looking back: a semester in review

 

The way we are communicating is changing as our technology is advancing. Technology will always be evolving and therefore digital literacy will be always changing. Digital literacy “is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.”

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This visual depiction shows how there is not just one or two aspects that create digital literacy. Many different areas of understanding must be considered when thinking about digital literacy. 

The way I understand it is that it is all about how you create and produce content for the world to see using all forms of medias. It is important for sites to be visually appealing to attract viewers, but to also be easy to navigate and understand to have viewer retention. Being able to combine design and functionality will lead to success in any form of digital media. In addition to design and functionally, content must be concise. When writing, it is important to make sure that content is useful to your targeted audience. It also needs to carry your own personal voice.

I think this most important aspect in any form of digital media. If your content doesn’t reflect you and your personal voice, chances are you aren’t branding yourself to the best of your abilities. Voice will allow your readers to relate to you and create a conversation.  Conversation is crucial to certain types of media: blogs being the one that come to mind first. As I look back on this semester, we have all been creators of digital content. We have been a part of a journey in which we have learned about the digital age in which we live, but also about ourselves and how we want to be presented to others. Digital media and literacy will always be changing but after these past four months I think I speak for us all when I say we are all ready to continue the journey that we have begun.

This semester…

Through out this semester we have all been a part of a larger conversation through digital media. I felt that I was most connected when working on my personal blog.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 2.21.47 PM.pngThis aspect of my Multimedia Project has allowed me to explore a variety of media and techniques. From creating collages to editing movies, this project as allowed me to try out a variety of different digital medias necessary to become successful in this age. This project also helped me form my own personal voice. It forced me to take a step back and really thing logistically about the success of my content. I had to think about my target audience and picking topics relevant to them. I had to think about portraying myself to people that have never met me. Voice played a huge role in this. Along the way, I struggled to write in a concise manner. My topic is something I really enjoy, therefore when it came to writing, I found myself writing too much. Editing and revising was a major part in my digital journey. I’ve enjoyed finding my voice and contributing to a greater conversation about something I’m passionate about.

Looking Ahead…

As the journey with this class comes to a close, I am excited to see where it continues next. Through creating my personal website I have created a platform which I will continue to improve over the rest of my college years and beyond. I am looking forward to the new things I will learn and the opportunities I will experience because of all I have learned over the last four months.

Its been a great journey and I’m glad I got to share it with the people I did.

 

With Love,

Mal

Digital Inequalities

Some 14% of American adults still do not use the internet as of 2014.” This statistic shocked me the first time I read it. To think that 14% of U.S adults citizens don’t use something that I use everyday in my life was mind blowing. This is just one of the injustices of the digital age. This term, digital inequality, is fairly new in our vocabulary. It’s definition varies on the situation. The instances of digital inequality are growing and will continue to grow as the digital age progresses.

When looking at digital inequalities there are three important factors that help put the situation into context.

  1. social
  2. economic
  3. cultural

These factors combine with race, gender, and class to form inequalities of the digital age. These range from electronics to actual access to digital platforms. Now days most fifth  graders have some type of cell phone, usually a smart phone.

I got my first cell phone when I was in 8th grade. By this point all of my friends had them and were on all social media platforms at the time, which were limited to AIM and Facebook. I felt super behind in the digital age, but now I am connected to my phone at the hip. I need it to do basically everything. It holds my calendar, contacts, email, and iMessages. It has everything I need to do the things I do everyday on it. I can’t imagine not having it.

That being said there is a lot of articles out there talking about how we are too connected to our phones. Constantly children are being placed in front of iPods and iPads as entertainment. These children grow up to be more connected. From the article, Digital inequalities and why they matter, it was proven that highly connected families develop differently than those that aren’t as connected. The reason for this is unknown.

As technology advances, digital inequalities will grow. We will have to see what they are and how they effect our population as a whole in the coming digital age.

personality and clothes

Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to specific types of clothing, or why you love to to wear certain things, but your best friend wouldn’t be caught dead in what you like.

My “fromie” (future roommate) and I could not get along better. We are great friends. We have similar personalities and enjoy doing similar things, however when it comes to clothes and accessories, we could not be more different. Our styles are opposite. Neither one of us would wear anything out of the others closet. So why is it that two people who are so similar have such different styles? Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner recently wrote on this idea, in which she calls “psychology of dress.” The book is entitled:

You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You

“She explains not only how psychology determines our clothing choices, but how to overcome key psychological issues your wardrobe might be bringing to light in your everyday life, or even at work.”

So it isn’t just me who is curious about this topic! While home over spring break, I was out shopping with my mom. While browsing the racks at Kate Spade and found my spirit dress. If I had to put my personality into a dress, this would be it. It is hot pink and had a bow on the back. I’m wearing it to formal this weekend!

kate-spade-logo

This sparked a question, had of my peers  had a similar experience. Or if other people had favorite articles of clothing like me! I got so curious that I actually went out and asked some people about their favorite articles of clothing. Check out my video to see some of my favorites!

From what I found, the favorite articles of clothing carried depending on the personality of the girls! It was so fun to hear all about what girls love to wear. These girls all live on my hall, so I know them fairly well. It was so funny to hear them talk about why they love their favorite clothes. A lot of them made sense because of their personalities!

What is your favorite article of clothing? Have you ever wondered about other peoples favorite clothes are? Let me know!

With Love,

Mal

Music in Video thanks to Jamendo 

 

 

self branding by way of social media

Today, almost everyone is involved in some form of social media. From Facebook to keep up with old friends, to LinkedIn for employment opportunities; it is ingrained in our everyday lives. I know I can’t go a few hours with out checking at least one of the many social media platforms I’m on. Personally my favorite is snapchat. Sending ugly pictures to my friends will just never get old! But social media can be used for so much more than keeping in touch with friend or even sending ugly selfies. It can be a place where you can create your self brand.

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Gretchen Fox and Krya Reed, co-owners  Made to Order (MTO), a social strategy and training agency has come out with 5 steps in the Social System, here are my favorite three (if you want to read more here is the article).

  1. Social Identity. This is kind of like self branding but a little bit more. It’s more about developing yourself in a two way conversation. According to Fox social identity is, “the root from which your social strategy will develop.”
  2. Content Strategy: This is important in developing because it is the foundation of your information. It is necessary to created your content strategy after knowing who you are and who your audience is.
  3. Social Intelligence: Its more about being tactical opposed to strategic. “Social intelligence is not the beginning of social strategy but where social strategy is executed through policies, procedures, metrics, tactics and tools you use to listen, measure, respond, integrate and engage in real-time online conversation.”

Hopefully this gives you some ideas!

With Love,

Mal

Work Cited:

Social Times

Picture Credit

 

 

the dh’s renovation

Dinning is an important aspect on any campus. Students need to feel comfortable with their food options because they will be eating what the University offers for majority of their time in school. Perspective students look at online rankings to asses where their school is in comparison to others. Though it might not seem as important as graduation rates or areas of study, perspective students value highly the food options on campuses because it is an important part of students lives.

Furman Dinning has not alway been as it is today. Students have not enjoyed the dinning options on campus as much as they do now. Recently the dinning hall receive and major face lift, the first step in creating a more fresh environment for students.

In the summer of 2014, Furman’s Dinning Hall experienced some major changes: “Additions and renovations to Furman University’s Dining Hall included the addition of a second floor mezzanine, elevator, and a complete renovation of the ground floor dining level with salad bar, hot food stations, brick oven and dessert prep area” (Trehel Corporation).

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Along with these architectural changes, the food itself is also changing. Listen to our podcast to hear more about it!

 

With Love,

Mal

Photo Credit:

Dinning Hall

spring break is in the air

Spring is finally in the air and for some of us we have already embarked on a week of fun in the sun, and for others, that week is right around the corner. Check out my flickr album about the top 5 destinations!

I’m one of the lucky ones who is already enjoying my break! I made the decision to spend a quality week at home rather than hitting up the beach with my friends. I fully regretted it when it started snowing on my drive home Thursday night, but the weather is now beautiful and I’m so glad I decided to come home!

The rest of my week will consist of relaxing, shopping and painting a cooler! I was asked to a fraternity formal and it’s tradition for girls paint and fill a cooler for their date. I love crafting so this is right up my alley but me being a perfectionist makes it really time consuming. So I’m glad I have this week to get most of it done (I’ll post about the process and how my cooler turned out when I’m done with it!).

I had the luxury of driving home for this break so I didn’t have to be super conscious of what I packed. I am know for overpacking. I’ve gotten a bit better from traveling with the football team, but its still pretty bad. I just like to be prepared for anything.I rarely ever use everything I pack which can cause a huge problem when I fly and need to make use of the little space I have.

I always try to fit all the things I need in a carry on and large tote because…

  1. why pay the extra money to check bags
  2.  waiting to get checked bags after landing is never a fun time

Plus there is always the chance that your luggage is lost or damaged and thats not a good way to start off a trip! So if you can, just pack a carry on! I love mine, its a about a two years old but this one is similar (and its on sale!). I can fit so much in it and its hard on the outside so I’m not afraid if it has to be checked and gets thrown around.

