• Pixlr Google Site

    Posted on November 20th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    As promised, here is the link to my final Pixlr google site: https://sites.google.com/a/vt.edu/interrogating-the-interface-pixlr/


  • Presentation Nerves

    Posted on November 19th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I presented my “Ignite-style” presentation yesterday in class and talked about Pixlr, a popular photo-editing site. It was pretty obvious that I was super nervous, and I totally messed up on a few slides. But in the end, I think that I lost some of those nerves and redeemed myself a little bit (hopefully).

    A little background on Pixlr: it’s free, efficient, and made for mostly non-professional photo editors. Pixlr has a lot of different forms, so I tried to squeeze in as much as I could into my presentation. There are three main Pixlr forms: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express, and Pixlr-O-Matic. Also, there are two free mobile apps. One of Pixlr’s forms (Editor) is a lot like Photoshop, so I compared and contrasted them. I explained as much as I could about each form along with their affordances and constraints, but 15 seconds per slide was a lot quicker than I initially thought. Honestly, my nerves got the best of me with the oral presentation, but I think that the website portion of this unit will balance my grade out.

    Tomorrow I’m going to post and share my final website here, so take a look!

  • Ignite: Flash Mob Gone Very, Very Wrong

    Posted on November 5th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I can only hope to make my presentation this great! Watching different Ignite presentations is making me nervous because of the 15 second time restraint, but if the presentation is rehearsed, there should be no problem. This Ignite speaker is awesome. His presentation is humorous and keeps the audience interested the entire time. Check it out!


  • Remediation Discussion

    Posted on November 5th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Yesterday in class, we talked about remediation and how we can remediate printed text into a website, and then we can remediate it again into an oral presentation. Through this idea, we discussed how through remediation, our material can both lose and gain important aspects.

    Printed text something that is probably the most well-known form for all of us, especially as students. We are used to the standard Word document that is set in Times size 12 and double spaced with one-inch margins. With this standard format, you’re able to focus more on the content. Also, it places all students on the same “rubric” so to speak. The problem with printed text is that at this point it is out of date. Other formats are being introduced and experimented with.

    In contrast, a website allows people to add creative aspects, while still maintaining great content. A website adds visual appeal and is much more easy to navigate than printed text. However, the downside to a website is that it comes along with technical difficulties. The website is still not 100 percent trustworthy, which might make people a little more hesitant to use it.

    Personally, I am not a huge fan of oral presentations because I know myself and my tendencies during my presentations. Most of the time, I forget certain parts of a presentation that I want to emphasize, and once you move on, you really can’t back track. This is something that an oral presentation can lose. It can lose a lot of essential information. However, you can add to an oral presentation with your own charisma and personality.

    Overall, a lot of awesome points were brought up in class while we were discussing remediation through printed text, websites, and oral presentations. I’m excited to see how everybody delivers their oral presentations for our next unit!

  • Final Tap Essay

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Here is the link to my final tap essay project: https://readtapestry.com/s/oGmI77UPc/

    I had a lot of fun creating this, so I hope you enjoy it!

  • One of My Favorite Tap Essays

    Posted on October 8th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    This tap essay is titled “McDonald’s Bullshit Budget” and talks about the disadvantages of being a McDonald’s employee. The author does a great job emphasizing her important points, while adding a lot of humor.

    It’s definitely worth reading!


  • Tap Essay: Timing is Everything

    Posted on October 8th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    After continuing to read Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole, I’ve come to realize that the third chapter, titled “A Framework for Action,” discusses the non-traditional forms of composition. Some of the ideas within this chapter are especially useful for a Tap Essay, which is the next assignment in my Writing and Digital Media class. The tap essay will be composed through a website called Tapestry. Through the website, I will be able to compose an interactive essay. I will be able to make it at my own pace and I will also be able to emphasize important points.

