Reading List and Dream School

No escaping it. One must read to get a degree, and to contextualize what the thesis is… and what the thesis is trying to prove.

I met with both of my advisers recently, Vinita and Alex, to sort through some pressing questions. One, how I should develop the podcast and two, what are the critical literary works I should be reading to frame my thesis text (my thesis “project” is the media and the text is a 40page document that goes with it). While Vinita admit that a long-form documentary podcast would be appealing we also agreed that a short-form series could be successful as well–since people often have a short attention span. No, it would not have the drama that the long-form would but at this stage it would be a more manageable product to produce on a weekly basis. Alex also remarked that as I sift through all the interviews I have accumulated thus far, it will become obvious what issues and content I still need to acquire. The long-form audio doc could eventually emanate from the shorter versions I produce along the way.

This all gets my thinking (and chuckling) a bit over having a “production” section on this blog; sometime I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of pre-production! Anyhoo.

I’ll be going through my video content tomorrow that I took with the Panasonic HMC 150. It’s a great camera but a drag that I have not been able to view anything I’ve shot without FCP software. It will be great to finally examine the group interviews I conducted. It will also be a huge relief to build a clearer picture of how this footage may translate in a classroom setting for the installation I’m planning on producing. The space I’ll be editing in will be at the EDGE lab within the Digital Media Zone at RU–a fabulous working environment where I’ll be surrounded by a lovely, engaging crowd immersed in, for one, experiential designs.

Speaking of experiential designs, the video below about High Tech High (in San Diego) is a must watch! It

Project-based Learning at High Tech High from New Learning Institute on Vimeo.

fills me with such happiness and a desperate desire to “teach” there (or, heck, be a learner there). In it Larry Rosenstock, CEO of HTH, describes the philosophy of the school. One of the great comments he makes is that:

Everybody knows that education is the intervention that can most elevate you above social disadvantage more than anything else, and yet it’s the least changed public institution in American society. That’s the paradox that we deal with and I hope we can come to terms with.

Following that remark, he goes on to recommend conducting a large function of my thesis which is to inquire with learners about what they enjoy in school and what they don’t and for them to explain the differences with examples. This exercise will give a distinctive clue about what is needed in an educational environment. The bottom line to the HTH philosophy: you can study the world through anything [not just a book]!

As for the reading list, Alex has recommended the following list, so, off I go:

  1. Ivan Illich: Deschooling society
  2. Sonia Livingstone: Kids Online
  3. New Media literacies
  4. Henry Jenkins
  5. Foucault: Power/Knowledge
  6. Jean Piaget: Ou va l’Education?
  7. L.S. Vygotsky: Mind in Society
  8. Pierre Levy: Distributed Knowledge
  9. Clay Shirky
  10. Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  11. Kieran Egan: The Future of Education (2008)
  12. David Gauntlett: Media Studies 2.0
  13. The RU learning and teaching site
  14. Articles @ Digital Culture &

…and, of course, I’m still picking away at my John Dewey library.

Any other suggestions?

About cayoup

Colleen Ayoup was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She has been engaged in media creation for nearly twenty years. After attending the Dawson Institute of Photography (Montreal), she worked as a commercial photographer for several years until the craving for different creative pursuits gave way. This desire led to two subsequent degrees in Psychology/Film Studies and Film Production (B.A., B.F.A) at Concordia University in Montreal. Her short fiction films and documentary, Kings (2001), about drag-king culture in Montreal toured festivals internationally. In 2004, she joined the National Film Board of Canada where she coordinated Doc Shop, a program designed to give emerging filmmakers an opportunity to learn trade skills from industry professionals and produce a short documentary for broadcast on CBC. She also contributed to the development and creation of CitizenShift (, the NFB’s first social-media website that she subsequently coordinated for five years. She is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Documentary Media at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)