Because it is smaller, I have to be a little more thoughtful when packing for trips. So what makes the cut when I am flying? Well, I guess it all depends on where I’m going! Since its Spring Break (or almost that time) and most people go to the beach, what might be some things I put in my suitcase?

  • at least 2 swimsuits…nothing is worse than having to put on a cold, damp swimsuit in the morning to hit up the beach or pool
  • pjs! most-likely you’re going to be staying in a hotel room or house with other people and you might want to have something to run downstairs in to get coffee before starting your day. I know I would! (I love matching pj sets)
  • “norts” (nike running shorts) and t-shirts. This is an absolute staple in my wardrobe. This can be worn as a cover-up at the beach, something you throw on to run to the store or if you’re feeling really ambitious, it makes the perfect work out attire. You really can’t go wrong.
  • a baseball cap to throw on at the beach inevitably getting too much sun.
  • a nice outfit. This one is a little different because most of the time when you think beach you think swimsuits and casual attire, but I’ve always found that my friends and I like to eat one nice meal out a trip, so I always plan for that!
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A few things I would have in my suitcase!

These are just a few things that I would make sure to have in my suitcase for a trip to the beach! Other important things to remember are…

  • phone charger
  • medications
  • SUNSCREEN! (if you are flying and can’t pack it, buy some when you get there…your future self will thank you!!)
  • license/passport
  • sunglasses

I hope you all have a wonderful spring break! Where are you going to spend the week? Is there anything special you’re packing for your trip? Let me know, I’d love to hear all about your adventures! xoxo

 

With Love,

Mal

 

Photo Credit:

Collage created by Mallory Ackerson. Pictures came from…

Phone caseVineyard Vines ShirtNike Running ShortsJ. Crew PjsMonogrammed HatJ. Crew DressSwimsuit Pearl EarringsRainbow Flip Flops

 

so you want to make a video?

movie-film

Filmmaking can sound like an extremely daunting task; don’t get me wrong, it is. Between picking a topic, researching, interviewing, filming, editing, publishing, it can all get a bit much. But with certain tips and tricks created by Todd Chappell, the process can be much easier.

Pre-Production

There are many things that need to be done prior to actual production. The first thing is to think of a storyline, comprised of a beginning, middle, and end. This is important because it is the foundation of your video. Next comes scripting. There are two different types. First, screenplay which is used more for fictional work. It is important to recognize that this is all written in the present tense. The second type being two-column AV script, which is for more non-fictional work.

Thinking about interviews early on is important. Interviewing is the key to documentary filmmaking. Other things to consider are shots, camera angles, along with other media.

Production

Make sure you have all your gear! Here are some things you might need…

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Microphone

Now choosing these pieces of equipment is all up to you, some things to consider are definition, focus, price, clarity, etc.

After collecting your gear, its time to start shooting footage! There are two different types of shots: subject shot and action shot. The subject shot usually involves some type of interview  while the action shot will have some type of movement (i.e. someone doing the action you are talking about). It is important to make sure your shots are well planned because this is what your video is made up of. To help orient your audience you might want to use an establish shot, which is a shot that gives context to what you are talking about.

Post Production

Now its time to edit! Editing can be the most tricky part. There are four main softwares used to edit video: Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker. In any of these programs you can edit your work. Edit, edit, edit! Make sure to cut out anything that doesn’t add to your video, for example long pauses or the word ‘um.’

Now that you’re done editing you just export your file. Think about where you are planning on sharing your video. If you are using a DVD, use the highest resolution possible. But, if you are planning on sharing your video online, don’t use as high of a resolution because its vital to keep file sizes small. A small file size helps keep download times short, so everyone can see your great work in a timely manner!

Hopefully this makes the thought of creating your own video seem a little less intimidating! Have you made any videos lately? How did they turn out?

 

With Love,

Mal

Picture Credit: Film

 

 

 

dress for success

It’s early February and application deadlines for summer internships are just around the corner. After completing the application and submitting a killer resume next comes the interview process. This can be the most stressful part of the application because it is a time that an interviewer gets to sit down with you and ask any question they desire.

To make the whole interaction more stressful, you only have about 7 seconds to make a lasting first impression. It could not matter at all what you said during the actual interview if you didn’t make those first few seconds count. So if you’re hoping to get that great summer internship, you better make those few seconds count.

One of the biggest ways you can make a great first impression is your outfit.

