Playing with audio

Podcasting is one of the earliest tools and processes of the Read/Write Web. The ability to record and upload audio was one of the first shifts away from texts for several reasons. First, it's file size was naturally much smaller than video. For schools, it meant not having to worry as much about media release forms. I also think the power of the human voice is more compelling that we sometimes give it credit. 

I've been a big fan of both podcasting and audio books for several years. In particular This American Life is among my favorite. Wonderful storytelling combined with well designed audio make it a highly compelling format. Audio design is one area, I personally need to explore more. In the same way that it may be easy to record and upload 5 minutes of video that is of little value, the same can be done with audio. 

Sound is a wonderful thing. 


I never knew what a foley artist was. 

So for DS 106, we were invited to play with audio. Here are my efforts.

First I captured my Uncle Bill telling me how he ended up in veterinarian college. I don't get to see him very often but happened to spend a day with him earlier this week before ITSC. I turned on my italk app and was glad I did. Bill, if you're listening, hope you're okay with me posting it. For the rest of you, does this story resonate as compelling or is it simply that way for me because he's my uncle?


The second audio is simply a version of 5 card story or my own 5X5 video formats. Alan has much better sound and more interesting sound but I like this idea and am going to have to play some more. 




1. CNN during breakfast

2. Standing outside my Dad's condo
3. In the car, driving to the golf course
4. My Dad hitting the ball and complaining
5. Me wandering in the woods, looking for mine.

So I started this google doc..

That’s a joke that many of us who know Alec Couros use to describe a number of experiences he shares as part of being a network learner and crowd sourcing.

That become the intro to this video I put together along with the help of about 75 others.

The Learning Stuff

These 75 people contributed about 5-60 seconds of video. While I know that it may have been a little more time the idea that cumulative of all this content could be pieced together for something of value and meaning is non-trivial.

I wonder if the more difficult the question the greater the strength and/or structure of the organizing principle required to make the results intelligible/useful? Meredith Stewart

in this case, Alec is a compelling personality that has made huge contributions to many. I could have easily found another 75 people and likely could have made 10 videos given his network. But we can certainly come up with compelling ideas that would benefit greatly from the contributions of others. This is why having and building a network, while not easy and magic, offers new possibilities for learning and change.

The Technical Stuff

A few people have asked about how I put this all together so here goes:

1. Jon Becker sends out a tweet suggesting I do something for Alec

2. I create this google form.

3. I waited until I had about 70 entries. I’m not sure why I choose that number because as it turned out I had to do some fancy stickhandling to make everyone’s part fit.

4. I send out this email:

5. I was careful not to ask people to submit in a specific format since it may be another barrier for some. As entries came in I used MPEG Streamclip to convert any weird files (Windows type files) I used for people to send their video clips. This is linked to my dropbox account and was a very efficient way to gather the clips. They ranged in size from 989k to 70MB. Dropittome has a limit of 75 MB which was sufficient even for HD submissions of only a few seconds.

6. I began inserting video as it came in except for the parts with multiple videos.

7. By Saturday night I had most of the videos and went at creating the final product in Final Cut Express.

8. I again used MPEG Streamclip to take the full Quicktime video to a more youtube friendly mp4 format.

That’s it. I’d really like some more thoughts on the big picture part but I am happy to answer questions or discuss the little picture part too.

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Whether you're playing along with this course or not, you'd be crazy not to bookmark this site if only for the great assignments and exemplars around digital storytelling. Sifting through the various assignments in DS 106, I thought I'd toy with this one. My venture into the song to photo a day last year has me thinking much more visually about songs. 

I grabbed a few songs and created this playlist.



Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

Double Dipity

I like double dipping. And lest you think it's gross, Jamie and Adam busted that myth. But that's not the kind of double dipping I'm talking about. I've been blessed over the years to be able to work on projects and ideas that serve multiple purposes, people and organizations. 

A few months ago my boss asked me to find a way to capture the many successes and initiatives that we've been involved with in our school district since 2006. We have an internal sense of the stuff we've done but haven't told the story in a way that is easy to tell and easy to update. In January I joined the ds106 course on digital storytelling. Time to double dip. 

I've been using Alan's 50 Ways in more than 50 ways in my work both at Prairie South and in teaching undergrads at the University of Regina. Upon turning people lose on these 50+ways they often showcase these tools in ways I hadn't considered. One of my students used a site called Dipity to showcase her learning journey in the class. That idea stuck with me and when I was asked to showcase the work of our IT department, I thought it would a great way to do so. As far as DS106, I've used a fair number of these tools in the past. I generally tell folks you'll find a few favourites and utilize them in multiple ways. That sometimes can be a problem as people take the hammer approach and use one tool to do too many things. In this case the timeline tool makes wonderful sense. There's still more to add but you get the idea. 



The New Thing in the House

For the first assignment in DS 106, we're asked to tell a short story of something that has happened to us recently.  

All the video and photos were taken using my iphone4 and the cartoon downloaded from Youtube using pwnyoutube. I didn't write out a script, which is fairly obvious. I did have to retake the narration about 4 times until it was somewhat coherent. Looking forward to see what others create.