Academic Branding: Professors Producing Hollywood-Style Previews to Attract Students, by Daniel A. Gross

Videos may have no clear connection to course content, but they shape the identity of the course

Harvard University was an early adopter in short videos shared across social networks to boost student interest and attendance as they “shop” for classes. They have an intimacy that course catalogs and posters lack.

David Malan, who teaches Computer Science 50 at Harvard, shows 
video trailers for the popular course on the first day of class. (Rose Lincoln, Harvard U.)

by Daniel A. Gross • The Chronicle for Higher Education

After 25 years as a typographical designer, Richard Hunt knows the value of visual communication — which makes it a little ironic that his online course at OCAD University, an art-and-design college in Ontario, initially released lectures in an audio-­only format. Last year students accustomed to on-campus learning felt that Mr. Hunt’s “History and Evolution of Typography” course needed greater visual engagement than lecture slides could provide. This fall Mr. Hunt, an assistant professor, hopes to correct that, starting with a video trailer that went live just a few weeks ago. “We thought a trailer would put a face to the voice,” he says.

The new course trailer, released on the college’s internal network and on YouTube, begins with a simple shot of Mr. Hunt speaking. “It’s a way of selling the course to students who resist the online format,” he says.

Course trailers have become increasingly common at universities across North America, as a strategy for attracting students and for putting a public face to the institutions. Several universities have set up official media teams to help faculty members create them. Though such videos seem like a natural development in an age of online and multimedia coursework, they’ve also entered the brick-and-mortar classroom, signaling that a branding tactic once reserved for the marketplace has entered the marketplace of ideas…

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The Future of StoryTelling: Wisdom in the Age of Information, by Maria Popova

From 2014 Future of Storytelling | Reinventing the way stories are told

“We believe that having access to more information produces more knowledge, which results in more wisdom. But, if anything, the opposite is true…” -Maria Popova

by Maria Popova • BrainPickings

See also: Maria Popova Interviews Amanda Palmer on The Art of Asking

Maria_Popova_portraitMaria Popova is a Futures of Entertainment Fellow, a hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large. Her blog, Brain Pickings, is a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.” Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Film Technology Fails: The New Wilhelm Scream, by Scott Hanselman

Wonderful movie-clip-filled exploration of Hollywood’s failure to understand the world of technology we purport to portray

Hollywood seems determined to make the technology-aware jump up from their seats and scream NO!!!  A technical error pulls me out of the story like a slap in the face. It almost physically hurts. I’m not just nitpicking here, either. These aren’t hard things to fix. One just needs to care.

by Scott Hanselman • Computer Zen

There’s no other explanation. It must be a tradition like the Wilhelm scream.

What, haven’t heard of the Wilhelm scream? Well, once you do it’s impossible to not hear it in every film. It’s in freaking Lord of the Rings, and it grates. It’s THE go-to person screaming sound effect and has been for over 50 years. Here’s a compilation of dozens of movies – including every George Lucas movie – that uses the Wilhelm scream.

In a notable exception to Hollywood's normal patter, the "hack" in The Matrix features real commands in its hack..
In a notable exception to Hollywood’s normal patter, the “hack” in The Matrix features real commands.

Hollywood and TV seems determined to make the technology-aware jump up from their seats and scream NO!!! at the screen.

I can only imagine what a doctor or nurse must feel like when watching ER or a dramatic surgery.

A technical error pulls me out of the story like a slap in the face. It almost physically hurts. I’m not just nitpicking here, either. These aren’t hard things to fix. One just needs to care.

Now, often they’ll use internal IP addresses to represent external addresses and a lot of folks argue that using these addresses is the “555 Phone Number” equivalent. I can see that a little, but even if they used the IP Address of the studio it wouldn’t be so jarring.

It’s debatable who is worse between TV and Movies, but it’s clear that CSI has the #1 spot locked down with this classic.




Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a corn-rower, and a book author.
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Special thanks to our technology aware webmaster, Chris Friesen, for finding Scott’s article.