The dress for interviews really vary on the position in which you are applying. I have applied to a number of different types of positions and each outfit I have worn have been different. For example, if you’re applying to be an intern at a law firm you will want to wear something totally different than what you would wear if you were applying to be an intern at a fashion magazine. These so called “dress codes” vary, but it is always better to be over dressed opposed to under dressed.

For all interviews, I like to  wear some type of dress. Dresses are super comfy but still look professional. I like prints and bright colors, when done tastefully, a printed dress works great for an interview. To make it look a little more “adult like” I usually add a solid cardigan paired with a great pair of tall boots. To finish off the outfit I will wear my monogrammed necklace. I ordered mine online in the 3 inch size, and it is by far my favorite accessory. It goes with everything. I can’t say enough good things about it!

collage #1*

This bold print dress matches well with a simple navy cardigan. Tall boots make the look more mature. While a simple necklace is the perfect accessory because it doesn’t conflict with the print of the dress. 

Wear what makes you feel comfortable and empowered. Go in with a positive attitude and a great outfit and know you are going to rock that interview!

With Love,

Mal

“puffy” snow

Winter Strom Jonas has hit the East Coast hard. At home, about 30 inches of snow fell and at school, in Greenville, SC, we had about 4 inches (which is a ton). I thought I was escaping the cold winter months when I moved south for school but I was wrong!

We all enjoyed a snow day on Friday. My hall stayed in most of the day watching movies, playing games and eating snacks. We were going a little stir crazy after being inside all day so a few of us bundled up to brave the cold to play in all of the newly fallen snow. We explored around campus to find the best hill for sledding. We ended up sledding behind a truck! It was freezing; so, naturally, when we got back inside and all we wanted were warm showers, snuggles in bed and hot coco. Snow days at school are the best. The opportunities for fun are endless! It was a great snow day full of lots of adventures.

It is getting to be the coldest time of the year. I know on the days when I wake up and look at my weather bug app and the temperature is in the 20s all I can think about putting on are leggings, Uggs and my favorite sweatshirt to make the long, cold trek

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This J.Crew vest paired with a button down flannel is the best way to beat the cold in the darkest winter months. I love the statement necklace. It adds just the right amount of  sparkle!

to my 8:30. I’m not going to lie, this more often than not is what I usually end up putting on because the cold is the worst. However, I have just found my new favorite thing, a puffer vest (this is one from J. Crew  is the one I have and am totally obsessed with). It’s surprising warm but also really cute. I personally love the look of layering with a vest. I usually wear a button down shirt and a pull over sweater under for extra warmth. And of course I love adding a statement necklace to match. Throw on a pair of skinny jean and tuck them into Bean Boots with some warm socks and you’re good to go! Its simple but also looks put together. The combinations are endless so you can really make the look your own!

Vest in general are not appreciated as they should be during the cold winter months. They are versatile and practical. The outfit options are endless. From work to a night out there is almost always a way to incorporate a vest into your outfit. Especially during these cold winter months when you really need that extra layer. Who ever said you had to be cold to look cute?

 

Do you like styling with a vest? Have you found any cute outfit combinations you really like? Let me know I would love to hear about how I could wear my vest differently!

With Love,

Mal

 

Photo Credit: Furman Front Gate

 

short, sweet and to the point

In this day and age, we don’t have time to sit around and read pages upon pages of written work to find the one piece of information that we are looking for.  The pace of life is constantly changing therefore so is the world around us. Its gotten to the point where we can ask Siri a question and she will tell us the answer; we literally have to read nothing. So when we do sit down to read something what makes us chose what we spend our valuable time indulging ourselves in?

As a writer, here are two different insights on how to make your work something people will read…

Lynda Felder believes that the subject allows the author to be authentic in their writing, thus making it more important than overall writing style. So basically pick something you love and really immerse yourself in it. If you love your topic, chances are that love will translate into your writing. It is important though that through out what ever you are writing you try to keep your words to a minimum. Its all about concision. Your readers won’t have much time to sit down and read every word you have ever typed, so try to keep it short, sweet and to the point.

Bryan Carrol shares with Felder the ideas on concision, but goes further into keeping writing simple. He has developed the “KISS method” in which he discusses how to make writing simple. Most importantly he emphases the importance of headlines in a blog. This is not only a way to catch a readers attention but also give them a brief idea for what is covered in that post. In writing he gives four main points:

  • get rid of all articles ( a, an, the…)
  • use present tense
  • use numerals to save space
  • avoid using present tense verbs of to be

With these ideas in mind, go out and write great things for the digital world. Pick a topic you are passionate about and just go with it. Just remember, in this case, less is more.