So for the week commencing 24th October, the Media and Communications department (Media, PR, Media and PR and Journalism) called off all lectures and seminars for the week and instead arranged a number of guest speakers, masterclasses and workshops. In the past, this week has been called Academic Development Week and has comprised of very few workshops based around referencing and employment. Now however, it’s called FRED week – Future Research Experience Direction week, and is aimed at giving people new skills and ideas for the future, as well as encouraging further research and ideas development outside of class time.
So since I didn’t have any seminars or lectures during this week I wanted to do a quick breakdown of how I filled the time I would usually spend in classes – rather than blog about the two media tech classes I would otherwise have had! I’ve broken down the different activities per day so, take a look! I tweeted a LOT during FRED week so, I’ve included a whole bunch of Tweets that I sent out whilst the different events were taking place but, if you want to see some more videos etc. take a look on my Twitter page!
To kick off FRED week I went to a Punk Rock talk! It featured on introduction by one of the lecturers at the University and then an interesting documentary – End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. “Don’t hate the media, become the media” was an interesting first look at how punk rock, fanzines and DIY media products gained increasing popularity in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It wasn’t entirely my cup of tea but, it was interesting for somebody who hasn’t done much study around the subject before and, links to my optional module for next semester – Alternative Media.
On Tuesday there was a round table discussion on PokemonGO. Guest speakers as well as lecturers from the University took turns to present how PokemonGO fits with each of their research areas – social effects, virtual reality technology and media coverage, they then gathered as a panel in front of the audience in order to answer questions based around the impact of the game, why it became so popular so quickly, why it seems to have lost its appeal so quickly, ethical issues, technological innovation etc.
Overall it very quite interesting, and it was interesting to see how many people had been playing the game and how people had such knowledge about media coverage of the game, even if they hadn’t played it – they were simply interested to see how it has become such a phenomenon.
On Wednesday I decided to go to a workshop based around creating good blog posts. Although I’m fairly confident now in my writing skills and ability to create decent posts on my blog, I wanted to go along and see if I could pick up any cheeky tips. It was interesting to see what key points the lecturer decided to include in the talk and there were some interesting figures that looked at what length a blog post should be, what topics prove most popular etc.
On Thursday I didn’t go to any of the workshops on offer during the day as most of them centred around careers talks and, I’m looking to do an MA once I’ve finished my degree here at Hallam. However, I did go along to the FREDstival event, which was a kind of party with people performing. Although the turn out wasn’t amazing, there was music from one of my lecturers with her band which was fun to listen to, then an algorave performance by Alex McLean – he uses coding to create rhythms and beats that form music when layered together. It was amazing to watch and really interesting to see first hand how he does it. There is an upcoming event here in Sheffield – Algomech, which features more performances using this cool technique, as well as workshops and talks on how to do coding and algorave.
On Friday there an opportunity to book some one-to-one time with various tutors and lecturers at the University. There was also a talk on placements – since students within the Media Communications department can take a year out between 2nd and 3rd year in order to do a 1 year placement within the industry. However, since I’m now in my 3rd year and wasn’t interested in doing a placement year anyway, I didn’t see the benefit of going and instead decided to use the time in the library to catch up on blogging and assignment work ready for next week!