Plan for This Last Week of Classes

youtube

Some final advice to grow your YouTube channel!

Here is a reminder of our plan for the last two class sessions (May 1 and 3).

  • Tuesday (May 1) is a required class sessions. Please show up–it will be a short class (but you can use the full time to work on your project if you wish).
  • Tuesday, we will begin with our final tech presentation and then complete course/instructor evaluations. After that, you are free to go if all your work  for this class is complete, but the whole 75 minutes is available if you need to complete your project. Plan on staying for a minimum of 25 minutes. As an extra incentive to come this class, I will give everyone present three bonus points to your Research Journals. (This should help those of you stressing about missed research journal entries.)
  • Thursday (May 3) is an optional work session. I will be in our classroom ready to assist with your projects if you need me. If no one shows up after the first ten minutes of class I reserve the right to go to my office to work.
  • I will be finalizing grades throughout this and next week so check Canvas often for updates.
  • From this point on, continue to work on your Long-Form Project and the accompanying Designer’s Statement. The Long-Form Project should be placed on your website (or the equivalent: link, etc) by Thursday, May 3 at midnight and the Designer’s Statement should be in Canvas as soon as possible (preferably by Thursday at midnight also).
  • Thanks for a great semester! I hope you learned some things that you can use in both your professional and private spheres–good luck in your future endeavors!
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Long Form Project Workshop

Long-Form Project Workshop (for Thursday also):

Note: Thursday’s (April 26) is optional attendance. You may complete the workshop from any computer but please complete step #4 below before midnight on Thursday.

  1. Complete the long-form project author sheet (in Canvas) for your project (only take about 10 minutes or so if possible) and upload it as a file, word document, etc. on Canvas for your partner to review.
  2. Find your partner in the class and discuss your completed author sheet with him/her (if absent then contact by email). Chat about your project and any important information you want him/her to have about your draft.
  3. Make sure you have a way to share your project with your partner. Get your project online now. See the Sharing Video page for instructions on how to upload video to YouTube and Vimeo. Upload audio and print documents to your Discussion page in Canvas. If you have a website or other link for viewing your project, paste it in a Word document and upload that to your Canvas Discussion page.
  4. Fill out the project-reviewer-sheet accordingly for your partner’s project and upload it to Canvas. The exchange of the response worksheet will be due Thursday, April 26 by midnight.

Tuesday, May 1, is required attendance but the last day of class, Thursday, May 3, is optional! Tech Presentation Group #12 will present on Tuesday, May 1.

Homework (Tuesday, April 24):

Be sure to complete the and Research Journal #5 by midnight tonight

Homework (Thursday, April 26–Optional Attenedance):

The Blog Reflection is due this Thurs. by midnight

Complete an Optional Blog Post (for missed blog or late-work make-up)

Workshop Response Worksheet due by midnight (see instructions above)

From this point on, continue to work on your Long-Form Project and the accompanying Designer’s Statement (DS is due in Canvas). The Long-Form Project should be placed on your website (or the equivalent: link, etc) by Thursday, May 3 at midnight.

HTML and Longform Workshop

HTML Logos

Today’s agenda:

  • Tech Presentation
  • HTML
  • Long-Form Production Time
  • Long-Form Workshop Overview (for next time)

HTML for Beginners

This site contains the best video overview of HTML I’ve found. Here is the best text site. Play with it!

Here are some basics:

<> = begin code (what goes between the carrots [the greater than/less than signs] is the modified code)

</> = end code

b = bold (sometimes it is also stated as ‘strong’)

i = italics (sometimes it is ’em’)

strike = strike through

ul = unordered list (like bullets)

ol = ordered list (like numbers or letters)

li = list item (either a bullet or number/letter depending on un/ordered list choice)

h1 = large headline (h2-h6 for smaller headlines progressively)

p = paragraph

br = line break (doesn’t need an end tag)

a href=”website url”link text = website link

img src = image

Long-Form Project Workshop (overview–we will complete this in class next time):

  1. Complete the author sheet for your project (only take about 10 minutes or so if possible) and upload it as a file, word document, etc. on Canvas for your partner to review.
  2. Find your partner in the class and discuss your completed author sheet with him/her (if absent then contact by email). Chat about your project and any important information you want him/her to have about your draft.
  3. Make sure everyone has a way to share their project. Get your project online now. See the Sharing Video page for instructions on how to upload video to YouTube and Vimeo. Upload audio and print documents to your Discussion page in Canvas. If you have a website or other link for viewing your project, paste it in a Word document and upload that to your Canvas Discussion page.
  4. Fill out the response worksheet accordingly for your partner’s project and upload it to Canvas. The exchange of the response worksheet will be due Thursday, April 26 by midnight.

