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Session 08: Desktop Documentaries

SESSION 8: Dr. James Schul - Desktop Documentaries
Date: January 26th, 2011
Location: Dicke Forum
Time: 7:00 PM

Summary: On Wednesday, January 26th, Dr. James Schul presented a lecture on a new field of interest in education: Desktop Documentaries.  Essentially what Desktop Documentaries are student-made compilations that present a topic of interest to the rest of the class. Using Ken Burns methods of juxtaposition, students can create documentaries that are expository or poetic.  To see an example of a poetic documentary refer to this: .  An expository documentary is more descriptive and detailed than poetic documentaries which attempt to evoke emotions in the audience.

Dr. Schul described the steps it takes to create a Desktop Documentary:

1) Select your topic
2) Make a plan as to how you'd like to portray your topic
3) Collect images onto a file
4) Select appropriate music sources (download files or use CDs)
5) Open software (Movie Maker: Windows, Photo Story 3, or iMovie:Macintosh) and get to work!

Despite technological issues, Dr. Schul has found that the inclusion of Desktop Documentaries in the classroom attracts a wide range of learning styles, and extends discourse of the community of inquiry.  His goal with the documentaries is "To get students to make their own History".

Dr. Schul

Ph.D. Social Studies Education - University of Iowa
M.Ed. - Miami University
B.S. - Miami University