Final Products

Recap of today’s discussion:

1. A paper that reflects on the relationships between the readings and  your project — thoughtful, and in depth!

2. A multimedia product of about 5 minutes.   Doesn’t have to be perfect.  Part of your paper may well be a reflection on what you would do differently.  For those doing iSchool final projects, you can use your final project presentation for this part of this class (assuming, of course, that it’s relevant — i.e., you’re not just going to stand in front of some PPT slides covered with words).

I would rather you spent more time thinking and reading than fiddling with making your product absolutely perfect. (Though perfection on both parts of the final product is to be aspired to.)

We’ll collectively view and discuss your media products/presentations.

George/ Kate Project Description

I’d like to incorporate my work for my final project for the I School in this course, by documenting the community based design process over time with video. I’ll be working Kate in my final project and we are collaborating with with Youth Radio, a national non-profit based in Oakland, to develop a mobile crime/reporting application. We’ll be working with local young adults to teach them the User Centered Design process and to co-create a utility that they and their peers can use to share their stories and improve understanding of their community. Ideally I’d like the final result to be a 3-5 minute video showing an overview of our interactions with Youth Radio and the end result our work with them.

Meetings on Projects

I realized when I laid out the schedule for last Wed, and saw the project descriptions that had been posted, that we couldn’t get very far in discussing projects in class. Also, it would be useful to talk with you individually, since this class is a little, well, different, and so are the projects.

So I’d like to meet with each of you individually — for the people working together on projects, I’ll meet with you together.

Please sign up here.

Please cluster the meetings if possible — don’t leave holes in the schedule if you can avoid it.

If none of these times works for you, email me and we’ll work something out. I’m at an off-campus meeting all day Thurs and Fri.

Mental Maps of SF

My final project relates to my master’s project on Visualizing Mental Maps of SF.

I would like to use video, audio, and photos to document the interviews we are conducting and to convey people’s stories about how they experience space and neighborhood in SF.

Some of my concerns are similar to Kimra’s, I think.  Especially I tend to freak out a little bit about informed consent and how to represent people in a way that they can be comfortable with.  I can’t guarantee confidentiality when using images or audio, which is a new way of working for me.

I am expecting to get access to a video/camera this week, but right now I still just have my phone, so have been doing the first interviews without video capture.

But a few days ago I interviewed someone who was so amazing to watch as she drew a map of her neighborhood that I decided to try videorecording her second drawing with my phone, which she agreed to.

I ended up holding my phone awkwardly in the air as she was drawing,  while still trying to maintain eye contact and “mm hmm”-ing, so she would hopefully keep talking and not feel like a bug under a microscope.

The recording is awful, but the content is awesome (to me, anyway?).    Not sure what to do with it.

And I imagine I will have some more awful videos in the future, since… well, I don’t really know what I’m doing.  How to use the new camera, and how to engage with an interviewee while recording video non-intrusively are some of the practical issues I need to work on.

My Final Project

My final project will examine transnational youth’s use of mobile devices for literacy development. It will be a video presentation of interviews and still photography of youth utilizing mobile phones to assist them with schooling. This project will include excerpts from a research study of the digital literacy practices of junior level high school students whose goal was to matriculate to four-year universities. The video will explore the relationship between academic achievement and mobility literacy practices of low-income urban youth who were enrolled in a rigorous afterschool and summer residential college preparedness program. This video will examine the skills and knowledge these youth developed through mobile literacies, the relationships that existed between their mobile literacy skill development and those necessary for academic achievement, and the impact of sponsorship and individual agency on their literacy practices.

Jenni’s project description

For my project, I would like to examine digital  “My Life” stories created by Oakland high schoolers in response to similarly themed digital stories created by peers in India, Norway, NYC, Australia, and South Africa. I’m a GSR for Glynda Hull’s Kidnet project (, which examines how teens communicate and shape identities through social networks; my responsibilities include acting as co-instructor and participant observer each Saturday morning at Oakland Military Institute (OMI). We have only had two sessions so far, but I’m really interested in how OMI students “read” other students’ videos and “write” their own video responses. Does one text inform the other (thinking of Bakhtin here)? If so, in what ways, and can a semiotic analysis of videos reveal intertextuality?

Kimra’s Project

My project for this class will tie into my I School Master’s final project on personal TV scheduling. However, what specific part of that study I will capture here is something that’s been constantly in flux — and I would love to discuss issues of practicality (vs. perfection/ideal situations) in this kind of work.

At this point, my main idea is to present photographs from my study participants’ TV-watching lives, synced with audio of them talking about how they watch television. What follows is a brief synopsis of all the discarded ideas that got me there and the questions I still have about how to make this work.

My first plan was to photograph or video-record my participants in their homes, ideally on their couches or near their televisions or laptops. Except a) many people, especially the total strangers I recruited, are more comfortable meeting in public places (as, frankly, am I!) and b) very few of the people I recruited said they were willing to be videotaped or photographed.

So I came up with another idea: I’m doing a diary study as part of my research, and so I decided to give each participant a particular style of diary — selected partly for its photogenic nature! — and photograph those, then create a collection of still photographs augmented with audio of the participants talking about their viewing habits as reflected in the diaries.

I gave out my first two diaries last week, and both participants said they were unlikely to use them; both said they’d prefer to keep the diary online, take their own pictures, and send everything to me. The basic concept still works, but I obviously have much less control over the quality of the photos I receive that way.

Audio quality is another issue — my recorder is awesome for picking up audio almost anywhere, but that’s for transcription purposes, not presentation purposes. I’ll also be doing a number of follow-up interviews by phone or Skype, which are likely to have less crisp quality.

As I’m trying to make this as easy as possible for my participants, what’s the best way for me to balance the realities of my research and the ideals of this project?

Sean’s Final Project

Daniel and I are working on the same final project, so our end of the semester deliverables might be similar. We are trying to adapt web services at U.C. Berkeley to work better on mobile devices (such as smartphones).

I imagine that the visual narrative will be us capturing the user’s experience using our software, or capturing the user’s desire for a better way to interface with the existing Berkeley web services that are currently offered.

Bryan’s Final Project

Planning a solo trip can be the most exciting yet daunting task for any individual embarking on a new journey. That is why I am going to document the whole process of planning and taking my trip to NYC this spring break. (I guess I will add more to this as I figure out what I will do.