Podcasting..Probably not for me

I had my first experience with podcasting and I have to admit I did not enjoy it as much as I did taking pictures and editing them. Maybe because it was a new experience. Maybe because I was not familiar with Audacity, the program I used. Wait, who am I kidding? I am not familiar with any audio programs. Maybe it was because I tend to be perfectionist and I couldn’t be…at least not on my first try.

So here is my experience: I knew what story I wanted to use to tell about me and that is the story of when I received the phone call the night my mom ended up passing away. I ended up rewriting 4 times?? I would record it, then not like how something sounded so I would change the wording and rerecord and then I wouldn’t like it and then end up rerecording the whole thing instead of bits of it. I think it was because my voice would sound different in the different recordings so I would just do it all again so my voice would be the same. Have I mentioned I can be a perfectionist and sometimes the little things make me crazy?I still kept trying to change things as I added sound effects and the background music.

Sound effects: 3 am. Not really much I could think of outside of snoring and my phone ringing, which is what woke me. I found these sounds at freesound.org. I did play with this, with fading in and out, and increasing/decreasing the loudness in order to get them to blend better. But of course, just when I think I have it…I change the effect. I decided, at the last minute, I did not like the sound effect I had chosen (a phone vibrating) so I changed it. Ugh.

Background music: I think this was probably the hardest for me to find. I wanted something mellow, because it was at 3am yet something that said there was a little worry going on…I think what attracted me to my final song was the title “One Hour Before”. The title said a lot to me. It is hard to explain but it was like all this happened one hour before (ok more like 2) my mom passed away. I did try to play with this a bit and get it lined up with quiet moments, where I added silence, during my speaking so the music was a little more “there” and quiet it when I wanted my talking to be more prominent. I actually ended up playing with it and messing it so much that I ended up cutting off the music before I was done speaking. Then I listened to it and I decided I liked how the music ended and I kept talking. Like, what I had to say was so profound that there shouldn’t be music.

What did I learn through this project: How to find videos on Youtube on how to use Audacity. There is a lot on there. I did get to play with sounds and music and recording. It is a harder skill than I thought. It takes time. And patience. And the willingness to make mistakes. And I don’t like the sound of my voice on recordings. Oh! and having a mic besides the one on the computer does make a huge difference in sound quality.

I can see how using podcasts could be beneficial in a classroom for both teachers and students.I do, however, see students taking a lot of time to create one. I think about the amount of time it took me…but they are more tech-savy so maybe it wouldn’t take them as long.

As for teachers, if you taught the same content, such as a math class, year after year, I can see how creating podcasts would be beneficial. You could use these if there were a sub or to create a classroom where students could work at their own pace by moving through the podcasts as skills were acquired. I don’t feel, with my content changing daily/weekly based on student needs and the support they need from me for their content classes, I don’t think I could do it. I do see how I could create podcasts to help them with grammar aspects. This is something I think I could manage…something without sound effects and music that would consume my time trying to figure out 🙂

 

 

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Photo Experience

My assignment was to choose two words from a list that described me and take pictures to represent these two words. So I chose them (Kind, Helpful, Friendly, Organized, Neat Relaxed, Happy, Sympathetic, Bored, Enthusiastic, Creative, Ambitious, Shy, Energetic, Athletic Outgoing, Sociable, Manly, Girlie, Industrious, Intelligent, Old, Courageous, Cooperative, Confident Distracted, Messy, Quirky, Grouchy, Comical) and off to take pictures I went.

Because I spend most of my day in my classroom, I figured this is more than likely where my pictures would come from, so I warned my students and they agreed, and wanted, to be a part of my assignment. I tried for candid shots but they didn’t seem to turn out right so I decided I would have to “stage” my shots a bit. This worked better.

My first subject was Laurence. She is in my classroom working on a test. She looked so serious and was concentrating extremely hard on her test that I had to snap it. She was so absorbed in her work, she didn’t even realize I had taken the picture, which makes it better because it was more natural.

Here is the first, unedited picture. I liked it but the purple pencil case kept taking my eyes away from her face, where I wanted the focus to be, to it.

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I did not do much editing to this picture. I cropped the picture, which brought her face closer and putting that as the focal point, which is what I wanted. I also tried to crop out the purple pencil case, because it was distracting, but it wasn’t working, which is why I decided to go to black and white. I also like how dark her hair looks in contrast to her face, again putting more focus on her the look on her face.

Can you guess my word?

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(intelligent)

My second word was a little more difficult. My original idea was that I would take shots of the students talking, being social, with each other but every time I tried, they would look at me or would stop talking or there would be too much going on in the background (such as other students or the whiteboard). Then Hannah came in during her lunch and was scrolling through her Facebook. A light went off. I snapped several pictures and I tried to get different angles. This is the picture I decided to go with: 20160127_115106_resized

But there is a whole lot going on. I wanted the focus to be “social” media and as the picture was, I didn’t feel that was the focus. It was not in the center and your eye was not drawn to her phone. So with Fotor app, I did some editing. share_tempory

I cropped the picture to bring the phone to the center. I blurred out the surroundings to make the phone stand out more and put a focus bubble (not sure of the specific term for that) over the phone. I feel the eye focuses more on the phone to emphasize “social” for my second word.

I enjoyed this assignment. I think I enjoyed playing with photo editors more than actually taking pictures as I thought it was fun to play with the features to see what I could come up with.