Tool

Information Technologies

In this unit, the student will employ appropriate technologies to create an information-based product.
 

Information Technologies Video

This 4 minute and 7 second tutorial created by Kathy Clarke reminds us to match the appropriate technology to the appropriate assignment.

Information Technologies Video Transcript

[IMAGE of tools in the Madison Research Essential Toolkit]

Narrator: Welcome back to the Madison Research Essentials Toolkit.

[IMAGE of the Information Literacy learning objectives, focusing on the fourth competency]

Narrator: In this tutorial, we are going to talk about this General Education Information Literacy learning outcome, “employ appropriate technology to create an information-based product.”

[IMAGE of student studying]

Narrator: When you locate and find information for your classes, you will have to put them into the form directed by the type of assignment you have been given.

[IMAGE of young boy using a video camera]

Narrator: But sometimes you have some latitude on how to do that and sometimes you can and should use technologies to enhance your work. But technologies can also be used incorrectly or really badly. What you don’t want to have happen is to lose your meaning or message because the reader or audience is lost in your technologies.

[IMAGE of audience throwing paper balls at speaker]

Narrator: This is probably best explained by examples of what not to do. So, let’s take a look at examples of technology gone wrong.

[IMAGE of speaker with a display showing a bullet-point list]

Narrator: We’ve all sat through really bad presentations. Slides that are read to us is a classic example or when a presentation just simply isn’t the best way to communicate a given message, like in this example.

[IMAGE of a display with text in different fonts and colors and many overlapping images]

Narrator: But slides that move too fast or too slow or don’t have any meaningful order are also examples of technology mis-use. It’s also easy to lose your meaning in a presentation when you use too many features like here. Animations, moving or flying text, or simply pick a background and then write your text in a color your audience can’t see.

[IMAGE of a young student reading text on paper]

Narrator: It’s also possible to use the wrong tool for the setting. In some disciplines, it is perfectly appropriate to read a paper to an audience.

[IMAGE of speaker at a podium]

Narrator: But in others, it is simply not done and you’ll need to speak from notes.

[SCREENSHOT of JMU website’s Alternative Break Program]

Narrator: Let’s say you’ve been asked to do a presentation on the Alternative Spring Break you completed for another campus organization. Reading a paper in that setting would be silly. A presentation would be more effective because you can show images of the trip that will enhance your audience’s understanding of your message.

[SCREENSHOT of YouTube video]

Narrator: Let’s take this idea a little further. Let’s say for this same scenario you decided to show a youtube video of your trip. If you did that, and nothing else, that would be an inappropriate use of technology. Why? Because you were invited to attend and give a talk. Pushing the play button on the video isn’t what your audience has asked from you. They can do that by themselves. But you might show a clip from the video to help your audience understand why you showed them that particular piece. That would be using technology effectively.

[IMAGE of bar chart showing progressively higher bars from left to right with the image of a person on top of the bar on the far right]

Narrator: In research papers stuff can go wrong, too. Let’s say you are writing a business plan and you have included a chart that describes your employee compensation plans. Then go on the describe the chart in a narrative form, you’ve used a feature of the technology incorrectly and wasted your reader’s time.

[IMAGES of a skyscraper at night with lights on inside the building and a Google map]

Narrator: Another example is using words when an image might be allowed and more useful. So let’s say in that same business plan you have idea about where you would locate your business. Inserting a map or an image of the location might be the easiest way to help the reader understand, but in some cases, images in papers are not allowed or they are discouraged. Check with your professor if you have questions about that.

[IMAGES of an old camera and people conducting a survey]

Narrator: You might also use technology to create new information. Making images, writing surveys, and creating web pages are all examples of this type of work. Here again, you have to think about what you are trying to do with the information to make it work well. So, let’s say you have to give a presentation on something you’d like to change at JMU. You want to investigate increasing the amount of time in between classes. Think about how you’d get your information out - would you make a web page “Increase Time Between Classes at JMU.org” to see how many likes you’d get? No. Would you make a video of a student running to class? No. But you could create a survey of a large number of students and faculty to find out if there is a need. That would be a good use.

