newspaper because I can find it all in the palm of my hand. I can also take a picture of something important I want to remember to write about later.

As a future teacher I love that taking pictures and printing them out has become almost an instantaneous occurrence because when I want my children that aren't so talented in drawing to have pictures or a way of expressing themselves they can take pictures of themselves, others, and things they are writing about to put in their books. As they say in the book, it has lead to a development of new literacy practices. We all are drawn to pictures and illustrations before we are the words because they are bigger, brighter and bolder. The digital world is competition for the print world because they have to keep up in wowing their audiences, too.

This used to be a media that was only available to the people that knew how to use it and had a camera where as now it is available to anyone who can get their hands on a camera for a minute and a computer. Now, there are both in most schools and there are also cameras that are almost as good or better than an actual camera so it makes no difference. It is changing the world we are living in, for sure.

Print Designers Protest!

In the past, reading the newspaper was one of the prime modes of gaining knowledge about the world around us. This particular medium combines both text and imagery to create an overall product, a process which is similar to the rendering of digital media. The text stated, “When you are writing for the screen, it is now much easier to make use of visual resources like images, layout, font and formatting.” As Layout Editor for the campus newspaper, The Leader, I can easily attest to the design simplification that the digital age presents for users. Templates are a wonderful thing.  

However, for those who are proficient in the Adobe Creative Suites program, the digital age only makes it difficult for print designers to find employment. Web-designers have taken the place of traditional designers, not only web-designers, but the average internet user as well. A print designer is forced adapt to the means to a new technologically versed world. Consumers are no longer looking for a well formatted book or pamphlet, they are looking for a blog design that will “wow” their fellow bloggers. Sure, a print-designer can understand the aesthetic process of creating a blog that is well-composed, but do they know anything at all about HTML? My guess, probably not. The traditional designer must adapt otherwise they will be quickly left in the dust by web-designers coding until their heart’s desire. 

As stated in the text, “As we move from the page to the screen, we are witnessing a change in the amount and quality of information that is communicated through messages.” When formatting a newspaper, a traditional designer had to rely on word-count and other tricks of the trade in order to make the text fit perfectly onto the page. A web-designer has so much more flexibility. Writers for the digital age are allowed to write however much they please, for all the web-designer has to do is add another web-page if it doesn’t quite fit onto one. However, since our minds are a little scattered-brained when viewing the web, writers try to simplify their words, making the life of a web-designer a little more simple.

 Though, this isn’t to say that web-designers have it easy all the time; it’s just that their work-load is different from the traditional process of creation. Coding is an art form in itself. It is a form of design that most print-designers are just learning now, in order to keep up with their ever-advancing profession. Although the digital world has changed our means of consuming media, the way in which that media is created has also been impacted in a way that is progressing every day. 

Chapter 4; Multimodality's exploitation of the human race.

  The fact that multimodality is necessary really says something about the world we live in today. Multimodality as discussed in chapter four is about "making meaning" of writing that can not be conveyed with just plain text. As is true with many other aspects of a digital world, this is a double edged sword.

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. It is much easier for me to show you a picture of my view from the hills of Northern California than it is to explain to you the beauty and splendor that it conveys.But you will never actually experience what you see in the picture or video shown. Pictures and videos are second hand experiences that we compile to try to keep the first hand experience alive in our hearts and minds.

Multimodality allows us to create page layouts and advertisements to sway people into feeling certain things and help them to lean towards certain decisions, but what isn't taken into account is that this is just another way of societal manipulation.It helps companies LIE and exploit the masses to benefit their agendas.What digital communication and writing does is eliminate the humanity of guilt, body language, and expression. While it is easy to convey certain things, multimodality and digital writing makes it easier to hide and ignore the opposing viewpoints.

One of the most prominent examples I could think of about "making meaning" out of plain text was the use of emoticons and pictures while texting. It is easy to send your boyfriend a picture of your homework so he thinks you're home studying while you're really at Sunny's getting yo' freak on. But the scarier thing is how emoticons can hide one's true feelings. Say you're texting someone you have an interest in. They actually hate you, but to spare your feelings or to string you along they send you a "heyy :) " back. Little do you know they actually on a date right now. Now imagine the same scenario in person. There is definitely no smile on the face of a player who just got caught, nor are you smiling. The thing that plain text lacks and will always lack is the necessary truth serum of body language.

Multimodality is just another way of manipulating and censoring the information and "truth" that is conveyed to the general public, or even loved ones. You can be hurting inside but text that everything is alright with some rainbows, puppies and butterflies. Seems legit. But if you had that conversation in person the pain in one's eyes would be evident, your posture would lie to the world despite the words that come out on screen or page. There is no equal alternative to face to face in person contact. While one can lie in person, it is much easier to do so through writing, and multimedia methods has only made the cycle of immorality and deceit spin around faster.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chapter 4

    Being an author myself (unpublished at this point) I see the linear direction that I wish to take a reader of my books or short stories. They must follow me in a straight path to were I want them to go. They know nothing of my world until I am good and ready to tell them.
     Words are the only weapons of the textual world. Is the night clear and cold? Warm and stormy? Is the character wet from the rain or his own sweat? The words are the only thing I currently use to make the reader understand what I want them to see.
     Multimodal takes a different approach. A picture of the moon in the background over fresh fallen snow would tell the reader clear and cold. A picture of a man running through the rain would explain why he is wet.
    Text added to the pictures would farther move the story. The clear and cold night could be a story of Christmas Eve. The man could be wet because he forgot his umbrella.
    Perhaps adding a  Christmas carol to the picture would stir the desired emotion of Christmas past. Dark, somber music may add a sense of foreboding the man running through the rain. 
    With today's inpatients with reading, the modes of communication quickly get information to the reader. More information can be sent to the reader before they loose interest. On-line reading is not like sitting by the fire with a blanket, fuzzy slippers and a good book. It is more like fast food. Get in, get out.
   The on-line eye tracking research of Nelson (57) suggests that the reader scans the page in an "F" pattern. The eyes move across the top from left to right, through the middle then down the left. The book does not get into it that well, but it would suggest that the most important information should be on the top. Second most important in the middle, then links listed on the left that you consider important. 
    Unlike books, it is next to impossible to control how your reader gets their information on-line. They may read what you have written and look at your pictures or they may not. They might click on a link and never come back. Assuming the links are related, they may still find out what you want them to know.     

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Emily's Blog URL



  • Bullying/Cyberbullying
  • Crime/Violence in Schools
  • Drug Use by Students
  • Education Reform 
  • Technology in English Class
  • Informational Piece (Modules)

Local teachers, local students studying education, education professors

Some basic elements of web design

  • It's often best to stick to 2-3 main colors and 2-3 primary fonts.
  • It's often best to stick generally to 5-8 navigation items. Think through the organization: will navigation be intuitive?
  • White space is okay; try to avoid clutter.
  • Page length should generally be about 2 screenfuls for a page, 6-7 for an article.
  • Allow users a way to get home on every page.
  • Include contact information.
  • Keep paragraphs short; consider lists and bullets.
  • Headlines: engaging, attention-grabbing, emotional response