“Digital Literacy?”

Digital Literacy: Hyperlinks, Inverted Pyramid, and Images

In a world where technology advances at a strong pace, it is important to acquire understanding of Digital Literacy such as;

Hyperlinks

Links that connect the user to other sources are essential in a professional blog. Hyperlinks do not only provide useful information to the user, but also build credibility. For this reason it is important for people to understand what words to hyperlink and how to do it online.

Hyperlink is essential in a professional blog.
Hyperlink is essential in a professional blog.

Inverted Pyramid

As people’s attention spam continues to decrease, it is important to grasp the audience attention in the digital world. The Inverted Pyramid teaches to include the most important information in your first paragraph and then support it with facts.

Inverted Pyramid provides the user from the most important information to the least important information.
Inverted Pyramid provides the user from the most important information to the least important information.

Images

There is a saying that “an image is worth a thousand words,” however, it also important to know exactly what words. Images have the power to appeal to the user’s emotions if used correctly. They empower the person who know how to use them. For this reason when placing the image online, it is important to caption the image and site where you acquire them from.

How Do They Work Together?

My best multimedia project work, Ordinary People Making Extraordinary Differences, includes these three digital literacy. The story itself is an inspirational story of the director of Bridges to a Brighter Future, Tobi Kinsell. In the story I explore Kinsell’s journey and the childhood obstacles she faced. Within the blog I include hyperlinks to Bridges and also to her hometown. The beginning of  Tobi’s story is a list of super heroes. I approach the story in such a  manner to follow the inverted pyramid and grasp the audiences attention. The list of superheroes also allows me to hyperlink right away and gain credibility. The images I provided in the story were images that I got from her personal Facebook. I wanted to capture the strong independent woman she is, but at the same time demonstrate her love towards her students.

Hyperlink, Inverted Pyramid, and Images are all important to create a powerful blog.
Hyperlink, Inverted Pyramid, and Images are all important to create a powerful blog.

Greatest Achievement in the Story

In my blog, Ordinary People Making Extraordinary Differences, the accomplishment I am mostly proud of  is the video I created. The two minute video I created in Adobe Premier took me approximately six hours. In this post production phase it was of extremely important to understand how to use Adobe Premier. I had to learn how to insert the video, cut, and add media. I also used A roll and B roll to include the interviews as well as some images of Tobi Kinsell. In the end, the video included interviews from Bridges students who are currently enrolled at Furman University. They spoke of the impact Kinsell had on each one of them.

Room for Improvement

Although I feel proud of my story about Tobi Kinsell, it is clear to me I have room for improvement. Regarding the writing I could use less details. During the video I also had interviewers who stuttered a lot, however, because what they said was important I left it in the clip. Next time I will just try to improve on my questions with the interviewers and when stuttering occurs I am going to ask them to repeat themselves.

Future Goals!

The skills I have acquired in Digital Communications such as hyperlink, understanding power of images, 180 rule, and video editing will serve me well when I go off to my career. Although I still need to improve on Adobe Premiere and Photoshop I know such skills will help me promote different restaurants or businesses when I enter the work field.

Technology: Cellular Devices, Friend or Foe?

Cell phones are great devices for communication but can also become controlling.
Cell phones are great devices for communication but can also become controlling.

Cellular Devices, Friend or Foe?

In a world where technology is growing at a fast pace, cellphones are an important component of such technology. Cellphones have turned from luxuries to everyday necessity, however, it also serves for other purposes. In The Cell Phone as an Agent of Social Change, Abu Sadat Nurullah puts forth the idea that cell phones are more than devices of communication. According to Nurullah, cell phones are a way to gain self identity, specially for adolescents, and also a way to gain prestige.

Identity

People walking while using their cellular devices.
People walking while using their cellular devices.

Cellular devices have become essential in the development of identity, specially for adolescents. For example, cell phones are a subculture to the adolescents today who without a cell phone would lack of communication with family and friends. This is clear when one walks into a restaurant or school where teenagers demonstrate their needs for cell phones. They are always looking down at their phones concentrated on the movement of their fingers when they tap the touch screens in their phones.

Prestige

As cell phones become a source of identity for adolescents, they are also a measure of prestige. For example, if an individual receives many text messages or calls it demonstrates he or she is popular.  Another example is who has a cell phone and who does not. If a person does not have a cellular device he or she may feel left out in society.

Understanding Importance of Cellphones

As I learned that cellphones are more than devices to communicate, I plan to use this in my everyday life. For example, I will try to improve on reaching to more people with not just blogs but also text messages.

