Wednesday, March 28, 2012

20 Shot Story: The After Effect

Well the 20 Shot Story is complete! I think it went really well and I had a ton of fun with it. I've seen our video about five times by now and I still find myself laughing each time (: It ended up being a very fun time despite a couple bumps in the road. Below I'm going to make a list of some issues we had to deal with and how we solved them.

  • Flip Camera = Dead ): This made the video process a little harder to complete. After every shot, we had to plug the camera into a laptop for a minute or two to let it charge. The positive part about this = it gave us some time to talk about how we wanted this shot to be filmed.
  • Time Frame = At first, it was a little complicated trying to find a time in which all of us could meet up. I figured it was going to take longer then fifty minutes to film all twenty shots. Luckily we all had a little extra time after class to get it all done. Also, the extra day we had to story board really helped us. 
  • Video Uploading = After we shot our scenes, we had to figure out how to upload it onto a computer. The actual uploading was actually pretty easy. Then there was a little trouble trying to save the video onto a file that would work on all the computers. Eventually, a group member uploaded it to YouTube which allowed the group members to access it. 
  • Storyboarding = The story board was very helpful actually. Without it, it would have taken a lot longer to physically work out every shot. We ended up modifying a couple scenes along the way. If we forgot something in one shot or wanted to add something to clarify a part in another, it all worked out smoothly in the end.
As you can see, each of these 'little bumps' ended up working out and sometimes even helping the process! The only thing I would change about this project would be to have a little longer to do it. If I was doing this in class, I would allow the students to film their 20 Shot Stories but then I would collect the cameras and do the uploading myself. That way, I can watch the films before they are shown and eliminate the students from worrying about having editing software. Especially if some students don't have access to computers at home. All in all a fun project and thanks to my group for working hard and making it a great time (: 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

20 Shot Story

Since our 20 Shot Stories are due soon, I figured I would write my thoughts about them. At first I was a little optimistic about doing it. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. Initially, it was a little harder then I anticipated to get the storyboard drawn out. My short story was "The Yellow Wallpaper" and it's a rather long..short story (; It was hard to decide what exactly to use in our 20 shots. It's important to make sure that the audience fully grasps the story. Sometimes I tend to forget that just because my group read it, doesn't mean that everyone else has. Once we had the beginning sketched out, it got a little easier by the end. I think we did a good job as a group putting the storyboard together, especially picking out what is important to use in our shots. Hopefully the final product will run just as smoothly as everything else so far (: 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Justification for Reading

Being an English major, I guess it may not surprise people that I love to read (: Over Spring Break, I actually had some free time which is incredibly hard to find in the middle of a semester. I got to read books that have been gathering dust on my shelf. Although, typically I'm into reading the more 'adult' books, I found myself drawn to looking through some young adult literature that I've had for years. I actually opted to read one of those quick stories simply to gain the experience of reading it. I figure that like a speaker in my class said, it's important to be able to inform students about books that they may like to read. If you are trying to promote reading in your class, then surely you will have to expect that some students will ask you for good books. Like many other English majors I've encountered, I find that a lot of people have lists of books that they have been meaning to read. Along with my many other books, I decided to start writing down some YAL as well! This summer I want to read as much as I can, not only for fun, but to gain knowledge about different books, genres, and authors. With popular books such as The Hunger Games coming out, I want to stay on top of my game. Keeping up with the latest books will allow me to stay in touch with the changes that are taking place in literature. This way I'll be able to suggest books to my students and hope that it compels them to want to read more. If you guys have read any great books, I'm certainly open to suggestions. I'm always willing to add books to my list! (:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Many Great Questions of Life

A lot of my friends had their Spring Break over this past week. Which was a pretty big let down for me since ours just began. Anyways, when I was hanging out with my friends, we were talking about school. My one friend asked me, why English? Of all things to teach, why did you choose English? I could have given a generic answer like "because I love English!" Although that's true, that's not really why I wanted to teach English. My passion is in reading and analyzing literature. It is something that I have always excelled out and was the first thing that I was so proud to do. From a young age, I wanted to read all the time. Even when I couldn't read, I would look at the pictures and make up words for the story myself. For as long as I can remember, reading has been such a huge part of my life. Therefore, why not make a career out of it? It's something I love and that is what makes all my hard work pay off. It's the fact that I'm educating myself. It's the fact that I'm following a dream that I've had for a long time. It's the fact that I'm learning how to educate others, hoping they will grow to have a passion like I do. All of these things, that seem tedious, stressful, and overwhelming WILL pay off. So with Spring Break having just begun, take some time for yourself. Read a book that you've been meaning to read and let yourself enjoy reading again (: Be safe, have fun, and see you all in a week! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Advanced Aviary

Since I did a presentation Monday on advanced aviary, I decided to include it in my blog for anyone that wanted more information on it. The site is an editing site that can be used mostly for editing pictures and creating audio. After spending some time working on the site, I was able to create a pro's and con's list:

  • The website is free! Always a great start (:
  • It is really easy to register for an account, all you need is an email account and need to create a password. 
  • The tools allow you to create pictures as well as edit any of your own.
  • There is a "Help" section that answers a lot of commonly asked questions.
  • There is also a blog especially for advanced aviary, where people share tips and ideas.
  • It allows you to save all of your work on your account.
  • For beginners, the site is pretty advanced. While it does have tutorials, it doesn't exactly tell you how to use the tools. 
  • There are so many tools and different pages that I found it almost overwhelming. 
  • Some of my creations would not save on the computer because they were too big or could not save in the format I needed. 
  • For teachers, I'm not really sure if this could be used in a classroom for much, especially with how advanced it is.
Recently though, I found out there is a basic aviary webpage that seems a little easier to use. I think this site would be great for personal use. I think it would be fun to use when I have some free time and want to enhance some of my pictures. For people on Facebook, it is really similar to picnik. I think it would be fun to use this site to create a book cover, but it would have to be with a class that has advanced skills with technology. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Getting Our Hands Dirty

In class, we were asked to create a podcast on any story or short story of our choosing. Prior to this assignment, I had never listened to many podcasts before nor I had ever created one. Clearly, this was all new territory for me. Our group decided to do a podcast on the book Breathing Underwater. (Great Young Adult Literature book btw). We used a website called PodOmatic which was a very user friendly webpage. We picked our parts, wrote out our parts, and got ready to record. However, whenever using technology, you always run the risk of problems. For us, PodOmatic was not able to pick up our audio from either the laptop or the microphone we plugged in. (Anticipating any problems ahead of time is always a good tip). We ended up recording our audio on my iPhone, emailing the audio, and uploading it onto PodOmatic. 

This just goes to show that while technology is outstanding, it is not fool proof. As a teacher, if using technology, be prepared to have back up or adaptations in the event of something not working. Luckily for us, the iPhone worked just fine and we successfully uploaded it onto our page. Sometimes it is not always that easy. To ensure that you aren't caught off guard, just always be sure to have a back up assignment or another way that the task can be completed. I enjoyed making our podcast and can see how this would be beneficial for students to do a book review. All in all I had fun doing my assignment and look forward to hearing what other groups decided to do in theirs (: