Writing for Social Media Class

What Cengage Learning to do to update & enhance this learning experience.

Blog Post 1: The Mass Media

Writing for Television, Radio, and New Media has been an interesting read. It has enlightened me to new terms, history, and particular viewpoints. In the interest of learning, an objective approach in the opinion of this blogger would further the education of the readers for this book. There’s too much political bias in education these days. Instruction should be the focus. Politics bombards people these days and can be overwhelming and out of place sometimes in education unless it’s a civics or political science class.

An interesting concept discussed in this chapter is demographics. How people groups are targeted for television shows, advertisements, etc.. It would be interesting to show examples of advertisements that are focused towards people groups. A YouTube channel could be listed for the students to search out to view advertisements. Links could be provided in the text of the ebook that would take the readers directly to the site on their computer or tablets. That would definetly helps with the learning experience and more commentary could speak about the examples. Here is an example of a youtube video that could complement the instruction in this chapter to understand further about demographics. https://youtu.be/bbH291LVc8E, –YouTube. N.p., 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 07 May 2017.

As far as giving definitions and teaching about historical aspects in this chapter, pictures examples would be a nice addition to so much to read. Some of the terms could use more clear or easier definitions.

Blog Post 2: Basic Elements of Production.

Something that crossed my mind was, in books like this, it would be interesting if they could come with an idea of a concept called what I coin, “live books”. A digital book that always updates content sort of like a blog or webpage. I have noticed with book that I have bought through Apple’s iBook store, is that they push out every now and then an update to a book that I own. I honestly couldn’t tell you what the update is at this present time, but an idea like that for textbooks in education would be interesting. Especially in books based on teaching about technology, media, and writing. The most up to date information can be crucial in education. In chapter 2, the title is basic elements of production. When new ideas and or concepts in production start being used in such professions, it would be nice to incorporate the most up to date information for students. It’s time for the classroom to catch up with technology. Easier said than done I suppose, especially with school budgets. As I said in my previous blog post, it would be nice to have YouTube or school videos posted or made available for students to demonstrate what this chapter talks about. Camera lenses, angles, shots. The incorporation of sound in editing, how the control room contributes. Reading is great, but a video companion would greatly help students understand further what they read about. Demonstrations of script readings would help students as part of the video companions as well. Pictures with captions would help give students a better idea as well when reading through the book.

Blog Post 3: Format & Style

Chapter 3 seems pretty straight forward in what it talks about. Informative and explanatory about grammar, punctuation, and choosing the right information in include in your script writing. The only thing that I’d omit from this chapter and leave for computer hardware courses would be the explanation of hardware. The breaking down of how scripts are edited and transferred from one computer through a modem to another computer is kind of redundant. If students don’t know how this is accomplished, they must have their head buried in the sand. This particular section is Computers and the News and definately can be omitted. “By plugging the laptop computer into a telephone or using Wi-Fi, the writer or editor can relay the story to a computer in the newsroom.” This quote is ridiculous. This quote is sounds so outdated, it could have been written in the mid 90’s. The copyright  date for this book is 2014. It’s 2017. Again, digital book updates should be made available. As far as paper books, students still rely on them, but they are becoming a thing of the past.

Blog Post 4: Commercials and Announcements

As far as chapter 4 goes, the only recommendations I have for improvements are perhaps better quality photos, color photos. Some of the scripts, such as the one about the toyota prius, could have subtitles along with the pictures to help understand and guide the students understanding with what the book is trying to teach and bring across. Some of the commercials, such as the Sprint commercial they have in the book, can be found on YouTube and are quite humorous. A suggestion to search them out or a web link to use to find it, can help students visualize what the content of the examples are trying to get across. I don’t have any recommendations further than that. I actually enjoyed the content of this chapter. It was very interesting to learn about the different approaches on commercials.

Blog Post 5: News and Sports

Something that can be improved could be an added legend to each page that includes scripts explaining the abbreviations. An example such as “ENG/VO/SOT” would be easier to understand with a legend somewhere on the page to help assist in the learning. Further on in the chapter, web pages are displayed in black and white. Color would help bring it to life. Chapter 5 seems pretty straightforward in its teaching. Another interesting chapter that could be tweaked in the details such as what i suggested above.

