Prezicasts and other video material

List of Prezicasts.

Please remember that the order these are presented in here is not an indication of the order in which they should be watched. You can view them in any order. Some are linked to from other pages on this site, but some only appear here (those marked with [**]). Supplementary readings and links are suggested for those; the remainder have those links on other pages.

By the end of the course distance learners should have watched all the Prezicasts. Please also read the explanatory technical notes at the end of this page (after the list of movies).

Problem-Based learning. The online Prezicast is available here. This Prezicast is linked to one of the course activities and can also be seen on that page. For supplementary reading, just start with this page and follow up some of the other references thereon. The list of types of problems that I refer to in the Prezicast is from Jonassen, D., Howland, J., Moore, J. and Marra, R. (2003) Learning to Solve Problems with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective, London, Merrill.

The triadic model. There are three interlinked Prezicasts, on the Objective; Subjective; and Intersubjective sides of the triad. For supplementary information, go to the set of pages on the triadic model.

Environmental literacy [**]. You should look at this Prezicast after having familiarised yourself with at least the basics of the triadic model. The online version is available here. I haven’t provided any supplementary information about the notion of ‘environmental literacy’ itself, but try St Clair’s contribution to Hull et al (see the main reading list).

Critical media analysis. The online Prezicast is available here. This connects with a course activity: there is plenty of supplementary information on that page.Installation at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, May 2011.

Information Obesity: the micro-, meso- and macro- levels [**]. The online Prezicast is available here. For supplementary information, read the book…. The book’s web site might also be useful. (Flat and very Web 1.0, but a storehouse for lots of resources and other links.)

Cognitive biases [**]. The online Prezicast is available here. (See also the note at the end which is pertinent to this one.) A very useful illustration of the wide range of cognitive biases is available, and worth looking at. My understanding of this area, and how these biases form a key connection between realms of the triadic model of informational relationships, was substantially formed by Ricardo Blaug’s paper, “Cognition in a Hierarchy” (2007, Contemporary Political Theory 6/1) – this is not an easy read for those of you unfamiliar with social and political theory, but if you feel confident, it’s worth a go. (The same ideas were later worked up into Blaug’s book, How Power Corrupts: Cognition and Democracy in Organisations (2010), but the paper has everything in there in denser form.)

Information behaviour [**]. I’ve finished this Prezicast now: it’s available here. The literature review mentioned therein by Saracevic is most easily retrieved via this Google Scholar search: it comes in three parts, and all of them are worth reading, in the end. Donald Case’s book, Looking for Information, is available from the JRUL as an e-book.

Return to the main menu

Poster for 'The Truman Show'
Poster for ‘The Truman Show’: another good film about the way the media affect our lives. Incidentally this poster is also notable, being the first one to use this ‘collage’ effect of thousands of small images to produce the main one.

Other video-based material

  • Have a look at the video about Deansgate library.
  • Supersize Me is embedded into one of the course activities – read the notes and then view it from that page.
  • Two clips from Broadcast News are embedded into the activity on critical media analysis. This is quite a good film in general, and does have things to say about the news media, though it’s more interested in the romantic lives of the characters than their working ones for most of its length.

Some other movies may be of interest – there are plenty more but these are two of my personal favourites:

  • The Truman Show (poster on left), though it takes about half an hour to get going, is a brilliant investigation of the way that, quoting a character in the film, ‘We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented’. In the light of the developments in ‘reality TV’ over the last few years, it is very prophetic. 
  • Network is a 1970s satire on the TV industry; a newsreader suffering a nervous breakdown is turned into entertainment by executives desperate for ratings. It’s over-the-top but makes its point well enough.

A note on the Prezicasts: please read

The Prezicasts were created as an experiment a couple of years ago. In technical terms they are Prezis (see with an audio commentary overlaid, and, at some points, video materials (mainly of a ‘talking head’ – mine, specifically). In teaching terms they are basically short, 10- to 15-minute lectures with accompanying visual material.

Prezis can be viewed online or off. It is probably most convenient to watch them offline, as apart from this meaning they can be viewed any time, regardless of connectivity, when viewed offline they also ‘autoplay’ properly. Viewed online, you need to keep pressing the ‘next’ button (or use the arrow keys) when the commentary comes to a stop. To view them offline you will need to download the relevant zipped folder from the course Dropbox. (Everyone registered on the course will receive an invite to the Dropbox by e-mail at the start of the course: this e-mail will contain all the necessary information here.) Once downloaded you will need to extract the contents of the zipped folder and then open the file called ‘Click Me’. Viewed online, you need to keep pressing the ‘next’ button (or use the arrow keys) when the commentary comes to a stop. If you are viewing online, you can click on the ‘more’ button to enable a full-screen view.

The Prezis were written and recorded by me, but as a technical creation, credit for the Prezicasts belongs to Mike Toyn (Senior Lecturer in ICT in Education at the University of Cumbria, and a former student on the MA: DTCE). It was Mike who did the necessary editing. (Note that we did the ‘Cognitive Biases’ one first, as a test, and you’ll probably find this one less polished compared to the others.)

And please, if the Prezicasts aren’t working: tell me – better still, tell Marilena (  We need to know if things aren’t working as they should.

back to top

Return to the main menu

Creative Commons License
Media and Information Literacy by Andrew Whitworth/University of Manchester is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s