Digital Innovation and Media Institute for Educators


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In both formal and informal settings there is an increasing use of media to enhance learning, build public awareness, support learner guided exploration, create rich and interactive learning experiences, and engage people in new and creative ways. Our Digital Innovation and Media Institute was designed to support educators, whether they work in a classroom, community outreach organization, library, museum, health care or other organizational context. With a range of media production, communications, storytelling, pedagogy, and project management courses, participants can select the right set of courses to meet their unique needs.

Whether you are looking to take classes in order to start a new career or build skills for the path you are on, we can help you take the next steps.

Related Courses

X.CMPTC-443 | Data Visualization: Presenting Data to Build Understanding and Insights

Description: While many organizations have data, it is not always easy to translate that into a format that is easy for non-data people to quickly understand and interpret. In this course, participants will learn about different kinds of data and data structures, explore the theory and principles behind good design, and be able to articulate why certain visual designs are appropriate or inappropriate based on the data type. The final project in this class is to build data visualizations and a dashboard based either on data provided or data that is chosen by the participant. While this class is focused on technical skills, no prior experience with data, coding or computer science is necessary.

Credits: 2  

Format: limited residency  

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.COMM-436 | Persuasive Communications

Description: The goal of persuasive communications is to influence people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. We are exposed to hundreds of messages meant to persuade us daily from organizations and on social media. So what works, and why does it work? In this course we will investigate research on persuasion, receptiveness, and ethical frameworks for this work. Participants will learn techniques for creating, analyzing and critiquing persuasive messages. The course culminates in a final project in which participants create a campaign to change a target audience’s attitudes or behaviors about a subject of the students’ choosing.

Credits: 2        

Format: limited residency    

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-411 | Visual Literacy and Media

Description: Most of us are constantly inundated by visual messages, but do we know or understand the design, intent and the impact of these communications? This intensive, interdisciplinary course provides theories and tools to critically analyze, interpret and read/understand visual messages presented through a variety of forms of media, such as film, photography, video, digital games, and the internet. Students will develop critical and cultural visual literacy analysis skills mainly through the language of cinematic conventions such as composition, lighting, movement, editing and symbolism in Chinese film and apply them to other cultural contexts and their own lives. They will also examine the role and influence of media and how social dimensions such as gender, race, class and ethnicity are portrayed. 

Credits: 2

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-426 | New Media & Activism

Description: New media technologies such as video-sharing websites, podcasts, and social media have altered how we interact and consume news and information. While activists use these tools to raise awareness, educate citizens and mobilize support, these efforts can be overshadowed by corporations or political action groups with their own agendas and well-funded media campaigns.In this course participants explore how to use new media strategically to address social, economic and environmental issues, how to analyze media representations of these issues, and how to design media campaigns that build communities, organize efforts, and influence policy.

Credits: 2

Format: limited residency  

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-429AP | Media Production Topics: Audio Production

Description: In this course, participants will explore both the artistic and technical issues relevant to preparing music and sound for podcasts, video, and the web. Topics will include: acoustic theory, audio animation and sound effects, sound design, multichannel sound, mixing audio and audio processing techniques. No prior experience is necessary to take this course. This course will prepare participants to work with music and sound for both artistic and professional purposes.

Credits: 2

Format: limited residency: online with a 3-day campus-based residency 

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-429VP | Media Production Topics: Video Production

Description: This is a hands-on foundational class exploring every step of video production for educators, artists and other professionals in the community who want to create engaging, eye-catching videos. We will cover all of the components of production, including aesthetics and mechanics, narrative development, the role of audio, and the conceptual and technical aspects of editing. You are invited to come with a story to tell or a product, service or brand to promote. Plan to dedicate a significant amount of time outside of class sessions to readings, viewings, and practical assignments to expand your perspective of the power of communication through video. Students will complete a series of in-class exercise pieces, and each will make a short video as a final project.

Comments: Please come to class with your own external hard drive with a minimum capacity of 500GB, and also bring any equipment with video capabilities that you would like to use, including cell phones, tablets, DSLR cameras, camcorders, etc.

Credits: 2

Format: limited residency: online with a 5-day campus-based residency 

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-429WD | Media Production Topics: Web Design

Description: This project-based course on web design emphasizes standards-based, accessible design. Participants will learn how to create and design webpages, manage web files, use CSS, work with different kinds of media, select a web hosting service, publish web pages, and evaluate website quality. Content will be provided, but participants with a project in mind are encouraged to bring content (text, images, media files) to use in the course. This course is designed for people interested in web design for either personal or professional settings

Credits: 2

Format: online

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.MEDIA-431 | Storytelling: Crafting Effective Narratives Across Media

Description: While storytelling comes in many forms, one of its notable characteristics in any form is the power it has to help ground and orient us. Narrative frames are used not only in entertainment and media, but also in disciplines as wide ranging as psychology, medicine, social change and business. In this course participants will learn how stories are constructed and created, how to assess a story’s strengths, and how to apply the elements of narrative across different media (writing, audio, images and video) to enhance the story you want to tell. This course will prepare participants to work with narrative and storytelling for personal projects, to promote change, and in professional settings.

Credits: 2

Format: limited residency  

Professional Development Option: Yes

X.PROST-429PR | Legal Topics: Intellectual Property

Offered: Not Scheduled for This Year  

Credits: 1

Description: This course provides insight into the professional working environment of lawyers, paralegal, and other related professions through an introduction to the complex ethical, legal and technical aspects of constitutional, criminal, and civil law. The class will then focus more deeply on themes related to intellectual property such as: the responsibility and rights of inventors, entrepreneurs, writers, and other artists; copyright exceptions and limitations; patent, trademark and unfair competition law and others. Guest speakers and a field trip to observe court cases will be offered to provide direct exposure to how law is actually interpreted and enforced.

X.WRTNG-406 | Creative Inquiry and Writing a Research

Offered: January Intersession  

Credits: 2

Description: This course will immerse students in writing as informal research practice. Taking as our starting point contemporary American writing addressing the labor conditions of late capitalism, we will examine strategies for creative inquiry used to document and research topics not normally or officially investigated. Due to the length of this course, we'll focus particularly on short forms and generating new writing, as opposed to revision and critique. Topics to be discussed will include research as community building, fragment as form, and the collapsing of high vs low culture in contemporary American experimental writing. Students will write into a variety of forms modeled by readings from Jill Magi, Bhanu Kapil, Dodie Bellamy, Brandon Brown and Stephanie Young, among others.

Advisory prerequisites: English (reading and writing) fluency is required. Previous experience with creative writing is advised, but not required.

Comments: Requirements of the course will include daily class participation including reflective and critical posts, as well as a final portfolio of original writing.