+ Evaluation The ways I used media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages.
+ Technologies When I read this question for my evaluation I made a list of all the technologies I used throughout my coursework – I didn’t realise how many I have used! I have had some problems with some of these pieces of technology that have hindered my work, but it was something I just had to work with to create work to the best of my abilities. There were times when I had to change what I was doing and some of this was down to technology (but I will explain that later), but overall my coursework would be impossible without the things I have used.
+ Internet. Internet Explorer & Mozilla Firefox I used 2 different web browsers which were Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. I used these 2 because they were readily available at school and at home. I used these for my research and planning and my evaluation. Internet Explorer was available at school and Firefox at home. I sometimes found they both could be bit slow. However, when it was working quickly it worked well and they both were easy to use, organized and well laid out. The internet has been very useful to me throughout my coursework, particularly in the research stage. I was able to use it to access search engines and then put my research onto my blog. I relied on it a lot and there were a couple of times at school when the internet was down, and I found it extremely difficult to carry on with the thing I was doing.
+ Apple Mac. I was going to use the Apple Mac computers at school to create my video. There were times that it was a bit of a struggle for everyone in the class to have access to a computer each at one time. The technology itself is a very useful piece of equipment because I can access my blog from it and most importantly it has movie editing software. At first the Mac’s are quite difficult to use but with practice become a lot easier!
+ MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is the laptop I have at home and I found it extremely useful as it was the computer I used to edit my video. The laptop loads very fast and maintains charge well. I didn’t use the laptop outside the house because I didn’t need to, but if I did it would have been easy. I found the laptop hard to use at first because of the Apple operating system and I needed to get used to a slightly different keyboard, but this is because I normally use a computer or laptop with Windows 7 or 8. After I found my way around the laptop, it was easy to use and I would use it again. I didn’t use the technology much in the evaluation and none at all in the planning and research but became useful in the construction stage.
+ iPod Classic I used my iPod in the planning stage of my coursework. I used it to listen to the song I chose outside of school to get a few ideas for my video. The only annoying thing about this piece of equipment is that the charge didn’t last very long, but it was portable and I could load music onto it quickly.
+ Headphones. I had some Maxell headphones to use with my iPod. They are quite old but still work and have good quality sound. I found them useful when I had to plug them into the school computers to listen to something on my blog or on YouTube. I used them throughout all the stages of my coursework and were needed at school in particular when there were no speakers available.
+ Mobile Phone. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. I used my phone mainly for the planning stage of my video. I needed it to communicate with my talent and I could also use it to access my blog and browse the internet. At times the internet on my phone isn’t great and can become quite frustrating! But, I haven’t had any problems with the communication side of the planning.
+ Camera. Panasonic HDC. I used the camcorders from school during the construction section of my video. Honestly, I think the camera were unrealizable and I did have some problems along the way. Firstly, there wasn’t quite enough camera to go around so most people had to share over the half term. So this meant I didn’t have as much time as I would have hoped for for filming. Also, when I came to use the camera, there was a problem with the charger so I wasn’t able to use the camera in places with out close access to a socket. This made me have to change some of my plans so I could be in closer proximity to a socket. After I finished my filming some of my footage has been removed from the camera so I wasn’t able to use some of the footage I wanted to, so this really hindered my video. I think that if I were to have a camera at home, it would be much easier over all to create my product.
+ Tripod. I used a tripod from school that came with the camera I also borrowed. Unfortunately, the camera wouldn’t fit onto the tripod! The mechanism that holds the screw on the tripod which would have held the camera, had broke and the screw had fallen back into the tripod, instead of sticking out of it. This meant I had to either hold the camera or balance it on something to get certain shots. This was extremely difficult when I had to film myself. Luckily, I only needed this piece of equipment for the construction part of my coursework and not all of it!
+ School Computers. I used the school computers a lot during all the stages of my coursework. Sometimes they can be unreliable and I found that twice my log in wouldn’t work, so this made it difficult to continue. However, they were very useful when I was at school, but the majority of my work was done at home. Without the computers my coursework would be difficult to complete all together.
