A face for research

As I was diligently attempting to finish the first round of requirements for my Research Development Portfolio, I was out on the Teachers College Record website, double-checking my citations, when I noticed that there was a video in the corner of the page.  Oh! I thought, how fun! Something shiny! Frankly, at this point in my procrastination cycle, I might have been distracted by paint drying, but click I did.  How astonished was I to find the actual researcher of the research I had been reading discussing the research!  This was a big deal to me.  Apparently, the Teachers College Record is spending time and effort to produce high-quality companion videos to their published articles.

It brought me back to another procrastination moment when I was reading about book trailers.  In the publishing industry, now that print is dead, book trailers are all the rage.  Authors were undergoing the agony of a “fireside chat” about their novels.  Brutal. The article, published in the New York Times, outlined the sometimes humiliation that went along with this push into multimedia. (Quote: “And now, those who once worried about no one reading their books can worry about no one watching their trailers.”  Ouch.)

Now, after reading the article with a smug satisfaction (at least my industry doesn’t require this of me! I’m going to be RESEARCHING things! haha!), I find myself faced with the task of producing what is essentially a “Research Trailer.”  Yes, I will be posting, in a matter of days, a digital storytelling representation of my research interests.

In the end, what I am realizing is that multmodal composing is a skill that is very much in the mainstream.  Even in areas that seem unlikely to include a companion multimodal composition, like a research journal, are employing it.  Digital Stories, videos: these are powerful modes of communication.   My hope is that as composition teachers, we recognize the need for developing this skill-set with our own students. How are you incorporating multimodal composing into your learning or teaching?

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