Monday, 9 September 2013

List of blogs with brief descriptions

There are DB blogs on a variety of topics and aspects of the media, covering just about every part of the Media Studies A-Level.

The blogs vary widely in size - some have just a few posts, some 100s. All feature content which will help you in your coursework and exam work, and generally help you to boost your knowledge and understanding of the media.

Most blogs contain a lot of 'links lists' - lists of sites, articles and other articles for further reading/viewing, and to help with coursework research, exam revision, homeworks and class activities.

A more detailed list, with description + screenshot, can be found after this basic list.


NEW! His/Herstory!

NEW! Year 9 Media

AS Media 

A2 Media

Media Student Blogs - A2 2016; AS 2016;

IGSMediaStudies YouTube channel - I've created a lot of themed playlists (you can also use the search tool)...
AS: Vodcasts on AS coursework (Film Openings); 2015 student work; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009; Working Title trailers etc; Warp Films trailers etc;
A2: Vodcasts on A2 coursework (Music video promo package); Music video: final cuts; practice exercises; videos I've blogged on; pitches; famous directors; Depeche Mode videos; videos about relationships; proto-promos;videos set in schools; 2009 videos/films; 2010 film trailers; 2010 short films; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015 AS+A2; Media regulation: Hackgate.


eg of student links list
AS Coursework Openings 

British Cinema 

The Horror Genre 
UKTV Drama
Representation of Ethnicity 
Representation of Yorkshire/Regional Identity 
Representation of Age 
Representation of Gender 
Representation of physical ability/disability 
Representation of Class and Status 
Representation of Sexuality 
Representation of Britishness
Semiotics and Media Language

'ProdEval' - theory and analysing coursework in A2 exam

Media Regulation

Music Videos

UK Magazines
Teaser/Short Film


I've recently begun retro-adding tags to make it easier to find posts on any given topic. The above example is a snippet from the MusiVidz blog.
There are many do's + don'ts of blog design and presentation - you can see some points highlighted above, more listed at the bottom of this post, and then there are a variety of guide posts such as this one!

Some DB Blogs

You can find a full list by clicking on About Me>View My Complete Profile.
Some are still at early stages of development.
If YOU come across any resources you think would be useful for ANY of these blogs, please email with details or add a comment to a post.

You should become a follower of all blogs that are of use to you - that way, whenever I add a new post you will see details on your blogger dashboard and can click straight through to it. This saves you from having to check to see if anything has been added. Most material is on topic-focussed blogs, not on the AS or A2 blogs.

General Media Blogs/YouTube

AS Media 
a main news blog, with links to exam board materials such as past exam papers, and other stuff you need to prepare for exams.

A2 Media
a main news blog, with links to exam board materials such as past exam papers, and other stuff you need to prepare for exams.
Hyperlinks to all past/present student blogs
Media Student Blogs
Every AS/A2 blog from IGS Media students starting from 2008-9 (St G's from 2015-16), each individually hyperlinked. Very useful to get an idea of what to do. If you want to know which got the highest marks for R+P/Eval just ask.

IGSMediaStudies YouTube channel
where you can view past coursework as well as rough cuts, practice productions, behind-the-scenes featurettes, vodcasts etc
Our YouTube has 100s of videos
[NEW APRIL 2012] MediaTechTips - where I'll post occasional guides on using Macs & software

A2 Blogs: Exam Theory; Pomo; MusiVidz; MediaReg
Media regulation is the last part of the course we cover; its complex, with a lot of facts, dates and case studies to learn, so dipping into it on a regular basis before we cover it in lessons will greatly accelerate your learning. There are many links lists and posts on all that we won't have time to cover in lessons, so make good use of these resources!

A2 G325: Theoretical Evaluation of Production
[ProdEval] - lots of resources on Q1a/1b of your A2 exam, especially on the many theories you can use
Lots of tips/guides to theories + applying these

Media Regulation
[MediaReg]-  Stacks of material and links on the A2 exam topic, focussed on press and broadcasting (TV) regulation. This is a tough and complex topic, its never too early to start reading up on and thinking about this
Our final A2 topic; dip into it before then!
Music Videos
[MusiVidz] - Huge amount of analysis, links, resources on the A2 coursework. There's a lot of great material on students' blogs too, so use the IGS Media Blogs blog too!

Posts on egs of vids, industry news, on audiences etc; a vast resource!

Postmodernism - possible future A2 exam topic of postmodernism; I'll add some exam Q1b material here too.

AS Blogs: Film - Film Openings; BritCinema; Horror; RomCom; Teaser/Shorts
The first two will be used heavily in lessons, and contain many, many materials you'll need to access. These and the horror blog contain much that there won't be time to cover in lessons, so just dipping into these once a week will help greatly with both AS coursework and exam learning, with British Cinema central to both. They're also useful for work on A2 exam Q1a/Q1b, especially on genre.

