My Projects

Graphics Graphic composite created from two photos using Photoshop Elements. Showcases use of layers, masks, and filters.
Audio Podcast created with Audacity. The content of the podcasts shows the importance of reducing room noise in narration and gives some simple methods for doing so.
Video Photos slideshow with titles, transitions, and music. Created with Apple iMovie.
Web Website showcasing my EDET work and recent recordings. Created with Dreamweaver. Link to description of work on Wikispaces page.
Tool Shed A summary and review of several Web 2.0 tools.
Teach a Lesson A tutorial of the Web 2.0 tool Nexty, including narrated screencast, web resources, and handout. Created with Jing.
Final Project An instructional video for novice users of the School of Music recording studio demonstrating how to connect and record a microphone through a typical signal chain, including a digital console and digital audio workstation. The multimedia project incorporates video, images, graphics, screencasts, and narration.

EDET 603 Reflection

Building a portfolio of my work during this semester has been quite rewarding. I didn’t realize how far I had come. While compiling the portfolio I have remembered things I had forgotten I had done, and more importantly - skills I had forgotten I had acquired.

Portfolio Summary
The graphics activity was my first foray into using any image manipulation beyond simple crop and red-eye removal. I knew there was great power to be found in the use of layers and masks, but I definitely had much to learn about how they interacted. The final image shows an adept and restrained use of these tools to create an atheistically pleasing product.

Since I am a professional audio engineer, I had two goals with the audio project. First, I work primarily with high-end professional audio applications, so I wanted to experience the capabilities of an open-source free application like Audacity. Second, I wanted the content to helpful to other people in the course who might be new to audio.

I have had plenty of previous experience using iMovie over the past several years, creating videos and slideshows of my children, for church, and for work. I branched out on this task by experimenting with different transitions and title types. I also found a few shortcuts - such as drag and drop - that will make my future work much quicker and easier.

The web activity challenged me to learn about and edit cascading style sheets (CSS), though I thought it would be incredible difficult. I immediately loved many of the free templates available on the web, but was quickly frustrated by closed structure. I decided to build from scratch my only CSS template, which is admittedly simple at the moment. I hope to continue to tweak this template as I progress thru the EDET program and build my website, both to showcase my audio engineering and my EdTech accomplishments.

Final Project
The Final Multimedia Project gave me an opportunity to create an instructional video I have been considering for some time. The video is designed to guide the MUSC 365 students through a typical signal chain in the School of Music recording studio. I look forward to putting it into practice in the spring.

This semester I acquired a large number of new skills and abilities. For example, a quick glance thru my graphics activities reminded me that I had learned about and built my own GIF animations. I also became more familiar with production applications such as Photoshop Elements and Dreamweaver that I had not used extensively before. I also learned to branch out and not rely on the tools that I know already.

I didn’t realize the robustness of many of the Web 2.0 tools that are available. At the beginning of the course, I assumed an online photo editor would be hard pressed to even handle cropping and rotating. But I found that some of these online tools have deep feature sets and can be useful for real work.

Unfortunately, these free web services often have limitations. I had some troubles with format incompatibilities. The screencasts I made for my Final Multimedia Project using Jing were only available in ShockWave Flash (.swv) format, which could not be imported into iMovie. While I was able to work around these problems, I learned that I should be careful with free services. In the future I will test them on a small scale first before utilizing them for the entire project.

Throughout my work, the maxim of garbage in = garbage out was constantly reinforced. As I progressed thru any of the activities, the finished product was always more satisfying if I began with good material, whether that was the content or the methods used for creating the content. I found a manipulated image turned out better if the initial image was good. It was always better to re-record narration with good flow and diction rather than trying to edit it into the material. One of the portions of my Final Multimedia Project that still bothers me is the shaky camera work - something that could have been easily prevented with a good tripod and almost impossible to remove with image stabilization software.

The other concept that I kept in mind while working on the Final Multimedia Project was that of cognitive overload. I was always trying to balance the scope and completeness of the content versus brevity and clarity. Out of concern for not overwhelming the viewers, I ended up removing a few minor portions from my storyboard to make the final project more concise.

I look forward to continuing to develop the tools and techniques I learned in EDET 603, especially building a well designed and effective website of my work.