WHILE PAGING THROUGH several dozen creative media journals at the end of the autumn semester of 2017, I discovered several unfamiliar logos woven into some very memorable content. And I recorded a half hour of ideas that were sparked by student work.
During the past 10 years, I have given creative students taking a Media Writing module a semester-long assignment to maintain a written journal. I ask them to write about specific themes that appeared on as questions or requirements.
"Fill two side by side pages with content representing dystopia." We also watched Bladerunner 2049 for inspiration.
"Create a clapperboard on the inside of one of the covers of your journal". I recorded some short video clips featuring several of those clapperboards.
"Describe the predominant colours and textures that exist in the creative spaces of your life". During the semester, we shared the thoughts of Irish designers and creatives such as Belinda Corani in London.
"Share pull quotes and the names of influencers supporting the meme of writing for the web". Although we have several high quality books in the library about this very idea, the only way to ensure they are read involves getting feedback from students about this important idea.
"Document the proudest moment of your life". Many of the stories are brilliant examples of young lives with a focus.
"Describe how your current workflow has evolved". This assignment revealed many students get great value from their use of checklists.
"Share an image and write about what it means to be stressed". Most of the images were sketched selfies.
"What personal artifact do you believe will be a talking point in 45 years?" Although many of the results were electronic, several involved sketch books, pencils, or tools.
"Draw a logo that represents innovation in your life". In years past, logos of large companies featured in the responses. This year, many of the drawn logos involved the artists themselves (see above).
"Produce camera-ready content that shows steps of microcasting". We introduced this group of students to Anchor.fm and wanted to see if they were aware of the way handheld audio production values have improved.
"Share what you have learned about sacrifice". Several highly emotional pieces emerged when students wrote about this topic.
This is the first year that I have pledged to extract collections of thematic work from the journals. I started by recording a half hour of audio content on Spreaker Studio while paging through student work.
I want to make a few video clips about journaling on my YouTube channel and then see if we can extend the creative journaling idea into other parts of the curriculum with the Limerick Institute of Technology. We have already enhanced part of this creative process by successfully creating a digital archive of the journaling work by using tools on the campus OneDrive.
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