The Social Media Effect: Notre Dame’s Quick Response to Manti Te’o Hoax Under Scrutiny

Welcome to the brave new world of social media and higher education

Whether Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o was Victim or Conspirator, Notre Dame officials have entered uncharted waters

By Brad Wolverton in the Chronicle of Higher Education

During a storybook season that ended in the national-championship game, it turns out that Notre Dame's star linebacker, Manti Te'o, had a girlfriend who was just a story. The university was forced to react swiftly to news of the hoax, experts said, because of the trajectory of scandal in a social-media age. (Jeff Gross, Getty Images)
During a storybook season that ended in the national-championship game, it turns out that Notre Dame’s star linebacker, Manti Te’o, had a girlfriend who was just a story. The university was forced to react swiftly to news of the hoax, experts said, because of the trajectory of scandal in a social-media age. (Jeff Gross, Getty Images)

Athletics leaders across the country raised questions on Thursday about the University of Notre Dame’s handling of a sensational story about how its star football player was mixed up in a bizarre hoax.

The story centers on Manti Te’o, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the impetus behind Notre Dame’s improbable run to the national-championship game. According to various news-media reports, Mr. Te’o played this past season under a heavy burden. In the span of six hours last September, the stories went, Mr. Te’o learned of the death of two important people in his life: his grandmother and his girlfriend.

The player’s perseverance through those losses, and his inspired play in leading the Fighting Irish to one nail-biting victory after another before losing its final game, made for the perfect fairy-tale script.

It turns out, however, that the girlfriend’s death was a fabrication… and officials from other universities are questioning Notre Dame’s full-throated support…

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See Also:
ABC News Video: Notre Dame: Football Star Manti Te’o Was ‘Catfished’ in Girlfriend Hoax
USA Today timeline of the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax story





Chronicle of Higher Education Top Ten Ed-Tech Stories of 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education blog “Wired Campus” is one of the top Educational Technology forums in the world.  Jeffrey Young lists ten top Wired Campus stories of 2012.

Coursera and Udacity now claim more than two million students in MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses).

by Jeffrey R. Young

college-technology-laptopArticles about how free online courses, or MOOCs, could disrupt higher education dominated the headlines last year here at the Wired Campus blog, and they were the most popular with readers as well. Several articles about e-textbooks also topped our list of most-read articles of 2012, highlighting what has been a time of change, and anxiety, for colleges and universities.

Coursera and Udacity appear most frequently in this year’s top headlines. Both offer MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and both were founded by Stanford University computer-science professors who are now on leave. Together, they now claim more than two million students, though some of those sign up but never complete work in the courses.

10 Hottest Ed-Tech Stories of 2012

1. Stanford Professor Gives Up Teaching Position, Hopes to Reach 500,000 Students at Online Start-Up

2. Could Many Universities Follow Borders Bookstores Into Oblivion?

3. Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law

4. Khan Academy Founder Proposes a New Type of College

5. Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics

6. Coursera Announces Big Expansion, Adding 17 Universities

7. 3 Major Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up

8. Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

9. Now E-Textbooks Can Report Back on Students’ Reading Habits

10. Udacity Cancels Free Online Math Course, Citing Low Quality


[Image: A tag cloud of the above headlines, made with]

The Millennial Teenager: An Infographic

Part 15 in series How Millennials Who Gave up on Church are Redefining Faith and Re-engaging Community

A visual representation of the dramatic cultural shifts in teenage lifestyles created by new technologies

by Michael Lemaire

For those who grew up in a world of rotary phones and dial-up Internet, it is hard to imagine that most teenagers today have no recollection of life before cell phones. In fact, these Millennials have had so much exposure to technology, cell phones and laptops and iPods have become common aspects of everyday life. Which might explain why 94 percent of Millennials have cell phones, and 70 percent have laptops.
Wondering what life is like for these technology-obsessed teens? Confused by how this generation interacts with one another? 
This amazing infographic from Online Schools offers a detailed look at the tech-savvy world of these teens and shows the old fogies what they are missing.

