Dotpoints — Episode 00: Digital media for education

Never let someone tell you podcasting is easy.

Wtf is this, Deanna?

First draft research notes.

This is a seven-ish-minute long podcast episode where I dotpoint my irritations and begrudging acceptance of digital media’s valid use as a means to educate students. Long story short: I think it’s bad. I think it’s real bad. I basically spend five minutes of this thing vehemently disagreeing with the conclusions of Davis, Ambrose, and Orand because of personal bias. But the way I do this is by vocally adopting how I generally write my notes: in dot points.

The goal was to try and translate the dot points I’d written into my notebook into a podcast format.

Why “Dotpoints”?

When I research topics for essays or blog posts, or when I’m setting up fictional stories, it all starts from dot points on my notebook. This is the easiest way for me to condense my thoughts into separate ideas. As this podcast was limited to seven minutes, I felt they were perhaps the fastest way for me to get ideas or points across without having to worry about condensing dozens of paragraphs into thirty second arguments.

Dot points also made it easier to present my two primary sources (and also promote one of my own pieces) and also quote them.

Creating and sourcing soundbytes

There’s only two outsourced sound pieces, and both are under Creative Commons: the opening music and the male count. I intended the latter to add something other than myself into this seven-minute monologue. Sites like SoundCloud and SoundBible are a blessing that should not be discounted when creating these things.

Everything else in Dotpoints is me manipulating my own voice through Audacity.

I ran into some problems

Ironically, whenever I compile dot points regarding academic The podcast had to be maximum of seven minutes — at first I’d been worried I wouldn’t have enough content. Then, after finishing my script, I’d realised I actually had too much and was forced to scrap a lot. I’m a writer: it’s not unusual for me to write thousands of words in one blow. My script was originally 1700 words. I’d had to cut it down to roughly 1100.

Recording also had its fair share of problems. Sourcing a decent microphone on a broke student budget is not easy at first glance, but is at least doable. Note for all future would-be budget microphone owners: buy a USB microphone. And don’t buy one that uses an aux-to-USB adapter. My K-Mart microphone was cheaper than my Amazon-purchased mic, and it’s a marginal improvement.

I would throw the microphone on the right into my dam, if only I wasn’t worried it’d clog our water pump.

It also became increasingly evident as I began editing my recordings in Audacity that my skills are definitely not up to par. I am still unable to properly replace botched takes, and there are one or two moments in the final episode where the difference between my voice in some instances is very noticeable (because I’d had to mute the original audio and play a re-recorded take overtop). This is something I will inevitably have to practise.

A shout-out to my sources

Sourced sounds:

Academic references:

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