3. Critical & Creative


Week 3 Theme: Critical and Creative? What is the relationship between readers and writers in a digital age?

AGENDA, February 7, 2018

  1. Renee reviews your completed work
  2. View “Ira Glass on Storytelling, Part I.” Small group viewing and discussion
  3. Review LEAP 2 Due February 28
  4. Review readings and homework assignment for next week


Week 4 Theme

In the Real World: Digital Civic Engagement.  Can digital authorship help to change the world?

  1. READ AND COMMENT: Select two LEAP 1 essays from the Class Roster to read and offer warm feedback to the authors by commenting on their work using the Reply function.
  2. READ: Hobbs, Create to Learn, Chapter 6 (pp. 87 – 101). See also slides and study materials for this chapter
  3. READ: Hobbs, R. (2016).Capitalists, consumers and communicators: How schools approach civic education. In E. Gordon and P. Mihailidis (Eds), Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (pp. 355- 370). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  4. READ: Mihailidis, P. & Gerodimos, R. (2016). Connecting pedagogies of civic media: The literacies, connected civics and engagement in daily life. In E. Gordon and P. Mihailidis (Eds), Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (pp. 371 – 393). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  5. DISCUSS: After reading, use the Facebook Discussion Group to comment on some of the ideas from the readings that resonated with you. As you contribute, also take time to read and respond to some of the ideas shared by class members.
  6. OPTIONAL: Watch the video recording of the webinar to meet Morgan Jaffe and learn more about her approach to creating podcasts.
  7. SEARCH & CREATE: Explore the concept of “digital civic engagement” using at least 2 different search strategies and find an interesting or useful resource or example that is relevant to your personal or professional life. Using this Padlet Wall, describe the resource or example and briefly explain why you have selected it. Take a look at the work of other students so we avoid duplication or redundancy.

IF YOU DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE LIVE SYNCHRONOUS CLASS, watch the recorded video below. After watching, place a comment using “Leave a Reply” where you make a connection between Ira Glass’s ideas about storytelling and the work of Morgan Jaffe.

4 comments on “3. Critical & Creative”

  1. So sorry to miss this past weeks discussion. I had a commitment.

    However, I did take the time to watch the class discussion and listen to Mr. Glass. Around the two minute mark, Ira Glass presented me with a key takeaway for myself when he said, “you want to be constantly raising questions.” The idea that in the craft of a well-told story is the ability to tell and link each piece in a way that that elicits active questioning about the story.

    In my analysis of Jaffe, I commented how I was immediately faced with questions while listening, but they were ulterior questions about Jaffe herself not necessary her chosen topic. While Jaffe presents opinions on an attention grabbing topic, she did not use anecdote in quite the same way that Glass explains.

    In reflecting on the This American Life formula for each episode, this method of storytelling that Glass reflects on is always present and I think that Glass’ method of working in themes is a powerful contribution to this method. Every episode introduces an anecdote from someone and knowing the theme from the title of the episode, adds to the listeners questions about the story with a larger overarching question. It is as if the story is piece of a puzzle.

    Glass’ method of storytelling to elicit questions reminded me of the Moth. The Moth actively teaches people to tell their stories. By taking a pitch, they train people in the art to tell their story that aligns with Glass’ method, that is, telling each part, no matter how boring, in a way that leads “like a train” to a destination. By garnering questions with each step of that journey, the listener is hooked to discover the conclusion.

    So, the telling of the anecdote is the precedent for relevant commentary. The best of Jaffe’s work (the Seuss episode for example) relied on her explaining what we were looking at rather than clips. This essential step of telling a story to explain and inform in order to comment and analyze is critical to a well-rounded, engaging podcast.


  2. Ira Glass referred to “anecdote” and “the moment of reflection” as two of the most important elements in story telling. To be specific, what he wants to say is that the anecdote, a series of sequential stories, is basically necessary to get the attention of the audience. And in the middle of the story, the moments that make us wonder why are needed to make the story interesting.

    I would like to give an example of anecdote and the moment of reflection as an example of the episode 13 Ugly Betty and affirmative action of Morgan Jaffe’s podcast. At the podcast, Morgan summarizes an episode of the famous TV show, Ugly Betty. This is anecdote, which explains what is happening through narration and audio clips from the beginning to the end of the episode. Then the story goes up to the pinnacle of Betty being chosen for YETI because she is Latina. And at that moment, Morgan explains the concept of affirmative action which is podcast’s main topic. In other words, Morgan has provided the moment of reflection that listeners who have been focusing on the flow of stories through anecdote know about affirmative action or think deeper.

    In that regard, Morgan Jaffe’s podcast has a basic structure of good storytelling such as a solid anecdote from the famous TV show and interest on the social issue that will allow listeners to have the moment of reflection.


  3. I agree with many members of the class who spoke about Ira Glass talks about “throwing out questions to the listener and keep answering them along the way.” This is something I feel Morgan Jaffe does very well in her podcasts. Jaffe often questions ideas or situations to the listener and then talks them through her thoughts to answer them. In the podcast that I listened to, Morgan Jaffe gave the intro into what the podcast was going to be discussing, asked a question and left the listener hooked, to want to know the answer to the question. She starts the podcast raising a questions, making the listener want to know more.


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