Throughout Topics in Digital Rhetoric, the mission was clear that we needed to enhance how we approached posting our work to the internet. Many different tools that I had never considered before quickly became second-hand knowledge and offered a much deeper interactive experience in my writing.
As we were tasked with our first assignment of creating a digital story revolving around a personal narrative, I quickly had to become adept at using iMovie on my MacBook. It was an experience that shaped how I thought of video editing. It’s not something you can quickly put together and expect good results. You have to add visual content to supplement the story you are telling. After I had finished recording myself telling the story of how I met and grew up with two of my best friends it was clear that I had to cut everything together in a way that flowed smoothly. I added images from childhood to start and slowly transitioned through different stages of life, ending with images from the current day. I then had to interweave background music to fit the tone of the story as well as add poignant transitions and informative text on top of the images. It was a difficult task but I think it was important to tell the story of “how certain circumstances in life brought me to an understanding that friends are people you can rely on.” and a digital story was the best medium to tell it.
As we moved to the Sense of Place project, a lot of focus began to shift to telling the story of a place. I thought over what the subject of my piece should be and decided that my old neighborhood and school would be a good place to start. I journeyed back to each location and took a plethora of pictures to try and capture all of the stories I had collected in my head about these places. I decided to cover the feeling of a football game on Friday nights recalling, “The noise never subsided throughout the night even when walking back to the parking lot.” I also went into detail on the trail that bordered my school. This project focused on adding photos to the written articles that supported the text as well as adding dedicated links to other parts of the projects to make sure the whole story was connected. It also showed the importance of external links that added context to the story and helped people further gain an understanding of the places being mentioned.
The Podcast Review focused on compiling several episodes of This American Life to help answer a question we had. I decided to focus my question on where the power of words came from. I went through three episodes that journeyed into different stories about the impact of words and learned that we have to be careful when choosing what we say especially when dealing with a government downplaying COVID-19. I learned a lot about how to include quotations in a poignant way to my writing and how to link aspects of each episode to my blog in a multimodal way. I did this by clipping certain soundbites of each show and adding them to each exploratory piece.
From that project, we transitioned into a group project covering the current pandemic and COVID-19. My group enjoyed this project as we each got to explore how the situation was affecting us personally. We also got to look at certain aspects of the pandemic that interested us. I learned a lot about formatting my blog through this project and how to take other people’s work, edit it, add to it, and put out a finished polished version that everyone agreed on.
Finally, throughout the whole semester, we had been working on an Image-a-day project that required us to take images every day and compile them into weekly galleries on our blog. We finished by creating a final video piece that summed up our semester-long journey of pictures. This was interesting because we were generating a long story on a daily basis without even realizing it. Looking back through all the images and creating a story from it was much easier than I imagined and became more of a cathartic reflection than work.
This class developed my strength in writing digital content for an ever-evolving online environment that requires interaction unlike any other medium. I enjoyed learning how to tackle this line of creation and look forward to adding more to it in the future.
All Projects Listed Below: