Last week I got to do something really fun. Along with Erin Long, Hannah Inzko and some others around Penn State’s University Park campus, we were asked to judge student Sparky Award submissions for Jeanette Novakovich’s English 202C Technical Writing course.
These local Sparky Awards are a collaborative effort between Digital Commons, the University Libraries, the College of Communications, Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU), and, of course, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), who promote the universal benefits of sharing ideas of all kinds. They’ve been doing this for a while now; you can see the winning videos from the 2007 and 2008 Sparky Awards on their site. All good stuff. But this is what really excites me: the amount of educational technology that was involved, and how it flows seamlessly together for a class project.
- Digital Commons worked with the students by offering workshops on creating digital media, and helped them further with the editing of collected video;
- Videos were uploaded to the class’s Not Official Sparky Awards YouTube page to avoid difficulties with ANGEL’s 1 GB upload limitations;
- The instructor created a blog specifically for the event, where you could find all the specifics about the assignment itself, student video submissions, awards ceremony
- Judges accessed videos (from wherever they were) via the class’s YouTube channel;
- Judges in turn had to create videos to announce the winner of their own particular category (my very favorite is Trace’s animation for the Humanitarian award) as well as another for their choice of Best Overall video;
- An awards show was held in class, where videos were shown and real awards were handed out;
- Followup posting of ceremony pictures of groups winning awards and watching judges’ clips.