Using smartphones to teach digital media in writing courses: Handouts

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Handouts to accompany my presentation on mobile reporting, editing, publishing instructional ideas and tools at AEJMC14 in Montreal Aug. 6, 2014.

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  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec 26 Things: A Photography Scavenger Hunt Using the iPod/iPhone and Flickr The point of this exercise is to familiarize yourselves with taking pictures with the iPod Touch or iPhone (or your own smartphone) using the ProCamera app, editing those photos using Photoshop Express, and posting them to Flickr. Working in pairs, find and photograph several items on the list. You are free to interpret these words however you want. Engage the quirky, offbeat part of your brain. This is not a race. The goal is to make photos, not take photos. Lets push these cameras to their fullest capability, and push ourselves to make photos that are of high quality, both compositionally and technically. Composition: carefully frame your shot; get close; avoid distracting backgrounds; watch your lighting; get eye level; lock the focus on the subject (not the center of the frame); choose a main point of interest for every photo; place your subject off-center; try different angles. Also focus on good technical quality: turn off flash, minimize camera shake, shoot at the highest resolution, frame the shot while the shutter button is depressed, etc. Experiment with your cameras scene settings (landscape, night, portrait, etc.) and with tapping the screen to set exposure and focus. The point is to get off your cameras auto settings. If you have an iPhone 4 or newer, experiment with the HDR feature. Using ProCamera on the iPods Touch, experiment with anti-shake, exposure, level, rule- of-thirds grid, self-timer, rapid-fire mode, zoom. Using Photoshop Express, edit your photos as you go: crop, straighten, adjust brightness/contrast. As you take and edit your pictures, post them to the EyesOnIowa Flickr. Launch your Flickr app > Upload > Take/Upload Photo > Choose Photo. Add title and description. In the description, write the name of the item and your name(s). Example: Glow by Megan Bannister and Kristen Smith. Also note any special settings (shot in rapid-fire mode using the ProCamera app, for example). Add it to the 26 Things Scavenger Hunt set. Include location. Set privacy level to public.
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec The list: 1. couple 2. slope 3. plate 4. going places 5. in the water 6. button 7. heritage 8. glow 9. clock 10.closed 11.smile 12.back 13.plastic 14.handle 15.sound 16.wheels 17.silence 18.new 19.old 20.mess 21.half 22.strings 23.graffiti 24.corner 25.opposite 26.round This exercise is adapted from sh1ft.orgs 26 Things photographic scavenger hunt. In that event, photographers are given 28 days to find the 26 items and upload them to a blog, Flickr, Photobucket or other photosharing site. There are no winners or losers; the fun is in the hunt and in seeing how other photographers interpreted the list. For more info: http://sh1ft.org/projects/index.php/category/26things/
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec 10 Tips for Taking Better Pictures with Your iPod/iPhone 1. Always have phone with you. The best camera to have is the one thats with you all the time. 2. Know and accept the cameras limits. 3. Clean the lens. 4. Get your finger out of the way. 5. Stabilize. 6. Watch your light, exposure. 7. Turn off flash. 8. Zoom with your feet. 9. Get close to your subject; get your subjects close to each other 10.Focus the camera. Taking Better Photos with the ProCamera App Exposure White balance Rapid-fire mode Zoom Date Stamp Anti-shake White balance Level Rule of thirds Sharing Info Pro Lab Pro Cut: crop, rotate Editing Photos with PS Express Crop, straighten, rotate, flip Exposure, contrast, saturation Reduce noise Photo Sharing Instagram, Flickr, etc. geotagging title description/captions tags location privacy level
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec Mobile Audio Assignment Part 1. A bio/intro. Using AudioBoo, record a boo about yourself to serve as a brief bio on our website. Introduce yourself to readers. You could say where youre from, what youre studying, where youve traveled, where youve interned, what you hope to do professionally, hobbies, etc. Take a picture of yourself (or have a classmate help you). Title your boo with your name. Publish your AudioBoo. Check it on Tumblr and Twitter. Then copy the embed code and post it to our EyesOnIowa WordPress site, on the Staff page. Part 2. Man-on-the-street interviews. Interview at least three people, using Audioboo. Make sure you state clearly who you are interviewing, or have the interviewees state their names. Interview each person on the same topic. Topics could be: Would you pay for the New York Times online or mobile? (The pay wall goes into effect this week.) The Final Four. Is your bracket busted? Predictions, favorite players, Final-wha? Should the U.S. military be in Libya? What Republican is most likely to unseat Obama? Take the interviewees picture. Give the boo a good title and description. Post the boo as soon as youre done with the interview. Part 3. Research audio editing apps. What kinds of features would you look for in a mobile audio-recording app? Find two or three audio editing apps (not just recording apps) available for the iPod Touch. Find out whats available, their features, cost, consumer reviews. Bring back a brief summary and recommendation of what we should purchase.