The Millennial Teenager
Courtesy of: Online Schools

Photo: GETTY

Next post in series: Hookup Culture: Why Millennials Struggle With Attachment and Relationships, by Mike Friesen
See Also:

The Social Media Gospel: We Can’t Be Witnesses Where We’re Not Present, by Mike Friesen

The Rise of Digital Urban Tribes: How we under and overestimate the power and shape of the next generation, by David Kinnaman

Why Many Emerging Adults are so Spiritually Mature, by Todd W. Hall, PhD

How Millennials Who Gave Up on Church are Redefining Faith and Re-engaging Community, by Gary David Stratton

Study Finds Millennials More ‘Generation ME’ Than ‘Generation WE’, by Joanna Chau’

Young Adults Fleeing Churches That Embrace Partisan Politics, by Jonathan Merritt


On Petraeus and Producers: How an Email Trail Can Kill Your Movie Deal or Worse! by Phil Cooke

You don’t have to be a CIA chief to sink your career with an email 

by Phil Cooke • President, Cooke Pictures

Last year, a writer approached me with a screenplay, asking me to help him get his film made. Fair enough. But I made it clear that our company,  Cooke Pictures is not a funding company in a position to finance films. He said fine. Then I read the screenplay and realized pretty quickly it wasn’t something I was interested in, so I kindly told him thanks, but we weren’t interested at this time.

At that point, he unleashed some pretty nasty things, and followed up with an email. He wrote that if I was a REAL Christian, I’d get off my duff and help him get the movie made. He said I was obviously shallow, and couldn’t recognize great writing – or God’s hand on the project – plus, I was a hypocrite (among a few other choice things.)

It was a very interesting email to say the least, but I chose not to respond.

Now – a year or so later, I get a call from a friend who happens to be a significant film producer. This guy has the clout and money to get films made. He tells me he has an appointment set up with this writer I’d met a year ago and is curious if I know him or have an opinion about his project.

I didn’t have to say a thing.

All I did was pull out the guy’s email and share it with the producer and that pretty much said everything. My producer friend immediately cancelled the meeting, and has no interest in this writer or his projects.

Note what nailed this writer:  It wasn’t me or my opinion, it was his own words.  Remember that the moment you hit “send” on an email, you’ve lost control of it. In that moment of frustration or anger, what you write will live on – and it will be in someone else’s hands.

Don’t let your email trail come back to haunt you.

Ever had a similar experience?


Phil Cooke has produced media programming in more than 50 countries around the world, and in the process, been shot at, survived two military coups, fell out of a helicopter, and in Africa, been threatened with prison.
And during that time, he’s helped some of the largest non-profit organizations in the world navigate periods of dramatic disruption and change.
Similar Articles by Phil
Twitter Fail: Tweeting Tips for Leaders

Twitter Fail: Tweeting Tips for Leaders, by Phil Cooke, PhD

Why your Tweets may be driving people away when you could be sharing your story and connecting it with others

by Phil Cooke, PhD, president of Cooke Pictures

Scanning the Twitter feeds of nonprofit and religious leaders, it’s pretty easy to see that most have little or no knowledge of how to connect online. From boring Tweets like “I’m at Starbucks having a latte,” to subtly patting yourself on the back (“Praise God, we had 6,000 cars in the lot this Sunday!”)  you’re driving people away when you should be sharing your story and connecting it with others. So here’s a few tips to get your social media life back on track:

1) Stop over-promoting your organization.  A good rule is 10 to 1: One Tweet to promote you or your organization to ten about something else. Over promotion is the quickest path to drive people away.

2) Be personal.  People follow you to find out what it’s like to be you. Give them an up close and personal view of your life – your struggles, your failures, and your victories. Show them what they’d never find out otherwise.  Give them a glimpse of the inside world of your calling or career.