[IMAGE of a group of people listening to a presentation]

Narrator: That is an example of using technology to create information that will help you make your case. Now let’s take this example one more step. Let’s say you have to present the information and let’s say you have a lot of results. What is the best way to help your audience understand the results? Would you summarize them? Or just show selected answers? It would probably make it easier on your audience if you used a charting function to create some form of a graph to help the data make sense for them.

[SCREENSHOT of the Madison Research Essentials Toolkit web page]

Narrator: This tutorial is actually an example of this learning outcome. We need to talk to all new-to-JMU students. We can use these technologies to create these videos so that you can view them as they are assigned or on your own schedule. No one is interested in stifling your creativity. But we have seen students who are trying really hard to do good work, get lost in tools that are designed and that end up hurting, and not helping, your message. Use the tools, but use them wisely.

[SCREENSHOT of JMU Libraries website homepage, highlight the Ask the Library link]

Narrator: If you have questions about using any of the information forms or technology, you can use the Ask the Library button on the libraries’ webpage.

End of Information Technologies Video Transcript

Working with Photo Assignments Video

Learn the applicable software for photo editing and collage assignments, definition of proprietary vs. open-source software, and where do learn software on the JMU campus in this 5:42 minute video. Created by Deborah Pugh.

Working with Photo Assignments Video Transcript

[IMAGE of tools in the Madison Research Essentials Toolkit]

Narrator: Welcome back to the Madison Research Essentials Toolkit.

[IMAGE of the Information Literacy learning objectives]

Narrator: In this tutorial, we are going to talk about this General Education Information Literacy learning outcome: "employ appropriate technology to create an information-based product."

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in a blue shirt and tie standing on the left side of the screen giving two thumbs up]

Narrator: Learning About Media Projects. As a university student, you will probably be given a media assignment in one of your classes. What you're going to learn here will save you a lot of time and reduce stress. So let's get started.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in a blue shirt and tie standing on the left side of the screen. The bottom of the screen includes four blue text boxes: Photo, Video, Design, and Copyright]

Narrator: WHERE TO BEGIN? When you get a class assignment to create a digital storytelling project or make a video or a podcast, you might not be sure where to begin or what software to use. We will take a look at how to create each of the media products below and also address other scholarly issues along the way.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a woman with a notebook.]

Narrator: Before we get started, let's look at some very important notes: Note 1: There are many different brands of software Note 2: Listing a software here doesn’t mean we endorse it. Note 3: Yet if a software is listed here, it is widely used. Note 4: "Industry Standard" software that is most widely used in an industry.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and the Adobe Photoshop emblem]

Narrator: SOFTWARE TO CREATE AND EDIT IMAGES (industry standard) - Adobe PhotoShop CC (Creative Cloud) is an industry standard. It allows the user to create and enhance photographs, images, web, and mobile app designs. You can create using multiple layers and many color formats. PS CC has much more functionality than PhotoShop Elements and was designed for pro graphic designers. Can be used on both PC and MAC

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and the Adobe Photoshop Elements]

Narrator: SOFTWARE TO CREATE OR EDIT IMAGES - Adobe PhotoShop Elements is the consumer version of the full version of PhotoShop. PSE appeals to those who are beginners and/or just starting out in editing images. It is more user-friendly. PS Elements is very affordable and can still be purchased as a standalone software. No Creative Cloud required. Can be used on both PC and MAC

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt and tie pointing to the text boxes of narration]

Narrator: OTHER SOFTWARE TO CREATE OR EDIT IMAGES - GIMP is a free, open-source software on the internet. It can be used for image editing and creation. Can be used on PC & Mac. IrfanView is a proprietary software but it is free for personal use. It is a powerful editing software that allows you to view, edit, and convert images. Can only be used on PC. GIMP will be able to make a photo collage or poster. Although Irfanview is an excellent software, it is not the right software for this assignment.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt and tie with a word bubble, "By the way, do you know the difference between open source and proprietary software?"]

Narrator: BY THE WAY, DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OPEN SOURCE AND PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE? - Open source software is usually free to use and the developers make the source code available to others to modify. Users can install the software on any computer. No one is responsible for the software. Proprietary software is closed source software. The person or business that developed the software stipulates that users have to purchase a license. No one can duplicate/distribute the software without permission. Users cannot modify the source code. Has full tech support from company

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt and tie]

Narrator: ANOTHER IMPORTANT QUESTION - So between GIMP and Irfanview, only one those software apps can be used to make a collage or a poster. But... how would you know that?

