My, my! Two weeks flew by! These two weeks were dedicated to finishing our radio show and completing a few audio assignments here and there. Let’s reflect on what has occurred and how it occurred.
A reflection upon your contribution to the radio show and to your assessment of the group process:
How did your group go about choosing a theme and organizing itself? : Our group spent time discussing on the Canvas discussion boards. Somebody usually started the conversation and we all replied with our ideas and concerns. We also tried to organize it by creating a new topic thread whenever we felt like the conversation was moving in. Doing this helped us keep better track of what stage of the process we were in. To choose our theme, we pretty much just threw things out and then decided whether we were all okay or not with a certain topic. We mentioned including history and then somebody mentioned (maybe it was me) that we should make it fun and lighthearted and choose common items that most people know but put a “wacky” historical spin on it! Towards the end, I gave out my email because it’s much more reliable to communicate with me in this way. We also all shared our twitter accounts, but I didn’t use that method very often.
What was the easiest/hardest part of working as a group?: Easiest part was that the work was spread out and in the case that somebody couldn’t do something or didn’t know how, the group members would step in and help. As long as everybody contributes somewhat equally, the work becomes less difficult. The hardest part was the fact that some people got busy and couldn’t answer immediately, or they disappeared for a few days. Sometimes it was hard to come to a final decision or maybe one person didn’t give their input in time and we had to make a choice for them. I can’t say this was a very serious problem and I feel like those kinds of things come standard with group work-especially when everything is done in cyberspace!
How did you decide upon your own contribution to the show — did you pick something in your comfort zone or did you decide to push yourself in a new direction?: I have a tendency to “take over” and just tell people i’ll do it. Obviously, I knew I couldn’t do the whole show but I feel much more comfortable and confident when i’m the one doings things because then I can do them my way. This also has nothing to do with an animosity towards people or group members. I thought all of my group members were fantastic. I just dislike how long it takes to get something done when there are multiple people involved. I didn’t exactly push myself OR stay in my comfort zone. I just offered to do things to make everything easier: I chose to do the Wedding Rings segment and then said it would be best to split the group into two so that I would have two other people working with me on that topic. I then asked who wants to join me and got my two people almost immediately. I also offered to be the person who accepts all the initial recordings and puts them together in a rough draft. I guess that was slightly out of my comfort zone because I didn’t know if people would like how I did it. That’s also why I suggested that after i’m done, I would pass the file around for people to listen to and make extra changes. I think that method insures that everybody has a say and it also helps makes the show better with multiple people tweaking it. If I had to say which people played the biggest role in getting things done I would say it was me, Rachel, and Tori. Tori reached out to urge people to get work done and set deadlines, Rachel made our logo and was very timely with her assignments, I kept the discussion board conversations going and put together the initial draft of the show and tried to step in when I needed. Ben had a pretty busy two weeks but he definitely tried to help out a lot in the end. Mitchell made quiet a few sound clips and gave us a lot of backup stuff to work with. Chantel also did her work and and turned her assignments in on time.
How do you feel your show holds together as a whole? Do you feel like you achieved your goals in terms of the story your group set out to tell? What do you think people will say about it?: This is a hard question to answer. I listen to podcasts all the time so I naturally want to compare our show to professionals: and it fails in comparison. If I take a step back and look at the show from the perspective of how much time we put into it and the fact that we’re all just students trying to learn some new things and pass a class (at least I am that way) then I would say it came out average. When I finished my initial editing, the show was at about 22 minutes which is below what we need. I know Tori said she tweaked some things but as of this moment, I don’t know if it is at an appropriate time mark. I also think that if we all met up and recorded in one room, we would have a much better show with a consistent sound and a natural flow. However, it is very difficult to get six people in a room together and we opted for individual recordings (I believe Rachel and Chantel met in person). Now, for the good things: I really like our idea and I like the topics we discussed. I think everybody had a clear and enthusiastic voice and I believe our bumpers and commercials were good. We also had quiet a good selection of songs that added color to the show. I believe we told the story we wanted to tell and I believe people will find the topics interesting. I think most students who listen to it should like it.
You’ve worked pretty intensively with audio now for several weeks of ds106 — describe what that process has been like. have you changed your feeling towards audio? When you started with this section of the class, what did you think it would be like and how did the experience measure up? Audio was a slow start with a very quick learning curve. I can say that I stubbornly refused to use Audacity at first because I had my iMovie and it was easy and familiar. Audacity had so many buttons and options and I just didn’t want to learn them. For this radio show, I knew I would have to suck it up and I began watching YouTube videos. It did not take me long to get a really good grip on the essentials and from that point forth, I really liked Audacity! It is an extremely intelligent program with so many great options of altering, cutting, and editing sound. Every time I layered music or made my voice more clear or even copied and pasted tracks, I felt very proud of myself for exploring and learning new things. I mean, I ended up stringing a bunch of separate clips into a complete radio show without failing miserably so I think my audio editing skills are a success so far. At this point, I don’t know if i’m madly in love with audio but I can say that if I really wanted to, I could create some really cool things with Audacity and all of the free sound clips available on the internet. My favorite assignments are the ones in which we have to use sound effects to tell a story because if you know how to string the sound clips together, you can build a beautiful audio scene that can illicit emotion. This experience was less work than I thought and now that i’m done with it I feel like it was more fun and less stress.
I successfully completed all work this week except for two daily creates. My bumper and commercial was chosen by the group to be in the show so I guess I did a good job on those!