Homework:

Complete and submit the author sheet (see step 1 in the Workshop directions above) before class next time

Complete the Research Journal #5 by midnight next time (Tuesday, April 24)

The Blog/Website Reflective Analysis is due Thursday, April 26

 

Audio Review, eBooks, and the Return of CRAP!

Today is the day for those of you who want to work in formats that privilege words over images or that balances images and other media with text.

The order of the day

  1. Comment on a classmate’s (or two’s!) blog
  2. Check-in on audio homework
  3. Review of the CRAP principles and using styles
  4. I will review how to create a WordPress site that hides the blogging function for those of you who want to create a website for your final project. Read this for more information. If you are not seeing a drop-down menu when you hover over “My Sites” in the left-upper corner, click on “My Sites” and then click the “WP Admin” link option. Now if you look under the “Settings” option on the new menu, you can click “Reading” and you can now see the option to make static front page.
  5. Review of due dates and other important items

 CRAP and other design principles

Professional document design privileges clarity and organization. Playful designs that make the user think about why the document is designed the way it is and ask him or her to do interpretive work to figure out how to read the document is discouraged. This is an ideology based on industrial efficiency, one that artists and scholars often critique, but one that is still dominant because it allows for quick and easy consumption of information. We will follow this current graphic design standard in our work for this class and only deviate from it if there is a rhetorical reason to do so. For example, if you are designing the layout for a poem or the liner notes for a punk album, you might want your audience to think critically about the layout of information and choose an aesthetic that deliberately goes against efficiency and readability. Generally, for our purposes Consistency and Simplicity are key:

  • As a general rule, use no more than two fonts (one for titles and headings and one for body text) and no more than three typefaces (e.g., normal, bold, italic) (repetition & contrast)
  • Create a standard page layout/design that you will use for the entire document that includes a consistent style for headers/footers, titles, headings, body text, bulleted/numbered lists (alignment), text boxes, links, spacing (proximity), etc.
  • Use the same navigation system (menu) for all pages of a website.
  • Avoid widow and orphan lines and make sure headings stay with the body text. (proximity)
  • Place images in the same way (repetition) and only change the placement if there is a rhetorical reason to do so.
  • Use page numbers on print documents!
  • Have a title page or home page

Examples Ebooks/Web Designs

  1. The “eBook” eBook
  2. eBook Example 1
  3. eBook Example 2
  4. The City of Fort Collins website

Production Software Tools

13 Useful Software Apps to Help You Create Your First eBook

Homework:

Group #11 Group Tech Presentation

Blog Post 10 due

Research Journal #5 is due Tuesday (Research Analysis Overview or for Optional Blog)

Audio Production pt. 2

audacity-logo

Class Agenda:

  1. Group Tech Presentation #9: SoundCloud
  2. Play with Audacity
  3. Review HW

Audio Workshop

Upload your homework audio to a class computer (or use your own computer if you prefer). Then open audacity (or your computer’s equivalent). Using the sounds from the resource links in the last post and/or the raw material you brought with you, practice splicing the audio by adding music, voice-overs, and sound effects, and attempt to polish the audio material into a more streamlined product. The goal of this exercise is for you to try new things and get comfortable with the software. See the previous blog post for more information on Audacity and resources for sound files.

Similar to last week, I want you to experiment with Audacity to see its affordances and constraints. You may use this time to play around with the technology or work toward your Long-Form Project. Attempt to make a commercial, podcast, narrative story, interview, etc. that is edited in a presentable form.

Homework:

Audio homework check and class discussion:

Finish your audio piece over the weekend. On Tuesday, I will walk around and check that your audio homework is complete. Please have it ready for me to hear (save it to SoundCloud, the cloud, or a flashdrive and upload it so it is ready to play).

Next time, I will ask for 2-3 volunteers to play their audio pieces to the class through the class speakers so we can discuss the audio-production process and the effectiveness of the rhetorical choices. Be sure that your piece is either saved to a flashdrive or have it in the cloud in order to share with the class. I’d like to hear some spectacular failures as well as successes because we can learn a lot from a project gone wrong, and the point of this homework was to learn about the audio production process, not to create a masterpiece (sound familiar?).

Complete your 4th Web Page assignment–Due Tuesday!!!

Continue working on your Long-Form Project (the rough draft is due April 24!)

Audio Production pt. 1

Plan for today’s class

  1. Comment on a classmate’s blog while I check to see that your video homework is complete
  2. Discussion of your videos
  3. Learn the basics of Audacity and prepare for Thursday’s in-class activity in which you create a short audio project using Audacity

Video homework check and class discussion

While you are commenting on a classmate’s blog, I will walk around and check that your video homework is complete. Please have it ready for me to view.

