Of course I cannot make light of the tragedies that COVID-19 has brought to many in our community. But I want to point out how resilience, humor and innovation led to new and improved class experiences in DCoM (Bachelor’s of Science in Digital Communications and Media program at DAUS).
For years, we had used video streaming, taking advantage of the slowly maturing media from Skype to Google Hangout with a large technical learning curve. Zoom finally gave us a reliable interface, bandwidth, and solved participant limitations. I was able to invite more guest speakers and interview partners from across the country and the globe. Working from home, they had increased flexibility to schedule time with students. I built on my research travel connections and invited Ying Zhuang, who was working in digital media at the Palace Museum (Forbidden City), Beijing, to my Media History class. Two students interviewed her on her career and changes in the museum media landscape. Other interviews took place with the author of our class text, Bill Kovarik, with LA screenwriter Gabrielle Kelly, and six others. Guest speaker Arzu Mistry joined us as a guest speaker in ‘Engaged Media’ with her environmental public art project in Bangalore, India, enriching our class with an additional cultural perspective.