Student Reflection – Fear is Contagious: Is AIDS? (10.1)

By Rachel Yoakum, Indiana University

The purpose of this course was to further explore and monumentalize an object or concept through a variety of digital media platforms. Concurrently with this course, I was taking a class on AIDS and was excited to further understand the stigma and complex shift in views regarding an AIDS diagnosis. Therefore, I dove into research on the transmission and stigma that has occurred over the AIDS/HIV timeline. 

This was a step by step project and taught me the skills needed in order to portray one topic through a variety of media platforms. I was able to present one topic through different viewpoints, leverage a plethora of digital elements, and connect with viewers in unique ways. I showcased my research as a scrolling narrative on an Adobe Spark page, through a digital iMovie platform, and on a Wix interactive website. For my digital video, I clipped together an assortment of old news clips, images, and my own conducted interviews in order to result in a remixed documentary and transgenerational final project. 

This course taught me the importance of utilizing technology in order to enhance education and communication. I have seen this aspect even more evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of social distancing. The limitations of human contact have proven technology to be essential, and new uses of technology are more prominent than ever. Technology has allowed us to stay connected with our loved ones, teach our children, stay entertained, keep updated on the evolving news, and even order groceries online. Technology has been our lifeline and it is important that we learn how to convey our ideas through technology. 

It is apparent that COVID-19 is contagious, drastically different than the transmission of AIDS. However, how a virus is portrayed in the media spreads fear among the world. In my opinion, fear is contagious.