Next I will ask for 2-3 volunteers to show their videos to the class on the big screen so we can discuss the video-making process. Unless you uploaded your video to YouTube or another video site, you will need to copy it to a thumb drive or have it in the cloud in order to share with the class. I’d like to see some spectacular failures as well as successes because we can learn a lot from a project gone wrong, and the point of this homework was to learn about the video production process, not to create a masterpiece.

Using Audacity

Today I will walk you through the basic steps of using the sound editing program Audacity. On Thursday you will use the following sound files as our starting point for making a one minute audio story—the content of the story is entirely up to you. On Thursday you will download the sound files to the computer you are using. These are the sounds you will remix in Audacity to create a story. You can also visit the websites FreesoundccMixter and/or Soundbible to get more audio clips if you like. You may also use your own music, sound effects, or voice overs, but be sure to have the correct equipment to access them on your computer. Your task between now and Thursday is to listen to the sound files, download more if you like and bring them to class, and script the story you want to tell. To save these files, open the sound player by clicking the link, then right-click the player and hit ‘Save As.’ Please bring headphones and a mic if you have them!

To learn how to use the program, you can watch the following  video or search for others on the web. I will walk you through the basics and answer any questions. On Thursday I will help you create your audio stories and show you how to upload the file you create during class to Canvas so that I can hear what you have created.

Audacity Tips
Remember that your final audio file needs to be in the correct file format: “.mp3″ or “.wav”. Mp3 is the best file format for most online spaces because it creates a smaller file that loads faster. So, export your file from Audacity as an Mp3 and check the file size. If you think it’s too large after exporting, go to the “preferences” section of Audacity, choose the “file formats” tab and lower the “bit rate” under “MP3 Export Setup.” Now, export again; the file should be smaller this time. Continue to lower the bit rate and export until the file is the appropriate size. Lowering the bit rate also lowers the quality of the audio file, so only lower it as much as necessary for the file to load in less than a minute on your website.

When working in Audacity, exporting as an Mp3 will not affect your original Audacity file. However, if you make a “quick mix” before exporting (this collapses all your separate audio tracks into one track) and save it, you are changing the Audacity file itself in a way that will make it really difficult to do further editing. The best thing to do when you are ready to export is to open your Audacity project, choose “save as” and save it under a new name. This way, if you accidentally alter the Audacity file in a way you don’t want to during the exporting process, you can go back to the original. When you begin work on your formal audio project it is good practice to start each work session by doing a “save as.” This way, if something goes wrong you won’t have to start over from scratch—at worst you will lose only a few hours of work.

Also remember that Audacity saves your project in two parts: a “.aup” file and a “data folder.” You need both of these files/folders in order to open and work with your Audacity project. So, if you are working at home and then bringing your project to class to continue working, make sure to bring both with you. The two files will look something like this:

screen shot showing Audacity files with folder and .aup file

Finally, Audacity often creates a backup file with the extension “.bak”.Never, never open this file or use it in any way. Doing so could corrupt your project files making them impossible to open!

Downloading Audacity

You can download the latest version of Audacity for your computer, but I recommend using one of the portable versions below unless you will always be working on your project from the same computer.

Portable Applications
Here is Audacity for portable use on your USB flash drive on a Windows machine.

For the latest versions of the Audacity portable app for Mac and Windows:

Audacity Portable for Mac

Audacity Portable for Windows

Homework:

Group Project #9

Blog Post #9

Bring the material listed above in the “Using Audacity” section to class on Thursday

Video Production pt. 2

Class Agenda

  1. Tech Presentation: Group #9
  2. Review Long-Form Project and Fourth Web Page Assignments
  3. Video Production Workshop
  4. Long-Form/Blog/4th Page Workshop (Alternative)

Video Production Workshop

Upload your homework video to your own computer (class computers lack video editing apps/software). Then open MS Movie Maker (or your computer’s equivalent). Practice splicing video footage, adding music and voice-overs, and polishing the video footage into a more streamlined product. The goal of this exercise is for you to try new things and get comfortable with the software.

For true beginners, please review the video editing tutorials posted in the earlier blog posts for some basic ‘how-to’ help.

If you lack the proper equipment to edit your video or finish editing early, please work on your Long-Form project, your blog (including your Research Journal #4), or your Fourth Page during this time.

Homework:

Video homework check and class discussion:

Finish your video over the weekend. On Tuesday, I will walk around and check that your video homework is complete. Please have it ready for me to view (save it to the cloud or a flashdrive and upload it so it is ready for me to view).

Next I will ask for 2-3 volunteers to show their videos to the class on the big screen so we can discuss the video-making process. If you have a video from PowerPoint, Movie Maker, etc., you will need to copy it to a flashdrive or have it in the cloud in order to share with the class. I’d like to see some spectacular failures as well as successes because we can learn a lot from a project gone wrong, and the point of this homework was to learn about the video production process, not to create a masterpiece.

Research Journal #4

Continue working on your Fourth Page and Long-Form Project