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Naomi’s Project Ideas

Hello all!

To follow up on our class discussion from last week, here are some of my project ideas!

1) I am very interested in online learning environments, and I would really like to build a website that is an online learning enviornment specifically designed for courses that I teach at the Met Opera Guild. The grand scheme / plan is to create a website in which I (the administrator) am capable of doing most, if not all of the development myself, for several reasons: 1) to save the cost of farming out the actual web development to an external company or contract, 2) so that changes to content can easily be made “in house”, 3) so that the website / learning enviornment as a whole can be something that starts with a small specific goal, but has the capability to grow and be added to over time, and 3) to force me to learn something I have wanted to learn for quite some time. I have experimented with things like wordpress, or moodle (both open-source content management systems), but ultimately, I am looking for something with more flexibility, so that eventually (and here comes the major scope creep), the website can function as a portal for several different online classes, opera education resources, live streaming of events, a volunteer portal (as a non-profit, the guild relies heavily on volunteer power, and managing/training/organizing a volunteer core of over 100 gets complicated, and eventually, it would be nice to do more of that digitally), and digital community building spaces like blogs, chat rooms, discussion boards, etc. So future flexibility is important, but for the purposes of this class project, I am mostly interested in learning how to build the skeleton of the site itself – the content will come later.

2) In terms of smaller projects, I am very interested some smaller, interactive ideas, that may eventually get plugged into the website described in project #1, (but not necessarily). I always find it frustrating in music texts, journal articles, and books, to have to deal with a cd in order to play audio sames of musical excerpts described in a text. So I invision a kind of digital book or digital document, similar to a PDF, but where there are buttons you can click to immediately play an audio track, and that audio track is somehow imbedded into that particular moment of the text. I have not researched yet if software exists to actually create this thing already, but I am also concerned about how people would view it / download it onto their devices. PDF is a pretty standard file type – so I want to be able to create a digital text document that people can download and read on their ipads, tablets, kindles, smart phones – whatever the case may be – and in it, have audio embedded and playable by simply tapping the audio example button as they are reading a page. If this was possible / if I am able to create something that makes it possible, then I can see how it could be applied to other things outside of the average musical text book – like an interactive brochure for lectures, musical events, conference, etc., where little video clips or audio clips can be inserted that correspond to information given in the brochure.

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One Response

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  1. mandiberg says

    Looks like you have two clear routes, each of which have pretty clear next steps in terms of research. I know you can embed a video into a PDF, so I would assume you could embed an audio file, though I could be wrong. You might take a look at apple’s new iBook authoring software, though beware the hardware lock-in. The various ePub formats may also allow for multimedia (not sure). This seems like a clear set of research tasks.

    Re: the learning community, I would encourage you to look for other examples. http://smarthistory.org is one that comes to mind. Also http://www.khanacademy.org/ which now sponsors Smart History. There are others as well.



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