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Another FaCTS Mellon Project

Archiving New Orleans Africana Culture Using Digital Media

by Dr. Tia Smith

As a mass communication educator, a discipline that is heavily practiced-based, it is difficult for me to get my students to see the value of theory and research. Students are easily excited by the gadgetry of the field - (microphones, cameras, computers) but the understanding that the gadgets are tools used to construct ideas, tell stories, and share information in meaningful ways to various audiences and the subsequent impact of those ideas, stories and information is not as enticing. One way to meet this challenge is to invite students to the process of creating knowledge. My project design uses an existing mass communication course in Advanced Topics in Production to teach students how to create short form multimedia videos to document African American culture in New Orleans. Though some basic production skills are needed, the course design is accessible to students from all disciplines. Students will research Africana History, art, architecture and culture of New Orleans using the existing Wikipedia data base. They will then use the entry as a starting point to go out and create a video to accompany the entry. If an entry does not exist, they will have to create one, The goal of this project is to encourage knowledge creation and knowledge sharing using educational technology. Students learn the importance of research and making knowledge accessible and making knowledge public. At the conclusion of the course we will invite the community (local high school students) to campus host a digital short film festival where the community can learn about New Orleans culture and showcase the videos produce by students.

Start date: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Finish date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018