Quick and Dirty PSA Starter Guide

Quick in that the resources and materials I gathered took me all of 30 minutes to assemble, and would likely take most educators about 5-10 minutes to dig through and utilize. Dirty in the sense that the most formal piece of information on the document is a link to my website and information about my school district. It’s actually a small collection of resources that I use whenever a teacher wants me to come into a classroom and do a “brief” presentation about persuasive video, resources related to PSAs (public service announcements), and provide students with a “jumping off” point.

Link to Ben’s Quick Tools & Tips for Creating PSAs

This is not meant to be an authoritative document; it’s just a quick “let’s get our feet wet” guide that would give anyone interested in creating a PSA just enough information to get themselves started. Yes, it links to Wikipedia (it’s a source I use often, regardless of how many media specialists feel about it). Yes, it links to Alan Levine’s amazingly robust “50 Ways to Tell a Web 2.0 Story” Wiki (it’s a great resource, right up there with Wikipedia). It gets the job done, and I can stretch it into a 50 minute class session (with a few activities), or share the resources and the videos in 15-20 minutes and be done if need be. This week I’ll be doing a longer share, and asking students to get together in small groups to talk about how persuasive media (or PSAs) influence them, what emotions seem to be best to employ based on the subject matter, and then letting them share their favorites for me to show the class (thank you, Youtube).

I’ve been asked to present this to a few Literature classes at our high school this week, one of them being the AP section, so I don’t get too heavily into the content specific nature of the persuasive writing (I’m certainly not the expert on that). One thing I can safely call myself an expert on though are the old G.I. Joe “Knowing is Half the Battle” PSAs form the 1980s. Enjoy!



    1. Thanks for the extra resources, Chris, and nice job curating all those projects, ideas, and resources for media-rich learning! It’s like a more tightly curated/controlled version of the #ds106 assignment bank (http://assignments.ds106.us/). Love what’s happening down in South Bend; do you have a number of instructors and students using the site yet, and becoming more comfortable adapting traditional instructional methods to more media-rich ones?

      1. People are gradually starting to take advantage, but the site is officially rolling out in the spring. I’m pretty excited; I think it could help a lot of folks get started doing great things.

        ds106 served as major motivator. Even though I haven’t done the course it has been an amazing source of ideas!

  1. Taking inspiration from #ds106 has helped me in a lot of other areas of my professional duties as well; I hope that the launch this Spring goes well! I’d love to come down there and visit for a day to see how you guys run things at the Higher Ed level. At the very least, maybe get some of your crew at the Kaneb Center to think about taking and/or offering ds106 for Notre Dame students 🙂

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