Radio Story Ep. 504 “How I got Into College”

I chose to listen to “How I got Into College”. It is a podcast by Ira Glass of the College application process. The beginning of the podcasts begins with Ira asking Columbia University students how they were accepted. Most of the students answer something along the lines of “I have no idea”. The podcast uses the real interview responses, which switches up the audio. It then transitions to a dialogue between Ira and an admissions officer at Georgia Tech. The admissions officers brings up emails he receives from parents impersonating their child. Parents use words such as “cool and awesome” because they think that is what kids say. However those are very inappropriate words in regards to an application and professional email. The majority of the podcast revolves around applications and comments from both Ira and the admissions officer.

I instantly noticed the background music in this segment. When the video segment changed, there is a fast-tempo, upbeat instrumental to go along with the transition. In Part 2 he tells a story with Michael Lewis. As they speak, music will play at specific points. Elevator music plays as Michael Lewis describes his situation of when he got into trouble. An upbeat piano composition starts as Michael explains why he likes the story. Both speakers elaborate on the meaning of the story to him. The music appears to direct our attention to the moment of reflection.

A guitar or mariachi beat plays as Michael speaks of the positive perspective that Amir has on all this misfortune that surrounds him. The musics ceases and what seems like polka music replaces the guitar, while Michael talks about his family struggles. Then, very loud music plays as Amir speaks of reading, which could be hinting at his learning since it is of applying to college. Upbeat and fast pace music plays when Amir goes with his teacher to apply to a new school, this section of music makes sense and correlates to what is happening. This music then plays on and off again while Amir asks to attend a private school.

I do not think the music matches the story that well, because the emotions of the story did not match the type of music at the particular times. For example, Amir is talking about a bunny being abused, and in the background there is upbeat music playing, which traditionally implies joy and happiness. The majority of the music throughout this podcast is to highlight transitions and possibly lapses in the story. Such as Amir’s story is not completely revealed, whereas instead music is played.

Ira Glass & Jad Abumrad Summary/Reflection

I watched the first two parts of Ira Glass’s segment on storytelling. I took away several nuggets from both of his videos. In the first part , there are two main building blocks of storytelling. One is an anecdote and the other is a moment of reflection. He discusses what he believes are and should be the central parts of audio stories. An audio story generally should start with an action and must have a story. The other central theme of audio stories is to raise questions and then answer those questions. He explains a moment of reflection as the purpose of the story. However Ira complains that many video pods usually have only one of the two building blocks. Either it has a great anecdote but means nothing or does have a moment of reflection but no action.

In Ira’s second part , he talks about the difficulty of finding a decent story. The key takeaway I got from this specific video is to kill the crap and enjoy the killing. You have to be tough to create anything good. Failing is okay, because it creates a situation to become lucky. A lot of broadcasting in its purest way is about luck. He goes on to say that broadcasters should only want to make something memorable or special, not mediocre.

I then watched Jad Abumrad’s “How Radio Creates Empathy” video segment. Radio is a deep act of coauthorship. He uses an example of describing the sun, he paints a picture but the listener is holding the paintbrush and has the ability to draw it as he or she imagines it. There is an immediacy with others through radio because of coauthorship. He says that radio should be dead, but because there is an intimacy that exists it inoculates this source of technology from ever dying. With radio there exists freedom of imagination and creativity. People can perceive what they hear in their own images. One person can imagine something completely different than other person despite them hearing the same words. I hope radio does not die, because if it does then so does our creativity and imagination. 

Tell a story in five frames reflection

I chose a story of a college student(s) moving into college because it is easy to relate to. For me, the move-in process was a scary, but exciting one. Having grown up in a small town and having the same group of best friends since kindergarten it was tough to leave them behind. I was moving into Saint Joseph’s university in Philadelphia. It is about 5 hours away, everything about it is different. The setting, people, food, weather all were a culture shock to me. This was my favorite assignment of the week because it drew back memories from my move-in experience. To complete this activity I googled images of the move-in process (leaving home, arriving at school, moving into dorm, meeting new people, and saying goodbye to family). I uploaded each photo to my flickr account and created an album.

“Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able” Reflection

Part One Part Two 

I expected Wesch’s presentation to revolve around technology and the impact of it around the global landscape. This is exactly what he talks about. Technology is something that most people still are not accustomed to completely but is a very influential and powerful source of all kinds of information.

Some of the questions that Wesch asks are is what is education about?How come students are not engaged? Why do students enjoy learning but not school? Wesch talks about how the world has changed, we have ubiquitous communication, learning. We can share, communicate and collaborate with anyone and almost at any time.

We need to teach students to be able apply knowledge and know how. Students of course are seeking meaning they want to know how they are, how they will fit into the future. etc. However, they are not linking their classes with providing answers to these questions.

He talks about a trip he took to New Guinea where he realized that media creates identity. He was defined by media. The books he read, the papers he wrote, the images he saw, all shaped his concept of himself. When he existed in a rural village without these things he struggled, he was less sure of who he was, what he could contribute.

Once people in the village began to write their life changed and not for the better. Powers and relationships changed. How people viewed themselves and others changed drastically. So, the media itself the tools and the how they mediate relationships shape not only our identity but our views of others.

How has media changed your views? Television and the news shape how I see each other, other countries and other cultures. In the past we got our information from television, newspapers, book, and our classroom. This linked us within topical information but did not give us a voice. It did not link us with others. There was no sharing no collaboration.

The new media today provides spaces for collaboration as well as information.  Our country still struggles with race and violence. However, we have the opportunity to connect with others, to share opinions, and to learn from each other anytime, anywhere. The skills learned in this class are the building block for this know how. Blogging, creating media to express thoughts and ideas are skills that are desperately needed in the world today. We need to move beyond information to include sharing and collaboration so that we can connect and learn from one another.

This collaboration can be a way to improve our relationships and how we see ourselves and others. Every day we can see videos that bystanders have taken that show us how we interact with one another. Social media like twitter allows us to link with a large number of people to speak out and to change what we see as injustice.

Wesch notes a quote from Maregerate Meads where she states that small communities of people can come together to make large and dramatic changes. Being able to use media tools as a form of expression and connection can allow me to share my thoughts with others while opening up the possibility to work together. I hope to continue to learn how to not only access information but be able to create and use media to communicate, share, collaborate, and learn for others.

A Personal Cyberinfrastructure Reflection

A personal Cyberinfrastructure. I expected this article to talk about technology as educational purposes and that is more or less what it is about. This is the first article I have read of W. Gardner Campbell. Campbell thesis or central argument is that digital infrastructures is a better way to teach in terms of production, efficiency, and collaboration than in a classroom.

The paper talked about digital infrastructures and how they can challenge traditional teaching models. Media technologies today allow us to self publish. The tools and techniques that are introduced within the class will provide the practice opportunities for me to be able to create and express my thoughts and ideas.

The class is designed as an introduction that allows us to explore digital technologies through projects. In a lot of classes the measure of understanding is done through test and quizzes. In contrast, this class is designed to allow student to create. To learn by doing and through practice. Know how is measured by being able to begin to use media to demonstrate understanding.

Engineering, architecture, computer science, and the sciences have to demonstrate knowledge through labs, and building activities. These activities challenge your understanding because you have to apply it within projects and lab activities.

To really understand something to take a concept and apply it, to be creative and make something demonstrates that you are able to use your know how.

To conclude, digital applications and technologies will always lean in the doing or making or applying direction since that is why they exist. Online education provides a model for learning that includes both knowledge as well as application.