 

Nothing is Impossible

From the Circus to Furman University

Being born into the circus life would had been any young boy’s dream. Always traveling, having exotic animals, observing your parents doing risky stunts, and the best part was you would never have to leave the circus because it was “home.” It would be an awesome fantasy to have for the rest of a young boy’s life no? Well such fantasy is incorrect. For Jose Morales, the circus life was not enough because he aspired to something greater.

Born in Mexico City, Jose witnessed the life of the circus because his parents worked in  one. The first five years of his life he would observe his father doing risky stunts and his mother taking care of the exotic animals.  He was also trained to do some of the stunts by his father like walking on his hands because he was considered to be

Jose Morales dressed as Aladdin for a fundraiser.
Jose Morales dressed as Aladdin for a fundraiser.

the next generation. It was not until Jose’s youngest brother was born when his family decided to stop with the circus life and chase after the American Dream. October of 1998 they  moved to the U.S., which led to Jose’s first step to a quest for greatness.

As the oldest of two youngest brother and having to see his family struggle to bring food to the table, Jose’s dream was to help his family. He wanted to help his family economically by going to college and becoming a doctor. However, uncles, aunts, cousins, and sometimes even father would advice Jose the college life was impossible. It was not until the summer of his freshman year he was selected to participate in Bridges to a Brighter Future when he realized college was possible.

Because of his academic excellence and work ethic, Jose was able to participate in Bridges. More than space to grow as a leader or improve his work ethic, Bridges linked Jose to different opportunities. While staying in the dorms and living in Furman University as a student for a month, he fell in love with the school. The only issue to come to the school was money. Jose was not a citizen of the US and he was denied financial aid. from the government. For this reason he  had to rely completely on his academic performance to receive merit base scholarships.

With all the odds against him, Jose continued to be persistent in his dream of attending college.  Even when family members would continue to put his dreams down, Jose continued to be self-motivated to achieve a better life. The work ethic he put in school, family, work, soccer, and more was admirable.

Today, his academic excellence and leadership has given him a full ride at Furman University through the Golden Door Scholarship. His dream of studying biology and going into pre med are closer than ever. Though his hard work and persistence, Jose Morales has proved that when it comes to aspiring for a better life nothing is impossible.

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Social Media: Advantages and Disadvantages

Social Media
Social Media

Social Media

Facebook, twitter, Instagram are all great examples of useful social media that can be used in today’s world. However, it is important to understand there is also a negative side of social media. In Writing & editing FOR DIGITAL MEDIA 2nd edition, Brian Carroll discusses the advantages of using social media as a company but also the ethics that should be practiced when using social media.

Advantages of Social Media

Social media such as Facebook and Twitter have been essential for the improvement of companies. Today’s generation demands for companies to create social media to communicate their products. One thing to keep in mind is also that the social media does not only help promote products but does it at a low or no cost. Studies have demonstrated that if social media is involved in promoting an idea or product, the results are more beneficial. This is exactly what happened with the Huffington Post

.  More people would read Huffington Post material if it was through Facebook than if it was directly to their site.

Because social media is so important, it is also important to understand the different ethics that should be practiced with social media.

Ethics in Social Media

Because social media has become so dominant in today’s culture, there are different ethics  journalist and employees of organizations have to follow. For example, as a journalist it is important to;

  • Give credible information
  • Be fair, honest, and respectful
  • Treat individuals online as you would treat them offline

 

Ordinary People Making Extraordinary Acts

Tobi Kinsell
Tobi Kinsell

Wonder Woman

I met Wonder Woman. Yea that is right. I shook hands and had a conversation with Wonder Woman. At one point or another we have all had a superhero we look up to save the day. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and more are superheroes we admire because of the super powers they possess and their will to do good. However, unlike the traditional super heroes, the hero I met did not wear a cape or had super strength. Instead, her super power is to provide love, care, hope, and self sacrifice herself for her students. As the Director of Bridges to a Brighter Future, Tobi Kinsell has become the heroine for many teenagers in Greenville SC. She has not only helped them reach the dream of attending a college, but has provided hope for a better future. However, it was not easy to get where she is at now. Tobi had to push through adversity to become the mentor she is today.

Tobi Kinsell and ex brides students who graduated from Furman University.