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec Note: This was an exercise in experimenting with three different audio recorders, comparing their ease of use and quality of audio recording. Audio Interviewing Exercise Work in pairs (and one trio). Interview each other in two settings, using both recorders at both sites. Make sure everybody in your group gets a chance to operate both recorders. Set the date and time for all three recorders. Olympus WS-331 experiment with rec mode: ST XQ (highest quality) to HQ (lowest) distance b/t mic and subjects voice internal vs. external mic Tascam First, adjust these settings: menu > input setting > input > mic mic > type: mono power > on (must be on for external mic to work) rec settings > format > WAV 16 or 24 rec settings > sample > 44.1 rec settings > pre rec > off rec settings > delay > off Then, experiment with: internal mic. vs. external mic internal mic with and without windscreen distance b/t mic and subject recording level 1-10 (dial on right side)
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec Zoom First, adjust these settings: Input > Mic WAV format, 16 or 24 bit, 44.1 kHz Then, experiment with: automatic recording level vs. user-set recording level Menu > Input > Level Auto > Off/On recording level 1-100 (button on right side) internal mic. vs. external mic distance b/t mic and subject Get at least 30 seconds of audio with each of the various settings/experiments. Use the chart to keep track of which files are what so we can compare sound quality later. Groups and Locations: Meredith south lobby | Cowles Library quiet study room Olmsted coffee shop | Mer. 101 or 106; or other large lecture hall At a busy intersection | Inside a car Residence hall lobby | Outside where its quiet Cowles coffee shop | Van Wykes office Olmsted fitness room | Quiet room in Olmsted (Mezzanine) r How hard is it for you to shut up when the subject is talking? r Are you minimizing handling noise? r Whats the best distance between the mic and the subjects mouth? r Youre wearing headphones, right? r Are you asking questions in a way to encourage complete answers and complete sentences? r Did you try the questions after or delayed record strategy? r Can you minimize any background noise? (buzzing lights, fans, printers)
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec Grading Criteria: Audio stories Reporting Newsworthiness Targets identified audience Appropriate sourcing Thoroughness A mix of officials and real people. Advances story Good quotes from sources, resulting from open-ended questions. Field Technique Recorded closely enough; minimal background noise. Interviews conducted in quiet room whenever possible. Reporter isnt trampling all over the audio. No handling noise. Gathered natural and interview sound Gathered an underlying track (bed) of ambient sound to smooth edits. Natural sound is gathered from as close to the sound source as possible Absence of mic-handling noise Actuality/sound bite is clear Actuality/sound bite is brief, to the point Sound levels are even Absence of voice "pops" Editing Voicer (narration) presence Voicer levels Actuality/sound bite presence Actuality/sound bite levels Appropriately creative audio Interview and natural sound are pieced together smoothly An underlying track (bed) of ambient sound smooths edits. Audio saved as MP3
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec Writing Written for the ear Script formatted properly Overall Places the listener at scene of story
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec CREATING AN AUDIO SLIDESHOW Dont tell me. Show me. Introduction If you are a good writer, you already have what it takes to tell stories in other media: a sense for news and story; a sharp mind; a compassionate heart; persistence and passion; keen observational and analytical skills; and a sense of drama and the moment. Still images elicit a visceral response. They can be enhanced by text captions that are great for the basic who, what and where of an image. The addition of audio, then, takes the picture and text caption to another level, where image, text and audio work together to create an experience that neither could produce on its own. Brian Storm, MediaStorm Audio Audio is intimate. It conveys what text and images cant: emotion, humor. Sound can transport you. Audio gives your subject a voice. Paint a picture with sounds as well as words. Create a virtual reality for your listener. Make them feel like theyre wherever you are, not reading the postcard you sent. J. Carl Gantner Gathering Audio Equipment o The recorder o Headphones o Batteries o Get your gear in order, know how to operate it. You only get one shot at getting audio. o DTC checkout policies General Tips o Your brain is an amazing noise filter. Your recorder isnt. Close your eyes and listen. Watch out for camera clicks. o Cover your bases. Record a lot of ambient/natural sound. Do multiple takes. Record 20 times more than the length of your show. o Make sure your gears in order. Extra batteries. _ Natural and Ambient Sound o Background noise (ambient sound) and sound effects (natural sound) o Use to show action. o Youll only need a few seconds of natural sound, but record at least 15 seconds of it. o Record at least a minute, preferably more, of ambient sound in each location, including where you interview. o Get close to it with recorder. But also record medium distance and far.
  • Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Rewiring the Ivory Tower: How To Incorporate Multimedia into Writing Courses AEJMC | Aug. 6 | Montreal, Quebec o Gather 5 seconds of junk audio before and after each recording. These buffers are called handles and will come in handy when youre editing. o Your sound must be authentic. Ethics. _ Interview Sound o Different from just recording for transcription. o Before you start taping, write down basic facts: name, spelling, pronunciation, location, date. o On tape, start by having subject state name, title what they do. o Get close with recorder, 4 or so. o Shut up. Dont trample over the audio with your own voice. Make eye contact and nod instead. o Dont let the subject hold the mic. o Watch out for handling noise. o Find a quiet, soft room. o Listen more, talk less. Dont fear silence. o Be confident with gear. If you are constantly checking equipment, your sources confidence will erode. o Wear headphones! o Ask subject to repeat what s/he said if a noisy disturbance. o Reassure subject that s/he can start over if s/he gets tongue-tied. o Avoid yes or no questions. Ask open-ended questions. Tell me the story of Explain what you are doing now. Talk about your best/worst/ Describe for me Give me a sense of Could you tell me why? Why? What happened? Then what happened? Then what happened? What did you see? What went thru your mind? What would you say to someone who What did that tell you? Why did you care about that? How did/would you respond (to something)? What makes you care about that? Why was that important? What picture remains most vivid? Imagine youre back at scene; how did you feel? What did you see? Describe the scene. What stands out the most? What did it smell like? What...