A varied and sometimes erratic record of what I'm learning inside and outside of the classroom

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Point We're At in Our Final Project and Web 2.0

A little girl (who also happens to be Dave's niece) that we
interviewed for our project. Isn't she precious??
First of all, a big thank you to Dave Potter and Shuan Pai, my group members, for being so much more on top of posting about our final project than I am. I'm striving to mend my ways, as evidenced by this post. :)

We discussed Web 2.0 in class today, and how, as opposed to, say, Web 1.0, it is less about selling products and posting information and more about building community between people of shared interests. More and more websites are incorporating user generated content, creating a sense of community among their viewers, whereas before all content came from the maintainers of the website themselves. Web 2.0 is, in a word, INTERACTIVE. This interactivity is not just between the user and the computer (and the information it provides) via the interface, but also between the faces behind the interface.This kind of person-to-person interaction through the Web is what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is moving towards through their new website (made official today) and use of digital tools to share the gospel. My group is becoming a part of this interaction through our creation of a Mormon Message for the Church's International Video Contest (see the site for our project here). I'd like to discuss our project in light of a couple Web 2.0 concepts from our reading, the article "What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education" by Paul Anderson.

Crowdsourcing: This International Video Contest is, essentially, a crowdsourcing project. The site (linked to above) under the "Purpose" category, reads:
The purpose of this video contest is to give more members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide an opportunity to strengthen their testimonies as they share their talents with worldwide members and to "join the conversation" in sharing the gospel with the world. This contest will also help gather videos and material that could be used in future Mormon Messages and other Church video projects.
With this contest, the Church helps members reach out and share their testimonies with others through a digital medium, which helps with missionary work and also makes the members feel more invested in the site because of their contributions. Brilliant.

The Wisdom of Crowds: The Web 2.0 article explains that more and more companies are tapping into this Wisdom of Crowds, with the idea that a million eyeballs, though they may belong to amateurs in whatever field, prove more effective in solving problems and producing higher quality web products than just a few eyeballs belonging to trained professionals would on their own. The International Video Contest is tapping into this as well, because by opening this up to the members of the Church, the waters of creativity for uplifting, edifying material become a fountain rather than being restrained to a mere trickle.

Henry B. Eyring
For our video, we decided to focus on the talk by Henry B. Eyring from the October 2009 General Conference entitled "Our Perfect Example" and within that we are focusing on the way love in families helps us to become more like Christ. To portray this, we have interviewed about seven kids so far, asking them questions like "Why do you love your family?" and "How does your family show that they love you?"

EXCITING UPDATE! I just got off the phone with Dave, and he was able to interview six more kids this afternoon that his sister-in-law helped to line up for us. So, as of now, we are planning to finish filming by Thursday, begin editing on Friday (using Final Cut Pro, which will definitely be an exercise in digital literacy for me) and continue editing Saturday and finish up Monday. The contest requires us to upload our video through a YouTube channel, so that will most likely be the format we will present our project in at our final project event on Thursday, December 9th.

We chose this particular topic to focus on because we wanted to make a message that reflected themes central to our Church presented in a form that would appeal to a broad audience, and while we have yet to test the effectiveness of our efforts, I know that each of my group members and I have been uplifted as we gather material for our video. We hope that this effect will prove scalable. :)

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