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New online resources have just been developed at the University of
Alabama
for students and educators studying film, television and related media:
 
ScreenChat -- live, interactive, text-based discussions
ScreenBoard -- a system for posting messages and information
 
What is ScreenChat?
 
ScreenChat is an environment in which students/educators may exchange
views
instantaneously.  With either a Web browser or Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
software, users may gather at this virtual location in order to
communicate
and network with others.
 
Potential Uses of ScreenChat?
 
1.  Instantaneous exchange of information.
 
One ScreenChat has already been held in which a representative from USC
explained how to get into film/TV school and outlined the resources for
study at USC.
 
2.  Group projects.
 
Students/educators from all over the world can meet here at low or no
cost--sort of like a conference phone call, but without the long
distance
charges.  For example, the members of a journal's editorial board might
gather once a month to discuss manuscripts.  The manuscripts themselves
could even be distributed through ScreenChat.
 
3.  Human "networking."
 
Discussions on various film/TV topics allow individuals to "meet" others
who have related interests.  Students/educators in isolated areas may
jack
into the international film/TV community through these discussions.
 
4.  Presentations of works in progress.
 
Say you're working on a paper or a script, but you're afflicted with
serious writer's block.  You could distribute portions of your paper
through ScreenChat and then invite others to discuss it online.
 
5.  Online academic conferences/caucuses.
 
No matter how arcane the topic, you could present findings here and get
instantaneous feedback.
 
What is ScreenBoard?
 
ScreenBoard is a virtual bulletin board.  Like a cork board in a
hallway,
users may post messages on this "board" in a variety of subject areas:
jobs, pedagogy, history, theory, festivals, production.  There's even an
area set aside for ScreenChat in which you may post messages about
upcoming
online discussions.
 
With either a Web browser or special "news reader" software, users may
communicate and network with others by leaving messages or responding to
previously posted messages.
 
The messages that you post on Screen Board can even contain word
processing
or graphics files.
 
Potential Uses of ScreenBoard?
 
1.  Conferences.
 
Days or even just hours before a conference, presenters could place
their
papers on ScreenBoard so that participants could read them before the
presentations themselves--or could print them out and bring them to the
conference.
 
Or, conference papers could be distributed after the fact.
 
2.  Group projects, human networking, presentations of works in
progress, etc.
 
ScreenBoard offers possibilities for group projects and networking that
are
similar to ScreenChat's, but it is not instantaneous.  One posts a
message
and then hours or days later someone might respond to it.
 
Still, ScreenBoard has the advantage over ScreenChat in that the posted
messages are stored for months and may be accessed later.  Once a
ScreenChat is over, the information disappears (unless someone takes the
time to archive a transcript of the chat).
 
The Screen Empire?
 
ScreenChat and ScreenBoard join two other online resources for film and
TV
study:
 
Screen-L -- an e-mail-based discussion group founded in 1991
ScreenSite -- a Web site founded in 1994
 
What's the Cost?
 
Nothing.  There is no charge to use any of these services.  They are
sponsored by the Department of Telecommunication and Film, the College
of
Communication, and the Division of Student Affairs at the University of
Alabama.  However, the views expressed through these services do not
necessarily reflect those of the University of Alabama.
 
Further information is available on ScreenSite:
 
http://www.sa.ua.edu/ScreenSite
 
or contact:
 
Jeremy Butler
[log in to unmask]
P.O. Box 870152
Telecommunication and Film Department
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL  35487-0152
 
On the Technological Cutting Edge?
 
If you already know how to handle IRC clients and Usenet-style news
readers, then drop on by:
 
irc.tcf.ua.edu:6667
news.tcf.ua.edu
 
--
Jeremy Butler
[log in to unmask]
SCREENsite http://www.sa.ua.edu/SCREENsite/
Telecommunication & Film/University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa
 
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To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]