Definitely a #Tech(Challenge)

As I continue to fluctuate between creating a video or a website for this re-mediation project, I decided to head to an actual Mac lab and test out iMovie more in depth.  Basically, I wanted to see if it would be worth it to travel to a mac lab to complete this project, and unfortunately I really liked the tutorial on Lynda.com (making my decision even more difficult!).  I also watched a tutorial video for Windows Live Movie Maker on my laptop using some videos I have saved, and found that the system just doesn’t give me enough features or freedom to create the type of video that I want.  Here’s one of the final products on Movie Maker — I worked through the tutorial editing the clips (but didn’t use any special effects) just to see the barebones results and practice posting to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOgnQLaCweI

However, the iMovie Essential tutorial was really great and so comprehensive!  Anything that I had a question about before starting was answered in different videos — specifically I really benefited from the videos on voice overs and adding titles.  Both are features that would be very important for my project if I chose to do a video.  I really enjoyed working with the program and its exercise files, especially because I am not the most tech-savvy person and really enjoy walk-through tutorials.  It is amazing that Lynda.com provides all of these amazing videos for free (woo, thanks U of M!).

A screenshot of an iMovie tutorial on Lynda.com
A screenshot of an iMovie tutorial on Lynda.com

Overall, this tech challenge has succeeded in confusing me even more about the platform/medium that I want to use for this project — which really stinks since I need to start my story-board ASAP.

iMovie Basics #TechChallenge

So I have a small bit of experience with iMovie, but I know I will be taking on a bigger challenge this time with what I plan to attempt. I want to make a mock video that will use similar stylistic qualities of MTV and other music interview websites but in a way that is humorous and makes a play at Pop Music Culture. To do this I plan on being the cheesy MTV interviewer and I will go around campus and talk to students about Pop Music.

For my tech challenge, I decided I need to learn more about iMovie. I got onto Youtube and like expected I found loads of informational videos there for free. First, I checked out Lynda.com, which I know is another great resource, but it required payment so I backed off. Maybe I heard this wrong, but do U of M students get access to Lynda.com for free somehow? If anyone knows I would really appreciate a comment on here about that. But the youtube videos were quick at showing some pretty advanced tricks that I plan to take advantage of. I didn’t consider using a pre-designed format until now, such as the action movie format. But it could be useful for my video, or I could look at how that template is designed to find tricks in mine. After finding these youtube videos, I feel I should have no problem putting together a decent video, the bigger challenge will be storyboarding and executing with limited time.

Another #techchallenge: Let’s Go (Photo)Shopping

So I dabbled a bit more in the tech world for my e-Portfolio. I wanted to create a cover photo for my website where my name would appear over an image of the Capitol. Conceptually it was a great plan. Then I tried to execute it and things got a little dicey.

Of course the first thing I do is google “draw on picture” because that is definitely in high tech terms. And this website comes up:

http://www161.lunapic.com/editor/?action=draw

All I had to do was insert my picture and draw away. Seemed easy enough. I headed over to Creative Commons and found the perfect image, screen shotted it (command+4 is my jam, no lie) and then headed over to the website to work my “draw on picture” magic. It was harder than anticipated.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.15.15 PM

My internet was faulty, so the image kept getting regenerated and all of my beautiful drawing would go to waste. Eventually (like hours later, no joke) I got it to load and I ended up with an image that was too long for me to screenshot in one frame. Ugh. The best thing for me at that point was to take a screen shot of the “Katie” and the “Koziara” portions separately…

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.35.36 PM

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.35.53 PM

…and then insert them both into another program where I shrunk them down to scale and then took a screenshot of them side by side.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.38.31 PM

Is it a little bit sloppy and are the last letters a little bit squished? Sure. But I’m pretty excited that I was able to troubleshoot this and figure a way to make the idea in my head play out online.

Take that, #techchallenge!

Need your help

He wants you to help me too.

http://kwiksurveys.com/app/rendersurvey.asp?sid=auk9va2lpk2bkb8243440&refer=kwiksurveys%2Ecom

Click this ^^^

I suppose you could call it a #techchallenge, because I decided to try my hand at making a survey for my project. My main goal is to prove to the magazine Cosmopolitan that a little work needs to be done to the magazine. I’ve done a lot of research so far about products in the magazine, celebrity influences, and the editors, but I still need a little bit information on the demographic of the readers and their ideas on the magazine. In my survey I ask about the magazine and introduce some ideas geared towards what I want to take out and add to the magazine. The site I am using is really awesome and was recommended by Sarah (once again, I wish we could make a shout-out to people on here, or maybe we can and I just don’t know it. Another challenge…).

Kwiksurveys allows you to see what states have responded and automatically creates charts for which responses are the most popular. It’s great for anyone looking to show statistics on slides for a presentation or to get quick answers from the public on a topic. Perfect for a proposal!

So far, I have a good amount of people that have responded to the survey, but I could use all the help I can get. The survey link is below (again, yes I am desperate) and I promise it only take a few minutes. Happy  blogging, and a big thank you for your help!

http://kwiksurveys.com/app/rendersurvey.asp?sid=auk9va2lpk2bkb8243440&refer=kwiksurveys%2Ecom

Digital Rhetoric with RSA Animate

After our class discussion on the digital rhetoric collaborative blog carnival pieces I couldn’t stop thinking about a video I had seen freshman year in my Sociology 102: Culture, Markets, and Globalization course. It turns out that the video I was thinking of is one of many produced through RSA Animate (click to check out some of their other videos if you’re interested!). The specific video I had seen in class presents the crisis of capitalism by David Harvey and thanks to Katie’s tech challenge (!!) I now know how to show you the video right here:

I absolutely love this video as an example of digital rhetoric. It combines audio, video, drawings, and text in a unique and entertaining way. It also reminded me of the sort of “disconnect” between academic essays and digital media we talked about in class. In my mind, this video is just as informative and effective as an academic paper. However, I wonder if a student wanted to turn in something like this to a history or polisci class what the professor would think. I wonder if one day we will reach the point where instead of requiring a paper, teachers will just give assignments in which the student can argue whatever is asked of them in any form of new media or traditional text form they desire.

