Mini-Argument #3: Creating Video/Audio Texts

Mini-Argument #3 — the last of the Mini-Arguments — is coming up. Originally, the deadline was scheduled as March 11, the Friday before Spring Break. However, with the group project and the video/audio element of the third Mini-Argument, I’ve decided to extend the deadline to March 25, the Friday of the week after Spring Break.

Here’s the assignment:

Mini-Argument #3 (50 points)

  • 500-1000 words
  • Cites 3-5 credible sources
  • Includes a video AND/OR audio text of your creation that reinforces argument
  • Posted to blog by 4 pm on March 25th

This argument should demonstrate your growing knowledge of how to construct an argument for a public audience, and it should also illustrate your awareness of the concepts discussed in Blair, Daley, McKee, and Takayoshi & Selfe. This argument should take your journey into your topic further than the first two arguments, and it should begin to address more complex and engaging questions that, ideally, build on the knowledge acquired for the first two arguments.

In addition, you should create a video and/or audio text that connects with or reinforces this argument to accompany your post. We will discuss some possible tools to accomplish this task in class, but you should be on the lookout for ways to develop this element of the project. You can make use of videos and sound clips that you find online, but the final product should be a new thing that no one has ever seen before.

Just as we did with Mini-Argument #2, we will be creating video and/or audio texts that are new to the world and that reinforce some element of the argument made in the writing of Mini-Argument #3. (And, just like the first two Mini-Arguments, the third will be its own piece of writing that should make an argument on its own.)

The video/audio element of MA#3 should allow you to become aware of and familiar with some tools and strategies for designing your own video/audio texts. The priority for this is that you use these tools to create a new text, never seen/heard before; therefore, I’m not necessarily grading quality as much as I’m grading effort. In that vein, I don’t have any time goals. The video/audio text you create just needs to reinforce the argument you make in MA#3 and be something you create. See what you can do with this mode of communication.

Just as with MA#2, if you use others’ images/sounds, be sure to cite them, either within the video/audio text or in your blog post. In the end, the video/audio text you create should be your own, something new to the world, something original.

Video

  • Animation
    • GoAnimate.com: This free online application (i.e., not downloadable software) allows you to create cartoons using already-created animations. You can type in dialogue and the site’s voices will speak the text. It’s a bit childish, but it would certainly achieve the goals of this project.
    • Xtranormal.com: Another free online application that allows you to make cartoons without special video/audio editing software. The emphasis is on dialogue with this application and there is less opportunity for lots of movement of characters. Slight more sophisticated than GoAnimate.
    • Pivot Stickfigure Animator: This is downloadable software. It’s been around a long time, so there is plenty of information available with a quick Google search for how to use the software. You will need to save your video in a format that you can upload to YouTube or Vimeo for web viewing.
    • PowerPoint: If you’re interested in a more complex approach to animation, you can use PowerPoint to animate.
  • Other Videos
    • OneTrueMedia.com: This online application allows you to upload images and videos from your computer and the web to create videos with text and music. The interface is very similar to iMovie and MovieMaker.
    • iMovie/MovieMaker: These are both software that comes with iOS Mac OS (for the Mac) or Windows (for the PC). Again, there’s lots of information available online for how to use these. iMovie in particular is very user-friendly, but both are relatively easy to figure out.
    • PowerPoint: Even if you’re not animating, you can turn your PowerPoint presentations into videos and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.
    • Screen Capture: If you’re on a PC with Windows, you probably can’t do screen capture videos yet, so download Expression Encoder 4. Macs, I believe, have a screen capture program available with iOS Mac OS (clearly, I am not a Mac person, sorry). Screen capture videos are good for demonstrating something on a screen, like I’ve done with the Blogging Tutorial videos. This would also work well with PowerPoint if you wanted to narrate along with the presentation, or add your narration after you’ve record the screen capture.

Audio

  • Audacity: This free software allows a bit more control over sound files than you have with MovieMaker/iMovie, though it is more complex to use. You can save audio on its own as an mp3 file.
    • Note: If you have space online to store mp3 files in order to play them on your blog, awesome! (WordPress doesn’t allow uploading of mp3 files to the blog as you would be able to do with images/videos.) If not, I would recommend adding sound to a static image and turning it into a video with MovieMaker/iMovie so that you can upload that video to YouTube or Vimeo.

Ideas

Hopefully these tools give you some ideas for your video/audio text for Mini-Argument #3. There are many possibilities: Xtranormal animation; text and images with music in the background; a purely audio reflection; a PowerPoint presentation with narration; or even just a regular old vlog (video-blog) with your webcam and in-computer microphone.

If you need or want to use a video camera, webcam, laptop and/or a microphone, see what you can borrow at the library.

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