    In the third chapter, Shipka talks about a student named Muffie who creates a non-traditional project for class involving dance. During her composition process, Muffie started “planning out the music– planning out choruses, verses, and how many counts of eight everybody gets. Part of this planning involved her reviewing the videotaped footage so that she could determine which members of the FYC class would get solos” (Shipka 71). In a way, the composition process that Muffie uses is similar to that of the tap essay. The tap essay process involves timing out every sentence. After pauses are added for timing purposes, you can preview the essay and see if the timing works well and emphasizes the right points. For a unique project, timing can be everything. It can emphasize the right points and highlight their importance.

  • Digital Narrative Viewing

    Posted on October 1st, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Today in class, we watched everyone’s final digital narratives. A lot of them were really good and it showed how all of us interpreted the assignment differently. Most of us used a picture montage, while some of my classmates were brave enough to videotape some of their scenes. I definitely should have considered using video clips in my digital narrative, especially after I saw how successful they were in other projects.

    This is a link to my final project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyRLd0voipc

    In my project, I talk about how I’ve lived in a very small town for my whole life. As I continued to mature, I began to realize that I was basically living in a bubble because I wasn’t really exposed to much. I especially never noticed a lot of the family related obstacles that some of my friends had to deal with growing up. When I came to Tech, I got involved in my sorority’s philanthropy. Our philanthropy, Mock Rock, supports victims of domestic violence in the New River Valley, so it’s amazing to see our proceeds go directly to Blacksburg and its surrounding areas. Domestic violence is definitely considered a family related obstacle, and it really opened my eyes to the pain that some families have to go through. My experience with Mock Rock has had a huge impact on my life, and I’m really happy that I got to share that through my digital narrative.


  • Making a Composing Process More Visible

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I finished the second chapter in Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole, and a lot of this chapter discusses how mediational means that we employ in our writing become invisible throughout our writing process. For example, if I was writing a typical paper, everybody sees the final product: a six-paged document in a standard black font with a heading, title, and page numbers. No one can see the different types of media I may have used in my writing process: audio, pictures, news articles, etc. This can be considered as a “disappearance effect” in writing. In the text, Bruce and Hogan explain the “disappearance effect” by stating, “as technologies embed themselves in everyday discourse and activity, they slip into the background and it becomes far to easy to lose sight of the way they shape, whether for good or ill, the routine dimensions of our lives” (Shipka 54).

    Although I’m being specific in describing the disappearance effect in writing, it is something that can be present in life in general. I think people should make their composing process more visible. The texts suggests that people should keep a “technology journal” or “videotape themselves through the course of the day or while working on a particular activity or project” (Shipka 56). These suggestions may be able to make people more aware of the technologies they use in their composing process every day. Shipka quotes Wertsch, who says that “conscious awareness is one of the most powerful tools available for recognizing and changing forms of mediation that have unintended and often untoward consequences” (Shipka 56). A “conscious awareness” can allow people to come up with “imaginable alternatives,” which can lead to “increased metacommunicative awareness” (Shipka 56). The end of the chapter had the most impact on me. It made me think about how I fail to recognize a lot of the technologies I use throughout my own composing process. It shed some light on the importance of imaginable alternatives, and how they would benefit my writing and metacommunicative awareness.

  • Digital Narrative Progress

    Posted on September 17th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I’ve been working on my digital narrative for class for a few weeks now. I feel like it’s all coming together, but it has definitely been a struggle. When I wrote my script, I thought that I would have no trouble at all with it. It basically describes what I personally think a Hokie is and how I’ve seen it through my own experiences here at Tech. Yesterday, I recorded my script for the first time. If hearing your own voice in a soundbooth for an hour isn’t annoying enough, I kept talking way too fast. Also, I’m beginning to think that my script sounds way too formal and impersonal. I need to figure something out to work out those kinks, which hopefully won’t be too difficult. Once I get past the sound recording, I think that I’ll have an easier time putting everything together! I have all of my pictures set, and I’m still trying to find a some background music. Hopefully I’ll get some good feedback in class on Wednesday!