One driving force for this project is Serenity’s work as Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at SUNY Oswego. There, she teach courses on digital media at the undergraduate and graduate level. The following post explains her experience and interest in the national parks, digital media and pedagogy.
Frequently I ask the students to make media that pays special attention to their audience, thesis and message. To keep my skills sharp, I decided I too should partake in similar acts of media creation and digital media integration. This means that in organizing this project Matthew and I sat down and did the same worksheets and mini assignments that pay attention to audience, argument, and process of message-making that I ask the students to do.
In regards to the topic of the National Parks, I have long had an interest in environmental studies, even earning a B.S. in Environmental Management and Technology in 2010. The National Parks have figured into my teaching, too, which ranges from courses in women’s and gender studies, environmental history, digital media, and science and technology studies. Previously, I taught a course called the History of America’s National Parks and am planning a course for 2019 at Oswego called Communicating the National Parks about how we send messages and make meaning in our public discourse about government funded protected areas. All of this combined with my interest in experiential learning (or learning by doing) to inspire a project featuring the national parks complete with multimodal elements such as photo, video, text, and social media.