First Upload into Eportfolio

I’ve finally copied my repurposing paper onto my eportfolio, worked out the kinks of all the links, decided on a layout, color, font, size, and now it’s up there.

http://beixili.wix.com/livelaughloveshare#!stories/cnhu

It’s amazing how much time I need when I’m given so many choices. Just choosing the proper layout for my story pages and how I wanted them displayed took a good half hour. Did I want the pages to show directly? How many transitions did I want and how many table of contents? Rather than cluttering one page, I decided to keep it simple on each page but with many pages. There are so many details and facets to change, I’m not sure I’ll ever be done tweaking the colors, changing the pictures, or finding a layout, but it feels good to see your own site up and running, with pieces that have gone through drafts and are now officially available over the Internet.

But what I’m really interested in, is their really a difference between reading on paper and reading on a screen? You always hear people who say, “I’m old fashioned, I like turning the pages of a book, feeling pen and paper.” Is this just a habit or is there something more to it? Having a physical piece to handle may make it more tangible, more real, more relatable? Or is the internet, with our eportfolios as an example, a way to counteract this movement, to show that things can be just as real and it doesn’t matter what the medium is? How do we get those who are not familiar with this new age of technology, comfortable with everything that is out there? Maybe it’s evolution, gradually, the only people left will be those that grew up with computers and screens and the time of paper and pens will be something like a myth. A time of books that had real pages, pens that had real ink, and children who didn’t understand the meaning of “eportfolio.”

Storyboarding

Draft of my e-portfolio homepage
Draft of my e-portfolio homepage
My e-portfolio storyboard
My e-portfolio storyboard

 

 

Looking back on the in-class storyboarding for our e-portfolios, I realize it was a very helpful experience.

When I walked into class I only had a vague idea of how I wanted my e-portfolio to look. I knew which tabs I wanted in my navigation bar and that I did not want a theme, but that was about it.  I sat at the table with a blank piece of paper in front of me, looking at what everyone else was doing so I could figure out where to begin.

Slowly, it all came together.  I sketched out an idea of how I wanted my homepage to look, and decided to figure out the logistics of creating my actual site later.

It was during this “later,” as I was staring at the dozens of Wix.com templates, that I was grateful for my makeshift storyboard.  Storyboarding forced me to choose a direction (which I needed) and made putting together my online draft much easier.

See the similarities in the photos above!

Re-Mediation Worries

As of right now, I’m a little freaked out.  I originally wanted to create a video for my re-mediation project centering around different resources on campus, and it’s proving to be just as difficult as everyone has been saying.  First, I don’t own a Mac (and barely know how to work one), but was planning to use the computer labs and iMovie to create the video.  This being said, I don’t really think that plan is very feasible, since it would be really annoying to have to travel to the computer labs all of the time to work on this project.  So, I started looking into other platforms for Windows and can’t find any that I like/will do the job I want to do.  Windows Live Movie Maker just doesn’t cut it… especially because I can’t figure out how to add a voice-over to the video.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make it to the Tech Deck last week, so I’m cutting it really close.  Does anyone have any suggestions that might work?  At this point I’m even considering changing my proposal from a video-based project to a website, but I’m not sure about the details.  I guess I will see what I’ve decided by Tuesday when our storyboards are due…   Goodness, I don’t like choices!

For You, Boston.

As a devote Boston Red Sox fan, I cannot go more than 90 seconds without shouting “#WorldChampions!” Let us all just take a moment and let the Fall Classic win soak into the depths of our souls. (Pause, pause, long meaningful pause.) Didn’t that feel great?

The raged, full-bearded group from Beantown brought home the World Series trophy and humanity rejoiced. They don’t own razors and we love that (or hate it). After all, they #WonToday with those forest chins.

And I give you another example of sport being more than a game, a game being longer than nine innings, but a length of unrestricted Time: a city’s legacy.

Here’s to the good guys, the BoSox, and to a city with the best heart. Here’s to victory anthems, mostly made of 140 characters, that celebrate to heal.

#BostonStrong

Slam Poetry

I have to admit, I’ve never been too much of a fan of poetry. It’s a little confusing to me and people tend to read it out loud with strange voices and the structural aspects of it are confusing.

But Slam Poetry is everything.

These girls kill it. I mean they are totally in sync, they speak from the heart, and they bring up a great message. It isn’t confounding or difficult to listen to or annoying. Here is what it is: thought-provoking. Sure, they could get the same point across through an essay or something, but it wouldn’t be as powerful or moving. Plus, these girls are just teenagers. Hail to the monsters.

 

And this guy. How on point is this? He takes one line that he overheard one friend say to another on a bus, and he threw it into a social context that made me listen and experience and see just a glimpse of the pain and suffering that rape and other violences impose on the world. Powerful stuff.

I don’t aspire to ever be as talented as these individuals; they are so great at what they do. But they have helped me see poetry in a whole new light and I really am enjoying this newly discovered genre.