Audio Editing 101

In Tech 6 we’re working on a project to create a Story Corp podcast.  Students are working in groups of three and have set up interviews with community members, written questions, and interviewed their subjects.  This week, we’ll be editing the audio they are listening to in the free program, Audacity.  Here’s the process we’ll use.

  1. Open Audacity
  2. Import MP3 audio that we recorded using our Sony ICD PX820 recorder by selecting Project –> Import Audio
  3. Save the file – Name it with the date of the interview and the subject.  For example if you recorded an interview with me, on April 3, 2011 the file name would be 2011-04-03-Ragone
  4. Watch this video on using audacity:
Audio Editing 101 with Audacity

 

5. Now listen to your audio. Take notes on the time you begin questions and when you hear great stories. You might have to listen to your interview multiple times.

6. Decide on the most compelling story from your interview and edit it down to 2-3 minutes.  You can story board the story and arrange the pieces in different orders if it makes the story more compelling. 

7. When you’re done, select File –> Export as MP3 to save the file. 

Feel free to post questions below. 

I’m looking forward to listening to the audio interviews that you create!

* Image Source: arvindgrover

How Do You Learn a New Skill on Your Own?

Today is Tech 5 we discussed how to learn new skills on your own. We looked at a completed Excel Spreadsheet that showed the average words per minute on 11/19/2010 and 1/10/2011 for the section.

typing-data

Students came up with the following suggestions to learn something on their own:

  • Search for ‘create a table in excel’ on YouTube
  • Figure it out – Play with the software
  • Click on the help button in Excel

We discussed how it’s often hard to figure out how to do something because you need the vocabulary of the software/program to find what you need to learn to do.

Here is the vocabulary to complete this assignment:

  • Insert a Chart
  • AutoSum: to sup up a row or column
  • Create an equation for the average increase in typing

typing-graph

Many times, having someone show you these skills is the easiest way to learn them, but knowing where to go to figure them out is important as well.

The assignment for next week is to watch the following videos on excel.  We’ll be completing the spreadsheet at the beginning of class.

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How do you learn a new skill?  I like to find experts, but also appreciate finding tutorials online.  I believe that learning is shifting to be a more independent process in this connected world.  An important skill for us to teach our students.

Tech 5 Digital Footprint Lesson

digital-footprintThe goal of this lesson is to give students awareness of what it means to have a digital footprint.

Ask the students, “What  is a digital footprint?” 

Definitions include:

  1. What can be found when you Google yourself.
  2. Data collected by different web sites you visit.
  3. Data recorded by email, social networking, cell phone and video game companies.
  4. Anywhere where you use a username and password.

Digital Footprint on Wikipedia

Pew Internet & American Life Research on Digital Footprints

I then show this video: 

digital-footprint-video

I then ask them to think for a minute about their digital footprint and then lead a short discussion around the following questions:

  • Why would people Google you? 
  • What is your digital reputation?

At this point, I ask them students to take out their footprints (see link above) and list the accounts the have online: websites, social networks,  phones they text with, video games they play online, etc.

Once they have done this for 5 minutes, I have them enter this data into our homework submission site.  This is good data to start conversations about Internet safety in the future. 

How do you teach about Digital Footprints?