Designing Wonderland Cafe, Part 8 (Driving Questions…)
February 12, 2017
The Alice in Wonderland Wedding Planner is here! New Ideas for Rosy Nuptials
January 15, 2019
Names Video - Personalization Principle
April 16, 2015
This past week, I got to recreate one of the most profound experiences I had in Berlin in 2008. The group that I was with took a trip to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Stiftung Denkmal fuer die ermordeten Juden Europas). What some do not know is that the events of World War II influenced my decision to study German at the undergraduate level, and during the time that I was studying the language, we learned about the memorial. (It’s common to study the culture, history, and economics of a country when you study a language).
The memorial lies in the government district of Berlin, not far from the Reichstag as well as the American and French Embassies. In structure, it has similarities to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, most notably, the stelae structure. There is a courtyard in the Jewish Museum that has large boxes like the stelae in the Memorial, with plants on top. I’m not sure how the courtyard was constructed in the latter case, but the effect makes you nauseous.
In any event, both experiences had a profound effect on me, but it was one room in particular, the room featured in my video that I remember most. It’s interesting, because you’d think that with all the photos that exist of the survivors, that I’d remember those. It’s not that I don’t. It’s just that the idea of a person’s name being all that’s left of him/ her is sorrowful to me. A whole life reduced to a name.
Using Personalization and Other Multimedia Techniques in This Video
It was with this in mind that I approached my video. Because it was a personal experience, it was easy for me to use personalization in it. The two I used most notably were the principles of conversational tone and making the author visible. I avoided speaking on the video in part because of the impact I wanted to make. I don’t believe it detracts from the video, however, and on a different, but related note, making this choice made it easier for me to not break the dual-channel “rule.”
Because the experience is personal to me, it was easy for me to tell the story in a personal way. Despite the grave subject matter, I didn’t feel the need to use more complicated speech. Also because I knew that words, or more specifically names, were going to play a big role in the climax of the video, I wanted them to be easy to read. When you see the video, you’ll get why.
It was of great help to be a writer in this case. More specifically a writer who used to work in radio. In this medium, sentences tend to be short in construction and easy to understand. Part of the reason has to do with it being difficult as a radio personality to read really long sentences, particularly if you have to read them live on air. In this regard, it would have been simple enough to voice the script, but for thematic purposes, I chose not to.
Going hand-in-hand with this was the use of making the author visible. All of the historical
information in the video is filtered through my personal experience. Although I did some research on names, the beliefs about names, and of course on the memorial, it doesn’t read like a textbook.
Researching This Project
The list of names came from Wikipedia. I just did a search on “people who died in the Holocaust.” I did a further search on the “power of names in the ancient world” to get information for the first part of the video. That in part was sparked by something that Margaret Atwood talked about during her campus talk. I already knew I wanted to do something about the memorial, but her talk really helped solidify what I’d do. Finally, I got some photos from Creative Commons, because mine have all been lost.
1.1.2.a Create a plan for a topic of a content area (e.g., a thematic unit, a text chapter, an interdisciplinary unit) to demonstrate application of the principles of macro-level design.
1.1.2.d Incorporate contemporary instructional technology processes in the development of interactive lessons that promote student learning.
1.1.3.a Produce instructional materials which require the use of multiple media (e.g., computers, video, projection).
1.1.3.b Demonstrate personal skill development with at least one: computer authoring application, video tool, or electronic communication application.
1.2 Message Design
1.2.a Apply principles of educational psychology, communications theory, and visual literacy to the selection of media for macro- and micro-level design of instruction.
1.2.b Apply principles of educational psychology, communications theory, and visual literacy to the development of instructional messages specific to the learning task.
1.2.c Understand, recognize and apply basic principles of message design in the development of a variety of communications with their learners.
2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
2.2.1 Apply principles of visual and media literacy for the development and production of instructional and professional materials and products.
2.2.2 Apply development techniques such as storyboarding and or scriptwriting to plan for the development of audio/video technologies.
2.2.3 Use appropriate video equipment (e.g., camcorders, video editing) to prepare effective instructional and professional products.
2.2.4 Use a variety of projection devices with appropriate technology tools to facilitate presentations and instruction.
2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
2.3.1 Design and produce audio/video instructional materials which use computer-based technologies.
2.3.2 Design, produce, and use digital information with computer-based technologies.
Clark, R., & Mayer, R. (2003). E-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
Creative Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://creativecommons.org/
List of victims and survivors of Auschwitz. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_victims_and_survivors_of_Auschwitz
Philoctetes - The Power of Names: Religion & Mathematics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://philoctetes.org/news/the_power_of_names_religion_mathematics
Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas: Home. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://www.holocaust-mahnmal.de/en/home.html