AS Coursework Openings 
lots of stuff on film openings. There's a lot of great material on students' blogs too, so use the IGS Media Blogs blog too!

British Cinema 
HUGE resource, including many posts on Warp Films/Warp X/Warp Tv, plus Working Title, WT2, WTTV etc, but also more general topics like the changing nature of funding and financing, the place of women in the industry, ideas like the male gaze theory, Bechdel Test, the Gant Rule...

These first 2 above are central to what we do, but there is further extension material on the following:

The Horror Genre 
lots of resources on the genre, linking to AS exam and particularly AS coursework
There's a lot we can't cover in lesson time

lots of resources on the genre, linking to AS exam (and, previously, to AS coursework)

Teaser/Short Film - created for previous coursework options, but something you may want to explore independently

AS/A2: Semiotics, Representations, UKTV Drama
These are added to less frequently than the rest, BUT do contain example clips + analysis that will help you for your AS exam ... and coursework (AS and A2), in which you are also assessed on your analysis of representation within your own texts. Representation is also one of 5 possible topics for A2 exam Q1b!

UKTV Drama - various links lists

Representation of Ethnicity 
past exam clip on this etc

Representation of Yorkshire/Regional Identity 
how YOU are portrayed (links to regional identity)

Representation of Age 
examples and resources

Representation of Gender 
examples and resources

examples and resources

Representation of Britishness
developed for a previous A2 exam topic, but useful on regional identity and for general interest. Contains extensive analysis of British rep'n in regards to film and the press, so its useful for both AS and A2 exams still

Semiotics and Media Language - so far its past exam clips plus links to further resources
don't forget that semiotics and representation are important issues for your coursework too; you could use these blogs to help you when you're writing on those topics

As the Media syllabus has changed over time some previously core topics have passed out of focus.
UK Magazines - developed for a previous exam, but still useful for the A2 exam and coursework now
Censorship - developed for GS

Non-Media Blogs
I've also developed blogs for ICT and Citizenship.
Citizenship - developed initially for Years 10 + 11
ICT - developed initially for Years 7+8

I do virtually all of this blogging from home in my own time, but still endeavour to follow some basic principles when I can:
  • ALWAYS acknowledge sources, whether its a single quote or a reference to something you've read put into your own words
  • ALWAYS provide a hyperlink to any online material referenced or used (and book reference where appropriate: author/s; year of publication; title [in italics] a full reference would also contain publisher + place of publication which you can find on the opening pages of any book)
  • Embed videos/audio/sites referred to where possible
    • the key principle is: make it easy for the blog user, who where possible should be able to access material with a single click
  • Use quotes sparingly; it is generally better to read an article and to put into your own words (remembering to acknowledge and provide details of the source, otherwise that would be plagiarism: passing off someone else's work as your own)
  • If I'm using any source you can guarantee that I'll have read it (unless stated!); its very poor practice as far as your AS/A2 blogs are concerned to find resources and simply copy/paste>dump them into a post as this doesn't reflect or evidence any understanding.
  • Indent and change the font of quotes not included in a sentence of your own with single quote marks; see for a simple example. (By the way, it is often a good idea to write 'see this link' instead of cluttering up your writing with loooong URLs)
  • I will share some full articles; in general, you shouldn't!
    • You'll notice that even in these cases I generally take the time to indent the actual article, having often added some thoughts or a summary first, and change the font of the article so that its visually clear that this quoted work
  • Where I think its appropriate/useful, I'll often add hyperlinks to further resources/articles I haven't directly quoted from but which are useful on the post's topic, or simply a list of resources used if its a long article. 
  • If I've turned up a few resources when researching and writing up a post, I'd consider creating a Links List through the Design>Add Gadget>Links List tool. 
    • I'd make sure this wasn't a text list, but a links list!!!
  • Attractive presentation requires some work to avoid long chunks of unwelcoming text:
    • I use sub-headings, changing the font size, font and colour
    • I'll often find and add relevant images, taking care over their size and positioning
    • I'll often emphasize terminology (a useful thing for you to do too, so it can be readily seen by both me and the exam board that you're using it) using bold and colour
  • Intertextuality is a feature of much media, though, as Stuart Hall's theory of 3 levels of reading argues, this is highly dependent on who is reading a text. So, I'll often flag up links between a text being discussed and others that I am aware of - your own range of references will be different but no less valid or useful. Try to make and write about any intertextuality you perceive (or simply compare a text to others you know of).
  • Personal voice - whilst these blogs are teaching tools, I don't think the medium is best suited by wholly formal, stiff writing or presentation; I often aim to add a dose of fun through the style of writing, layout and/or use of embedded multimedia. Don't be afraid to be expressive and allow your personality to come through; a blog post isn't an exam essay!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please ensure any comment is appropriate for publication - all comments are vetted before publication.