~~~Advice for the Next Generation of Reapers~~~

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Dear Future Gen,

You will see this class as something really cool that will force you to finally unleash the creative turbulence that possesses you from time to time and yes this is the case with this class. You will find yourself beaming with pride after accomplishing a particularly difficult but rewarding task, you will be able to look at your work and actually feel productive while still feeling like you haven’t done any real work, and you will find your own sense of style.

Be warned though because as delightful as this all sounds, it does take a consistent effort on your part and creativity is far from a consistent thing with most people. Each week you will receive more and more instruction pushing you to pump out new material on a regular basis, yes you will reuse some things but not a lot.

There will be group projects. Not a ton (my semester only had 1 mandatory group project), but that project was very time management intensive.

Technology is a thing. If you don’t know how to use it, you will struggle. This is a course to showcase your creativity but nobody is going to show you how to go about presenting this creativity. You will be shown how to set up your blog but working with audio, video, and whatever other platforms you work with will all require some sort of software you will need to work with. Here are some recommendations:

  • Pixlr – www.pixlr.com- This is a really great photoshop-like website that is free and requires no download. Express is very easy to use but more limited than the editor version. The editor is very similar to photoshop so if you do want to use it and are confused I’d recommend looking up some photoshop tutorials on Youtube. The Clone-Stamp tool in particular is very useful.
  • AVS Audio Editor – This is a really great audio recording and mixing software. It is pretty similar to audacity which a lot of people use so if you are doing a group project and need to share files make sure that they export the audio in a standard .mpg format. It is free to download here – http://www.avs4you.com/AVS-Audio-Editor.aspx –
  • Makeagif – http://makeagif.com -This is a really simple and free online gif maker. You can convert any image or video to a gif. The only drawback is that you have to know what second of the video you want to start at since it doesnt have a preview feature.
  • Peggo – http://peggo.co – This is basicly keepvid but works better with my computer (no stupid java updates). This will allow you to keep any audio or video from youtube or soundcloud. This will be very useful for those vids/songs that may be difficult to um acquire under um normal circumstances… *cough* *cough*

I had a hard time finding a good video editor that was free and you probably will too. I got lucky and was able to install Vegas Movie Studio because one of my friends had a physical copy of the software. WARNING: most online video editors will lure you in with the promise of a working environment to make the video in only to make you pay to be able to save or export the project. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, try to save or export the file very early in the process but also be warned some websites will only charge you if you go over a certain data size so be sure to read up on the website!

Lastly, this is a time intensive class if you do it right. I spent my entire Fridays from 10AM to midnight cranking out all of the material that needed to be done for the week, and I cut it very close to the deadline. Mind you these were weeks when no major projects were due. If there was a major project, I would be consistently working on it all week whenever I had time.

I know that those were a lot of warnings but the class as a whole I thought was entirely worth it. It gave me the opportunity to do things that I had wanted to do and learn how to do and I now feel like I truly belong in the internet because I have given back a little and am no longer a mere leecher. I wish you all the best with the adventure that is DS106.

~HeadReaper

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