Long Road to the Brighter Bridge

Born in Miner, Illinois, Tobi Kinsell started to face obstacles since the age of nine. Her parents got divorced when she was in second grade. The divorce forced Tobi to work in a farm to help her family financially. She worked until she turned fifteen years old and could work in the small market they had in town. Later when she attended Southern Mississippi University, Tobi Kinsell faced her second biggest disappointment. As a cheerleader of Southern Mississippi, Tobi Kinsell suffered a serious injury when she tore her ACL. She was was performing a stunt during a basketball game when she fell. Consequently, she became heavily involved with student activities in campus. In an interview, Tobi stated her childhood and college hardships contributed to the strong work ethic she has today.

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One Person at a Time

Today, Tobi Kinsell is the director of a very prestigious summer program that has been recognized nationwide. Kinsell is also a strong mentor who has provided support and hope for a better future for the participants of the Bridges program. While being asked what was next, she answered that her vision was greater. She does not expect to make a change in the world from one day to another. Instead, she wants to start by motivating one person at a time to become the better people this world needs.

Cancer vs Faith

Pastor Felix Fernandez on his fight against cancer
Pastor Felix Fernandez on his fight against cancer

Faith consist in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” – Voltaire

Cancer vs Faith

“You have three months to live” is not a comment one would be delighted to hear, however, on May 2010 Pastor Felix Fernandez from Global Revival Center was told he had colon cancer. As a  father of two boys, a girl, and the husband of his loving wife, he was devastated by the news.

Warrior Biggest Fear

When asked on an interview about his condition and what his biggest fear was he responded it was leaving his family behind. He could not adapt to the idea of leaving his family with economical problems and emotionally unstable. For a long time he was the father and the husband who provided, loved and cared for them, so leaving them was not easy. His other fears was the decrease of faith in the congregation due to his condition. He knew some of the members of the church were new and would not respond well to their pastor having cancer.

Collage on Pastor Felix and his triumph over cancer.

Walking with Faith

One of the strongest qualities Pastor Felix had in such journey was faith. He stated faith helped him maintain his strength for his family and the congregation. He refused the idea of dying and leaving his family behind. Pastor Felix would continue to pray, fast, attend church, and be the role model he had always been for his congregation.

Miracles Around the Corner

As his family and him continued to walk with faith, on an ordinary afternoon they received a prophetic word. It was on a TBN show when the pastor sent a word of healing to those who were with cancer. Pastor Felix took the prophetic word in and the next day he went to get checked again. He was not shocked at the miracle when the doctor told him the cancer had been closed. The cancer contamination had gone from a 15.2 percent to a 1.5.

Battle not Over

After Pastor Felix received the news he was clear from cancer other problems emerged. Because of the chemotherapy he received and the visits to the hospital, his bill was of sixty one million dollars. Again, his faith allowed him to remain strong despite the hardships. He applied to many programs which would help reduce his cost, but all of them were denied because he is not a citizen of the US. It was not until two weeks later after the bill he received the news of a special program which would help cover his full cost.

After the Storm Comes the Peace

Today, a survivor of cancer and free of debt, pastor Felix shares his faith with people. He uses his personal testimony to inspire people and teach them about the power of faith. Even those who are not religious admire his story and the faith Pastor Felix had when he encounter such hardship.

Fernandez Family

Fernandez Family

Typography Matters

Why Typography Matters?

Fonts size, bold, Italic, vertical and horizontal spaces are all different tools available we use to give meaning and color to our words. When typed words are given a visual form, it creates a magical experience to the audience. In Presentation Zen Design, Garr Reynolds emphasis the importance of typography when capturing the audience attention. He compares typography to the air we breathe because although we do not think about how important it is, it is very important in our daily activities. Rynolds states how if typography is used correctly, it has the potential to create a “powerful,memorable visuals, and clear communication” to our audience.

Font Size

One of the important qualities of typography is font size. What font size should be used in different scenarios? Garr Reynolds advice the reader that when giving large conferences to take into consideration the last row of the room. The font size should be large enough for the people in the back to read perfectly. Reynolds also states that in small meetings, onscreen projections are not necessary. In this type of situations the presenter can give the small audience handouts.

ALL CAPS?

Another characteristic of a good typography is knowing when to use all caps and when not to. For example, if it is a long text then it would be better to not use all caps because that would make the it harder for the audience to understand. If is just one word, in order to point out the importance or make it stand it then all caps would be useful.

Summary:

From the reading of Presenting with Type, I was did not only learn about the impact of good typography but also learned hints to capture the reader’s attention. When I use words typed on a screen I will always keep in mind to who the words are intended to. As Reynolds mentions, if the it is a small audience, then handouts would be better instead of projecting on a big screen. However, if I have to present in front of a large audience I will keep into consideration the last row.

Importance of Typography
Importance of Typography