Week 5 Summary

A little late to the summary party this week but here it is!

This week’s GMU DS106 class dove into the use of audio in storytelling and allowed us to get our hands dirty with some practical experience editing our own audio.  This week’s multimedia and assignments really reminded me how important audio is in telling a story.  This made me think back (again!) to the film classes I took in college (which I’ve mentioned before) and the time we spent discussing how audio can make or break a story.

My first assignment was to do a quick audio test to get familiar with SoundCloud.  SoundCloud was really easy to use and I kept my post pretty short and sweet.  If you check out my post you’ll see how proud of myself I was for starting on my assignments early in the week….that momentum was short lived!

Next up, a challenge to tell a story with audio only – and only five different tracks at that.  I used the free download for Audacity and it didn’t take me too long to get up to speed.  I used Freesound.org to pull a few sounds that helped me tell the story of a day on the farm.

For my audio assignment, I chose to read a Craigslist missed connection.  Half the fun of that assignment was looking for the perfect missed connection.  The real challenge of the assignment was deciding what the story was behind the guy (or girl?) who wrote the post and what were they feeling?  I made some decisions about it and layered in audio accordingly.

Also this week I tried on the hat of a Foley artist.  It’s way harder than it looks.  Once again, I’m operating with a new found appreciation for the fine, fine, skill of audio editing.

Lastly, I’ve got another idea for something that would benefit from a storified approach. I’ve got to get my team on board – maybe I should link them all to our class materials?  Now there’s a thought.  I’ll be sure to report back on what they say.

This week was a lot of work but well worth it to have experience with these tools.  I definitely learned a lot and I know that these skills will not only come in handy in the coming weeks but they will also serve me well on future project engagements.  The last three courses I worked on required us to record our own audio.  I stayed away from that work as much as possible but next time I won’t be so afraid!

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Week 2 Summary

This was a great week! Although it was challenging, I appreciated the task of finding time to sit, watch, and listen to this week’s DS106 content.  It’s not often we take time to really reflect on what it means to practice listening and to think about how we listen.  Evelyn Glennie’s TED Talk was a great way to start the week reflecting on how we listen.  I also enjoyed the course content on layering media.  I’m sure it will come in handy over the next few weeks.

I was pretty excited about this week’s first assignment, to listen to a radio program.  I love listening to NPR programs but I usually listen to them while I’m cleaning the house, getting ready in the morning, or basically anything I can do while listening.  While efficient, that’s certainly not the best way to really experience a radio program.  This week I hunkered down and really listened to an episode of This American Life.  I actually pulled up the transcript from the website, pasted into a word document, and took copious notes so I could remember what I was thinking/feeling/hearing.  The transcript helped me stay focused on the program and my notes helped me remember what to write in my blog post.

Our second assignment for the week was quite fun.  I blogged about the 2014 Kia Soul commercial as a short film.  Not only is the commercial fun and entertaining, but I totally got a kick out of spending an evening writing about hamsters.  Through watching the commercial several times and dissecting it, I was able to pull out a lot of really interesting qualities that contribute to it being such a great commercial.  Looking at it in :5 sec. increments certainly gave me a greater appreciation for the work of the people who put together 1:30 commercials.  There were many layers – no small task!

I also spent some time commenting on the work of my classmates/colleagues.  It’s really interesting to see how others are interpreting our assignments and what stories they are infusing into their work.  I get the sense that this class, in both content and delivery, is very much outside everyone’s comfort zone (myself included).  It will be interesting to compare our early work with our later work as I’m sure everyone will learn a lot.

Lastly, I came up with a new idea for storification; taxes! Don’t worry,  I’m cringing too.

Week 1 Summary

This was an interesting week in DS106! It was a little overwhelming at first but once I organized my tasks into a nerdy little spreadsheet/checklist I was good to go.

I enjoyed think about the elements of stories this week and having the opportunity to share my thoughts on the topic.  I got my feet under me in WordPress by setting up my blog and writing my first post. The title of my blog is TBD but I’m sure I’ll come up with something good soon.  BCodelson will have to do for now.

I explored how the story of the star bellied sneetches lines up with Kurt Vonnegut, Pixar, and Kenn Adams’ ideas about the shapes of stories.

Seeing Ira Glass’s describe the building blocks of a story was pretty great and not just because I got to see and not just hear him for the first time.  Andrew Stanton of Pixar also had some words about stories and wonder that really resonated with me.  I got to talk about my love for NPR’s, The Moth, while discussing my ideas about what is a story.

Finally, I identified a particularly un-helpful item in my everyday life that could benefit from a digital story telling makeover.

This week was extremely interesting. I’m looking forward to what week 2 will bring!