This is where we’ll be discussing “Writing With Video: What Happens When Composition Comes off the Page?” by Maria Lovett, Katherine Gossett, James Purdy, Carrie Lamanna, and Joseph Squier. Along with the reading itself (available via eReserves) you might want to take a look at the “Writing with Video” web site. There are lots of examples and such of the kind of thing that is discussed in the chapter.
I think this essay is pretty straight-forward and for the most part, it rings true with my own experiences teaching students to make videos and making some videos of my own. The “writerliness” of the act of videoing sort of surprised me when I first did it myself, and I’d be curious to hear from you who have done book reviews and/or who are in the process of book reviews what you think of this.
A couple of key points I’ll highlight: first, I think that the point they make in the last paragraph on 290 is very true, that the goal of these activities is not to make “great filmmakers” per se, but rather, to raise awareness of how that process works. You learn a lot about any kind of text by making one, and that includes video. Though it is also worth noting, as these folks do in a footnote someplace, that there is an increasing demand for multimedia skills in the marketplace for people seeking jobs as professional and technical writers.
They bring up a similar kind of point on page 298, and here they are broadening the sort of role in the curriculum a class like “writing with video” might have, especially in relation to a traditional writing class. We talked about this earlier this term and I don’t disagree with this, though I will say that I wonder and worry about the questions of emphasis and when this sort of video writing is introduced. For a lot of the students I have had in first year writing here at EMU, I don’t think this class would serve them well because so many of those students are struggling with “words in a row” literacy. I mean, if I teach students in 120 or 121 how to make a really cool video but they still can’t write a clear paragraph, I think I’ve done them a disservice. Not that it’s an either/or thing, but it is a question of emphasis.