Really this is about DMAC Day 9, but I took a break last night instead of writing this blog. I had dinner from City Barbeque with Krista, her family, and her parents. We had fun remembering the BBQ we would eat in college, particularly the long waits we were willing to endure for the hush puppies at Bullock's Bar-B-Cue. (My visual design mind is highly alert BTW after the last 10 days because I really enjoyed seeing the difference between these two BBQ websites. Bullock's website, looking as it does like it is straight from 1985, captures what that restaurant is all about -- no frills, no desire to be more than one restaurant serving great food, good ol' Southern charm. The rhetoric of new media is deep in me!). Some margaritas and corn pudding set up a great night's sleep, and now I am back in DMAC reflection and production mode.
First off, I finished my official project yesterday. My multimodal poetry assignment is done, complete with my example video. Before you watch it, know that I have made it with high school freshmen in mind not graduate students. I wanted to be sure I gave my students a task they could complete without the technology getting in the way. This is one of the main things I have learned in all of my time teaching at a laptop school. Yes, we all know tech should not be done for tech's sake, but to accomplish this requires a careful look at the tech tools available in conjunction with the experiences of your students. I know that many freshmen at my school have never made a movie before, while some have made extensive movies. So, I have developed an assignment that can bring in the newbies so they are still gaining the deeper look at their poems that is the real goal of the assignment without losing that in tech frustration. However, the assignment is also set up to let the more experienced students do more with technology while also keeping the poetic interpretation in their sights. My example video is therefore directed in the middle -- I have done a few "extras" like adding music, video, and captions, but my video is basically timed photos to my recitation of the poem "Numbers" by Mary Cornish with citations at the end. Enjoy!
I still have three days of DMAC work time though, so I have decided to do two more mini-projects.
- Make the Othello montage video I originally had in mind for my project. When I discovered could not make the Wordpress site I wanted without solving the Wordpress.org issue, I changed to my poetry project. However, now that I have some extra time, I still want to make the Othello video because I can use it even if I do not use Wordpress in the future. Since this video is for me to show my students what they can accomplish performing Act V rather than an example for them making their own videos, I can make it as fancy as I want. I therefore want to use iMovie while I have access to it so I can really layer the sound, movie, and image files I have.
- Get my digital server space at ODU set up so I am ready to play with Wordpress or whatever use of this space I choose.
- Yes, you can download videos you have on your UStream channel, which was great news because now I have all of the past student performances to use for my montage video.
- However, these videos download as Flash videos, which iMovie will not edit, so I also got a recommendation for a great, free video converter: Handbrake.
- I have also learned about buying my own domain name and choosing a host (BlueHost, SiteGround, and FatCow come recommended -- FatCow because it uses wind energy, which I find really cool (see the pun?)). Good news for me though, I learned too that I can do this for free at ODU for the next few years.
- Which leads me to my most current learning -- how to login into my digital ODU space. I have a username and password but no URL directing me. Stay tuned, as I have my friend Jennifer, my prof Shelley, and various other wonderful ODU people in my learning loop, so I am sure an answer will appear.