I’m a visual artist who teaches at University of Kentucky’s innovative Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies program, or WRD. UK WRD teaches visual communication alongside speaking and writing, in both face-to-face, print, and digital environments. As a teacher in WRD, I’ve created new courses and written short texts for teaching basic visual literacy and design. I’ve trained tutors at the UK Writing Center to help students with multimedia projects, and written online and print tutorials for using digital cameras, Photoshop, and iMovie. I’ve also taught video editing workshops in documentary courses and ESL classes.
My favorite course to teach, Multimedia Sandbox, focuses on how to combine words and images to inform, narrate, or persuade. We make posters that define slang and colloquialisms, comics that quirkily critique campus life, and movies that tell the story of a childhood memory. We play games like Sherlock Holmes, Photoshop Pictionary, and Whose Font is This? (Yeah, I know, sounds like yawnsville but they love it!) The course meets in a computer lab so students can create projects in the classroom. This means I am always there to say “Command Z!” It also means I am there so they can ask me “Oooh! Is it okay if I do THIS?” Usually, I say yes. (Oddly enough, I find that if the teacher is not there to say YES, the student assumes the answer would be no.) It’s fun to watch them loosen up, take risks, and get involved in a creative project that is truly their own.
In the near future, look for posts about teaching on my blog or in my twitter feed. Comment on them! If you’re a teacher working in a similar area, contact me. If you have a blog about multimedia composing or writing in digital spaces, send me a link. Let’s chat!