3) Remember that your followers are global.  I schedule some of my tweets so my followers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia can be part of the conversation. Don’t just think locally or even nationally. When it comes to social media, you’re everywhere.

4) Stay in your lane of expertise.  People don’t follow me to hear about recipes, sports, or knitting. They follow me because they’ve read my books, heard me speak, or met me. They want that conversation to continue, so I stick with my area of expertise, and it extends my brand.  What do people think of when they think of you?  Stick to that subject.

5) It’s a conversation, and the same etiquette applies.  Social media is “social” – it’s not a one-way street. Respond to people who respond to you. Pay attention to feedback. Your followers will be thrilled that you care.

6) Watch for critics.  No matter what you do, you’ll get someone who doesn’t like it.  But social media allows you to deal with problems quickly.  Respond either directly, or better yet, give them an email or phone number where you can take the critic offline and deal with it privately. If dealt with well, you’ll end up turning a critic into a fan.

7) Your personal feed will always be more attractive than your institutional feed.  It’s fine to have “official” social media feeds coming from your church or nonprofit, but people prefer by far a personal relationship. Keep in mind that people relate far better to a person than an organization, media program, or building.  That’s also a good reason to have others on your leadership team tweeting about your organization’s work.

Do you have any other suggestions that would help nonprofit and church leaders connect better through Twitter?

Read more of Phil’s Insights on his Blog.

Variety: Spirituality and DVRs Changing Primetime TV

BET adds spiritual themes to primetime


New telepic franchise, reality show have religious touch

BET TV, like a number of general entertainment cablers, has renewed faith in spiritually themed programming.

The Viacom-owned cabler is expanding the range of shows that it carries with overtly spiritual and religious themes, beyond its traditional focus on gospel music series and specials into narrative telepics, talkshows and reality skeins. The subject matter resonates strongly with the BET audience, execs say, and undoubtedly there’s a hope of drawing new viewers who might not otherwise sample BET fare. As part of the push, BET has optioned the rights to four novels by author Reshonda Tate Billingsley with plans for a telepic franchise produced with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit production banner.

The first of the four Billingsley adaptations, Let the Church Say Amen, is starting production this week in Atlanta (Daily Variety, Aug. 24). Steve Harris and Lela Rochon have been cast in the story of a larger-than-life pastor who has to come to terms with his dysfunctional family and wayward daughter. Naturi Naughton, Collins Curtis Pennie and Hosea Chanchez co-star.

The other Billingsley titles optioned are “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” “Everybody Say Amen” and “Say Amen Again.”

BET has also just shot a pilot for a talkshow hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes. And it has a docu-reality series following Detroit’s Sheard family, which includes multiple generations of gospel music stars and Bishop J. Drew Sheard, who leads a megachurch in Motor City.

BET has long featured gospel music programs on its Sunday morning slate…

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DVR changing landscape of smallscreen success


Increase in DVR usage could shake up industry practices

TV bizzers can’t stop talking about the big jump in DVR usage during the past week and what it means for the primetime biz.
The bad news for the Big Four networks in the early going of the 2012-13 campaign is that ratings have been soft for many new and returning series. The good news is that higher DVR playback numbers are helping to close the gap for a number of top-priority shows (Daily Variety, Oct. 2). And the fact that DVRs are humming away at a higher rate this fall is a good indicator that there are plenty of shows that viewers want to sample.But the big question raised by the growing influence of DVR numbers is how the increase in delayed viewing may shake up industry practices — in everything from how a show’s performance is evaluated to how and when networks spin ratings results.
Industry insiders say overnight ratings can still clearly indicate whether a show is a big hit or a colossal miss, but for the majority of programs that land somewhere in the middle, the process of determining whether a show deserves a passing or failing grade is getting ever more complicated. And it requires more patience from net execs, who have to wait a week or two for the DVR playback numbers to roll in.”At the beginning of the season, we’re looking at a unique and dynamic atmosphere,” said David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS Corp.
Network number crunchers knew DVR usage was only going to increase, but the rate of growth last week still surprised them…

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Searching for the Soul Film Festival Explores Humanity in a Technological World

Investigating the Meaning of Humanity in a Technological World
A festival bringing together filmmakers, scholars, students, and the public to view and discuss three feature films asking important questions about science and the soul.