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt and tie cupping his ear. Ask the Library icon is on the lower right side of the screen]

Narrator: DID YOU KNOW? - You might not know if this or that software will do what you need. And it’s okay if you don’t know, but what do you do? Ask. Yes, that’s right. ASK the QUESTION! Go to the Media Lab in either library and ask someone there. Go to the Library webpage. Click on "Ask the Library."

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt looking accomplished]

Narrator: ASKING QUESTIONS IS AN IMPORTANT JOB & LIFE SKILL - Being able to secure information by asking questions is considered one of the most important communication skills. Plus... if you don’t know that a software can do what you need to complete your assignment, you will (a) get to the assignment deadline and you are still trying to make the software work. Major stress! (b) Or be late to turn in your assignment because you discovered at the last minute that the software was not what you needed. Major stress! Lower grade!

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a man in blue shirt with a sign "Where can you learn software applications on JMU campus?" On the left side of the screen is another man in a green shirt and tie with his hand on his forehead looking ahead. The background image is of the JMU Quad]

Narrator: SPEAKING OF ASKING QUESTIONS... Where can you learn software applications on JMU campus?

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text a picture of MADLab peer teachers on the right side of the screen]

Narrator: QUICK WAYS TO LEARN NEW SOFTWARE AT JMU - MADLAB classes are free, 60 minutes long typically, and taught and created by JMU students.

[IMAGE of screen with pictures from MADLab sessions]

Narrator: QUICK WAYS AT JMU TO LEARN NEW SOFTWARE MADLab is taught in a computer lab. Classes are taught by peer instructors. And all classes are hands-on. No grades! No stress! Register for a MADLAb class at www.lib.jmu.edu/media/madlab

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and the Lynda.com emblem]

Narrator: ANOTHER WAY AT JMU TO LEARN NEW SOFTWARE - All students have direct access to streaming video tutorials on 3D animation, audio, business, CAD, design, development, photography, video creation, web design, and more. To find lynda.com, go to sites.jmu.edu/lynda and sign in with your JMU e-id and password. You can also find lynda.com by going to the Library webpage and click on the Research Databases & Resources link. Then, click on the ”L” at the top of the page.

End of Working with Photo Assignments Video Transcript

Working with Video Assignments Video

Learn software, techniques, and tips to complete a video assignment successfully in this 4:24 minute video. Created by Deborah Pugh.

Working with Video Assignment Video Transcript

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a woman in a business suit with two thumbs up]

Narrator: Learning About Video Projects - At first, a video assignment won’t seem too intense, but it can be one of the more complicated assignments. What you will learn in these eight steps will make this type of project more fun and less stressful.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an example of a video project rubric]

Narrator: Step 01: Read your grading rubric carefully - Notice what the task description tells you on this rubric. It lists what must be included in the video. For this assignment, you must include photographs, video, music, and other visual aids. It also says that the project must be uploaded to Canvas which means that you have to format the video so that it works well online.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an example of a storyboard on the right side]

Narrator: Step 02: Create a Storyboard - Whether you use a storyboard like the one to the right or you write notes on post-it notes, take time to create this outline of your video before you shoot it. This tool helps you map our your thoughts and saves time.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a photograph of a camera on the right side]

Narrator: Step 03: Plan What Equipment You Need - Creating the storyboard will help you think through what equipment you need for a shoot also. As a JMU student, you can check out all types of video and audio equipment at Carrier Library Equipment Desk located in the basement. You can also reserve equipment for a specified time period and you can find out what equipment is available for checkout.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a photograph of a recording session and a video recorder]

Narrator: Step 04: Equipment Setups - At a minimum, you need to have the following equipment for a good quality recording: camcorder, tripod, external microphone. If you want to record your video with a smart phone, using a rig like the one to the left will help stabilize your video and help you capture great audio.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and four boxes with images of: headphones, hand-held microphone, video recorder, and lapel microphone]

