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Course Meeting Times

This course took place over IAP (2015)

Lectures / Workshops: 5 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Description

Becoming the Next Bill Nye is about using video production techniques to develop your ability to engagingly convey your passions for science, technology, engineering, and / or math. You’ll have the opportunity to script and on-screen host 5-minute YouTube science, technology, engineering, and / or math-related shows to inspire youth to consider a future in science.

Workshop-style lectures, with industry guest speakers, focus on developing students’ basic scripting, hosting, and video production skills in the context of understanding digital media literacy, K-12 education, science advocacy, and engaging a lay audience. Students are expected to critically analyze case studies of popular hosts and shows in addition to completing iterative, project-based assignments and peer-critiques, culminating in a 5-minute final episode. Selected groups will have the opportunity to continue optional development of episodes with a professional production crew for the MIT+K12 Videos Science Out Loud series during the final week of IAP. Enrollment limited to 24 students, open to all majors.

Use of Tumblr for the Course Website

This course used a Tumblr to allow students and instructors to document and share their process, difficulties, and lessons learned with each other during the course. Tumblr is a platform that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. In this course, students submitted most of their homework on the Tumblr, which allowed the instructors and students to see and review each other’s work. The course Tumblr also includes links to reference material that students could use. These Tumblr posts are sorted and collected on OCW in the Student Projects and Student Reflections sections.

Learning Outcomes

After taking this course, students should be able to:

  • Thoughtfully and clearly communicate science, technology, engineering, and / or math topics to a lay audience in an engaging manner—textually, visually, and verbally.
  • Understand the media production process—from design to premiere of their own videos.
  • Develop their own hosting and scripting style stemming from an understanding of what makes a successful communicator and guide.
  • Critically analyze video-based entertainment and education, particularly in the context of K-12 students.
  • Transfer video production skills to future projects.

Key Skills

  • Engaging oral presentation skills
  • Clear, written science communication; storytelling and script writing
  • Providing peer critique
  • Producing video (filming and editing)
  • Gaining digital media literacy—familiarity with YouTube, online video communities

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