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Sutherland Auditorium
Screenings at 12:30, 3:00 and 7:00
For more Information visit the Searching for Soul Film Festival Web Site

Screening 1: 12:30-2 pm

Where does biology end and technology begin?

Feature: Welcome to the Machine
Short: Heart Stop Beating

Mike Gonzales (Moderator), Avi Zev Weider (Director), Doug Geivett

Screening 2:    3-5 pm

What is the cost of modernity?

Feature: Tea or Electricity
Short : The Maker

Fred Sanders (Moderator), Jérôme le Maire (Director), Jonathon Puls

Screening 3:     7-9 pm

What if souls could be extracted, stored and exchanged?

Feature: Cold Souls
Short: Time Freak

Evan Rosa (Moderator), Peg Medberry, Jon Anderson, Steve Classen

Center for Christian ThoughtSponsored by Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought as part of their 2012-13 research theme Neuroscience and the Soul and Cinema and Media Arts. The film festival is an effort to reach both academic and non-academic audiences with nuanced Christian thought about the theme.The program is subject to change without notification. Films are not rated. Some films are not suitable for children due to life situations, medical photography and brief nudity. Suggest high school age and above.

For more information visit the Center for Christian Thought and Searching for Soul Film Festival websites. Or you can find us on Facebook.

The Rise of Digital Urban Tribes: How we under and overestimate the power and shape of the next generation, by David Kinnaman

A response to Thomas E. Bergler’s The Juvenilization of American Christianity

by David Kinnaman

The most popular games are those that rely on both strategy and luck. When we win, we like to credit our acumen. When we lose, it’s easy to blame the unfortunate odds.

Many Christians seem to think discipling the next generation of Christ followers is a simple mix of skill and luck. It goes something like this: God gets the credit when the kids turn out all right, and our broken world gets the blame when things run amok. This logic may not be entirely wrong, but it oversimplifies on-the-ground realities

Our team at Barna Group has spent the past five years researching the development of Christianity among youth and young adults—more than 5,000 interviews on this subject. We’ve examined the perceptions of teens and 20-somethings, and we’ve explored the attitudes of stakeholders, including pastors, youth workers, parents, and ministry professionals who work with the younger generation. My take on our research findings is that we underestimate three aspects of discipleship, and overvalue another, regarding the next generation.

Underestimating the profound impact of social change

First, we underestimate the profound impact of the social changes that are taking place with the current millennial generation, or “mosaics,” as we call them. Today’s generation of youth and young adults is more conversant with technology, less likely to come from married families, and more financially indebted than any previous generation. Their levels of religious, ethnic, and sexual diversity far outpace those of preceding generations. And they are getting married much later in life than did the boomers. Robert Wuthnow’s book After the Boomers shows just how much this current generation of young adults is “launching” later in life—taking longer to get through the major maturing events in life, like marriage, education, and parenthood.

Here’s how we describe this trend: Most 20-somethings today are digitally connected, in urban tribes, and are unmarried. By comparison, the typical boomer completed most major life transitions before age 30. To put it more starkly: A majority of today’s 20-somethings live in anything but conventional young families. And this is a particular problem for congregations, because most faith communities tend to “work best” with traditional family units.

The point is this: The rise of digital urban tribes of 20-somethings is having a profound, lasting impact on the spiritual trajectory of today’s emerging generation and specifically the church.

Underestimating how young people are shaped by the massive power of the digital media

Second, we underestimate how much young people are shaped by the massive power of the digital tools, consumer culture, and media of the broader American culture. Thomas Bergler’s work in The Juvenilization of American Christianity gives us a fabulous phrase for this: “the deadening effect of popular culture.”

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