Narrator: Step 05: Common Mistakes in Video - A failure to capture good audio or any audio at all is one of the most frequent mistakes in video projects. When possible, use external microphones like a shotgun, handheld or lavalier or lapel microphone.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an arrow with most-user friendly at the top and more difficult to learn at the bottom]

Narrator: Step 06: Editing Your Video - These are the most widely used software applications for editing video:

  • iMovie - Mac only. Comes with computer.
  • MovieMaker - Windows only. Free.
  • Premiere Elements - Windows and Mac. Proprietary.
  • Final Cut Pro X - Mac only. Proprietary.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro - Mac and Windows. Proprietary.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and two photographs of MADLab class sessions on the right side of the screen]

Narrator: Step 07: Where can I learn software quickly? - All of the software apps listed on the previous page are available for use in the media labs in Carrier and Rose Library. You can learn these applications in either MADLAb or lynda.com

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and graphic of three stages of creating a final project]

Narrator: Step 08: One Last Step: Project to Final Project - When you are editing your video clips, you are still working with a project. In order to share the video with others, you need to export the project file to a format you need. These are the most common file formats you need to know:

  • mp4 - most widely used for sharing online and upload to Canvas
  • avi - still widely used, huge file size
  • wmv - very small file size for online but can easily lose quality
  • mov - high quality, high file size.

End of Working with Video Assignment Video Transcript

Working with Graphic Design Assignments Video

In this 2:09 minute video, you will learn what software to use for different types of flier, brochure, advertisement, or infographic assignments.Created by Deborah Pugh.

Working with Graphic Design Assignments Video Transcript

[IMAGE of screen with colorful swirls and the words ‘Graphic Design’]

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a background of a frustrated student pulling at her hair and an instructor with a word bubble stating. "Create and infographic using data and info..."]

Narrator: Sometime in your university career, your professor may give you an assignment to create a flier, brochure, booklet, or an infographic. For this, you need to use graphic design software.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and the cover of Teen Beats magazine with a cover image of a white-haired younger woman avatar covering her right eye. The bottom of the screen includes a box that says: For help with learning software? MADLAb and Lynda.com image links]

Narrator: ADOBE INDESIGN, the industry standard - Use Adobe InDesign to create documents like newsletters, magazines, brochures, fliers, advertisements, and even e-books. It’s also great for resumes.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an image of a project within Adobe Illustrator that includes four intertwining squares. The bottom of the screen includes a box that says: For help with learning software? MADLAb and Lynda.com image links]

Narrator: ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR, the industry standard - Use Illustrator to create products like logos and other vector images. Vector images are scaleable which means that they can be sized as small or as large as needed without losing quality.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an image of a project within Adobe Photoshop of a black and white image of a man walking down a road with his jacket half on and half off.]

Narrator: ADOBE PHOTOSHOP - Use PhotoShop for creating and editing images and/or when you want to design a product like a poster or flier using layers. Not a good choice to create logos or anything heavily text-based.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and an infographic of work related stress and what happens in an internet minute.]

Narrator: CREATING INFOGRAPHICS - You may also get a class assignment to create an infographic. An infographic uses graphic design to make data and information visual. Infographics serve to transform paragraphs of data and text into relevant, concentrated visual elements that are more understandable and have a powerful impact on the viewer. One of the most widely used infographic software at JMU is Piktochart, an online tool. You can take a MADLAb class to learn Piktochart or go to Lynda.com to learn how to use Adobe Creative Cloud software.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a comic creation titled. “Saving the World! One Day at a Time.” A yellow box with the text “Register at MADLab class to learn Comic Life” is listed at the bottom of the page.]

Narrator: CREATING COMICS - You may also get a class assignment to create a comic. Creating comics can help you digest and/or communicate complex information. The software, Comic Life, can be used to create timelines, biographies, storytelling, instruction guides, and even graphic novels.

[IMAGE of screen with the narrated text and a box with a picture of Gordon Parks, Photographer and a separate box with Vivian Maier, Photographer at the bottom of the page.]

Narrator: READY TO GET STARTED? - All of the software you have seen in these learning modules is available for your use free of charge at the Media Labs in Carrier and Rose Libraries.

End of Working with Graphic Design Assignments Video Transcript