Blog Post 6: Features, Documentaries, and Reality Programs

Chapter 6 also is pretty straight forward. Although some of the terms that are presented such as fictional documentary or docudrama could be further explained for the students understanding by providing examples from television or film. The chapter goes on by providing examples of scripts. It would be interesting if there were provided videos on the Cengage Learning website to follow along with the script to help as a learning aid. It would make the book and learning experience more interactive and not so boring. I know it would grab my attention. There are so many scripts in this chapter that myself as a student has to fight for my attention span to keep interested in reading, so something interactive would help keep the students interest.

Blog Post 7: Interview and Talk Programs

As i have gone back through each chapter, I’m not sure how many times I can repeat my idea for this book. Each chapter is pretty much straightforward in what it teaches. Each idea presented in this chapter as in other chapters, should have examples to be watched. Examples that are brought up are interviews and the different types. It would be interesting to have the book direct the students to videos to watch the examples aside from reading them. This particular chapter would be interesting to have exercises for students to participate in with the different types of interview formats so that they have a grasp on how they can write scripts for them. An entire class exercise would be interesting for a panel discussion. That in itself may be an exercise that could be worked on for a couple days, as it may take the group to get a good concept down for a script for the moderator. Another format that is brought up that would be good for group exercises is a speech. Students writing scripted speeches for each other to read and give to the classroom would be an interesting experience to see what it’s like to be in the shoes of a speechwriter for public office.

Blog Post 8: Music, Variety, and Comedy

This particular chapter might be the most humorous and interactive if group exercises are to be incorporated. After thinking about the fact that the class only meets one day a week, students could collaborate outside of class together and bring some sort of production to the following class. I know that the class had discussions and writing assignments, but something to work on together could ensure that the students are getting something more out of the class and even finding the experiences enlightening. I’m sure the instructor can grade the students on the seriousness of their input and hard work and even find the small presentation amusing. I imagine it may take a group of three to put together a presentation for a radio production, demonstrating an in studio experience. With facetime, skype, and facebook messenger, collaboration should be easy outside of class. Even putting together a script for a variety show or comedy routine could give students a grasp of what the book is trying to instruct.

Blog Post 9: Corporate, Educational, and Children’s Programs

As I read through this chapter, it explored different aspects of writing for corporate training. This also would be perfect for doing class exercises. Except, I believe this would be a great time for students, such as myself going to school for web development, to use this opportunity to use Microsoft’s powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote app to make a presentation and practice writing a script for the class. You kill two birds with one stone. I get experience in getting familiar with this software program and experience in writing scripts as well as getting facetime in front of the class to practice public speaking. That’s a lot of social media writing experience. I believe that using a powerpoint type software can be useful in corporate and educational experience.

Blog Post 10: The Play

This particular chapter is very long and informative. It’s very interesting, but also doesn’t have much to do with writing for social media. Although the experience students get in reading about writing scripts for plays, I’m sure will come in handy for any particular field that may include writing. No experience goes unused. In this chapter, if it’s going to be applied to the class for writing for social media, I believe it needs to be adapted and expanded, perhaps by the author in how this particular kind of writing can be applied to writing for social media, the internet, and perhaps journalism. The universal skills need to be extracted and explained on how they can be used anywhere. What are the core principles trying to be taught in writing for plays and how can the be applied in the student’s perspective fields. As the next chapter dives into the work field, how can the author get the students thinking about these skills and how they can be carried over into the professional world?

Blog Post 11: Professional Opportunities

This last particular chapter is an interesting insight in the professional world and their advice about what it takes to get involved in it. An interesting approach that would add to this chapter and be encouraging to students, would be to provide an interesting short documentary with the people involved, that explain their insights and expand on what they said in the book and have a day in the life of segment at their particular workplaces to show the students what it’s like to be involved in their perspective careers. Of course a link or website could be created to be a companion to this book. I believe every idea that I have introduced in each blog post that had to do with videos, internet links, and so forth should all be linked to one companion site specifically to this book to help in the instruction for students. -What an Idea. My final thought comes in my last blog post. That’s it! A companion website for this book, with videos that have examples, interviews, short documentaries, and anything else that might aid in the visual learning to help further the instruction of students. Makes sense to me, because I’m a visual learner. I imagine others may be the same way, but regardless, this should aid in helping many.


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