Posts Tagged ‘training’

Projects Galore

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

This week’s projects have had no really progress of which to speak, but at the very least I felt an update appropriate. My main goals for this week have been moving into my apartment with roommate Matt Keaton and getting myself further orientated with a range of technologies. So here is the general overview of the week:

  1. The apartment is getting more and more unpacked but still in rough shape
  2. Still clueless in HTML
  3. Working with audacity is now a breeze (with some kinks).
  4. Doing some research on recording and Skype
  5. What in the World is all this CMS whats it and how are they different?

The HTML has been a huge challenge for me, not because it is particularly to learntags but rather knowing what I need to know in order to get what I want done. As I debated over this past week on how to proceed with learning some basic coding languages, Professor Whalen mentioned that it is best to have a “real” project and build skills as you progress or hit barriers in your work. For me, learning in this fashion is a bit undirected, and I need a foundation or framework to know what I am looking at and have a sense of what I need. It seems that the skills I need involve HTML、PHP and MySQL. With those three I ought be able to dig around into WordPress and Drupal with only the normal setbacks and swearing at the computer screen when code explodes. As umwblogs is going to get hooked up with the awesomeness of WordPress 3 I want to be prepared to take part in as Jim Groomwould say “re-imagining the framework of the system.” Or something like this? Either way, the point is to get myself well equipped as an active member and not just using WYSIWYG! What I really need is some guidance on how I should be learning all of this material. Right now I cannot even quite imagine how my projects could shape on a widespread publishing platform. Submit thoughts!

This week (granted this week isn’t over yet!)I have devoted the majority of my time working with Dr. Kennedy’s students on their final communication projects. I mostly just keep an eye on equipment or help look at some of their editing work, but like most small projects, my student aid skills had some severe holes. I was entirely uneducated on how to use audacity. Frankly, it’s silly because audacity is awesome and easy to use. I found that a little bit of research and just playing with the program was enough to get acquainted with the program and how the program could meet the students’ needs. Since starting at DTLT I have not had a lot of opportunities to work directly with students on recording projects, but I hope to have some more of that type of work, especially with librivox’s project still in progress.

Helping other students record has recently sparked my interest in creating an audio blog for Chinese recordings, I am still not sure how to accomplish that task. I would need a place to store the files for my blog to grab. As I started fiddling with audacity, I realized that even using something like garageband would suit me well enough. What I really need is a solid microphone, because just using the built-in/headset-mic combo does not cut it for my tastes. For the purposes of language training, conversations with native speakers should be an important aspect of the journey to language mastery (but in all reality that is a cover word for competency). Thus, I started research recording my skype conversations with previous Chinese roommates and friends. I found that the crew for the amazing program headed by Dan Cohen,Digital Campus, had some great suggestions for at least getting started with this project. I downloaded a demo copy of a skype call recorder for the mac. I’ve done a conversation or two with the program, but it won’t be until tomorrow that I can start really cranking out some good work with New Media specialist Andy Rush.

Finally, I have a meeting with Jim Groom tomorrow on WordPress 3 and hopefully gain a fundamental understanding of how to start screwing around with wordpress templates, plug-ins and making the whole thing more customizable. But, Drupal is still out there waiting for me to make use of it. Your selection of CMS (if WordPress can qualify as one) really depends on what sort of content you are trying to connect together. So, who knows maybe a good brainstorm on projects is the next course of action. How do you internet literati work all this out?