Day 1: The future of writing is…

Welcome to the Technologies and Future of Writing module. Today I’m going to orient you to some of the writing spaces we’ll use in our eight meetings, including this course site, Audacity, and Google Drive. We’ll also review the syllabus, schedule, and homework for Day 2.

Writing tool #1: Google Drive

We will be using Google Drive to share files and folders throughout this semester. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Go to http://drive.google.com/ and log in with your usual Rowan credentials. (NOTE: to access or share any Drive materials you must be logged into your Rowan account.)
  2. Go to the “Shared With Me” tab on the left.
  3. Find your IWA student folder. It should include your last name, followed by “IWA” and your mod number (i.e. “Luther, Jason [IWA-3]”). Click on it. This is the folder you will use to share work with me that is not on a public site; it saves us the trouble of using Blackboard and sending files via email.
  4. Open a new document using the blue NEW button and title this Post #1.
  5. Find a podcast. Use NPR, iTunesiOS Podcast app, Podcast Addict for Android, or some other site or app to find and listen to a podcast that seems interesting to you. It can be long or short and about any topic you’d like. Cut and paste the link into this document.
  6. Close that document when you are done. You will revisit this document for homework (see below).

Remixing with Audacity

We’ll be using a free, cross-platform sound-editing program called Audacity quite a bit in this module. Audacity allows you to record or import audio files and manipulate them with hundreds of different effects. Like other robust software, learning how to use Audacity takes time and can be challenging. Yet, one of the core principles to learning to compose and create with technology is via trial-and-error experimentation. This initial activity will get you into groups to experiment and problem-solve as best you can.

Task: After I show you a few basic moves in Audacity, import 2 or more audio files from one of the free audio sites below and manipulate them to create a new, multi-layered track. Compete with the other groups to make the most interesting mixed track.

Time: 15 minutes

Sources for tracks:

Freesound
Yellowstone Sound Library
BBC Sound Effects
The Internet Archive’s Audio Archive
Adobe Music Loops and Beds (thousands of royalty-free music loops/beds)
Adobe Sound Effects (thousands of royalty-free sound effects)
Bensound (royalty-free music)
Free Music Archive
Noisetrade (Music)
Wikimedia Commons Audio
Public Domain Sherpa (public domain audio sources)


Homework for Day 2

  • Read the syllabusThere will be a quiz.
  • Read Ball & Charlton (in our Readings folder in Google Drive).
  • Draft WordPress post #1 in Google Docs. Again, use NPR, iTunesiOS Podcast app, Podcast Addict for Android, or some other site or app to find and listen to a podcast that seems interesting to you. It can be long or short and about any topic you’d like. You’ll do this in a Google Doc in your IWA folder in Google Drive. Spend the first half of your post describing the podcast — talk about its content, structure, length, broadcast schedule/frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, infrequent, etc.), format, hosts, objectives, etc. Once you’ve described it fully, consider how the podcast exhibits multimodality; that is, consider how, as Ball & Charlton explain, “meanings are created, delivered, and circulated through choices in design, material composition, tools and technologies, delivery systems, and interpretive senses.” What are those choices in design and composition? Consider the sounds, of course, but also the images, texts, links, or websites that got you there. Also consider the tools and technologies went into making, producing, and circulating this to listeners?