+ OU Memory Stick. As I didn’t have my own memory stick, I needed to borrow one from my dad. It was 2Gb and that was more then enough space to be able to transport work from home to school. I didn’t use the memory stick much but it was a much easier way to do things rather than email. It was used during the construction stage when I needed to get my uploaded footage from the school Apple Macs, to my laptop at home.
+ PowerPoint. I have been using PowerPoint in the evaluation stage of my project. I have used it to create slideshare files to present my work in a more interesting and interactive way. PowerPoint is something I have used to create presentations for work at school and have become used to using it. It allows to me to edit my presentations to make them colourful, use themes and animations.
+ Word. I used Word to create a call sheet for my talent. This was in the planning stage of my coursework and it was easy to use. I had no problems with it and will continue to use it to create professional looking documents.
+ GIMP. GIMP is a piece of editing software and this is what I used to extract the Marina and the Diamonds logo from her original album cover, to my digipak and magazine advert. I had never heard of or used the software before, but it was recommended to me by a friend and it was very useful. I don’t know how else I would have been able to carry out some tasks I did without it. It was good being available at school as it was something I could use during my lessons and in free periods to create my digipak and advert.
+ Picmonkey. Picmonkey is a internet photo editing website that is completely free. After picnik.com was shut down last year (I used this for my AS magazine editing), I needed to think about what I could use for this years coursework. The site was really good and easy to use. It had some professional features such as airbrushing and blemish remover. These features helped me create my digipak and advert to a professional standard. In the construction stage I found this part easy to achieve because of this website. No registration or payment was required and I would definitely use it again.
+ Blogger. Blogger is the website I have used to load my coursework to. Blogger, last year, was difficult to use as I had never used it or heard of it. Since I have became quite experienced using blogger, it is easy to use and I know how to use all the features. I think for the nature of this coursework, it is much easier to upload videos as examples and access my coursework when I’m not at home or school. I think it’s also a lot safer on the internet as there is less chance of it getting lost.
+ Search Engines. Google & Bing. Overall I prefer to use google.com for work and at home. I find it easy to use and it hasn’t been over done with complicated and unnecessary features. I think the search engine is quick and I used it throughout all the stages of my coursework. Bing, is a search engine that is used by the school and I personally find it over complicated. When Bing loads I always go back to google.com.
+ YouTube. I used YouTube to do some research into some music videos and upload them to my blog. The main thing I found useful with YouTube was uploading my own music music video and then embedding it on my blog. I use YouTube a lot - it is very simple to use and there is lots to choose from on there. It helped me find some great examples in my research.
+ YouTube Downloader. YouTube Downloader is a piece of software that allows you to convert files in to different formats. When I uploaded my footage to the Apple Mac, it wouldn’t transfer to iMovie, this was because it had an incorrect format. I used YouTube Downloader to convert my footage to .mp4 so it would become compatible with the editing software. It was easy to use and very quick which was unexpected. If I am ever in a situation like that again, I would use YouTube Downloader.
+ Slideshare. I have been using slideshare in the evaluation stage of my coursework. I think it makes presenting your ideas much more interesting and visual in comparison to an essay or mind map. You need to create an account with slideshare, but this doesn’t take long to do. All you need to do is upload your PowerPoint presentation to slideshare and it is then put onto a professional looking slideshow. I like using slideshare because it’s very quick and anyone can use it. I also used it for some research at the beginning of my project which was useful. Hopefully, my slideshare presentation can help somebody else!
+ iMovie. This is the editing software I have used in the construction stage of my coursework. I had used it before in Btec Media a couple of years ago, but hadn’t used any of the adventurous features such as transitions. iMovie was very useful to me and without it I wouldn’t have a video. It was quite difficult to use at first, but having it at home and school gave me plenty of time to learn and make the construction stage a bit easier. I would use it again as it allowed me to create a professional looking product with ease.
+ iTunes. I used iTunes to upload my song to iMovie. It was very simple to do and took only a couple of minutes. I only used it in the construction part of my video, and it made the task easy – I think it could have been a lot more complex!
+ Garage Band. I used Garage Band to make the song I had chosen a bit shorter. As I lost some of my footage I thought it would be a good idea to cut some of the song out to make more use of the remaining footage I had. I found the software easy to use and I liked the fact you were able to add your own sounds and voiceovers to the song.