Chalyn, Kayla, and I decided we would have some fun with an animated video for our summary of learning. After we did a quick google search we came up with the product Nawmal. Kayla downloaded the free trial of the program. We decided that we would each speak about different things that we had taken away from the course. After we organized our thoughts on a Google Doc, we were ready to start.
Here is the video:
Chalyn took the lead of compiling our thoughts into the Nawmal program in order to create the animated video. Here is her story of the struggles and successes using this program:
I figured I would be adventurous and attempt to put our video together. I first selected a talk show setting which I thought would allow for back and forth dialogue using an interview strategy, this was perfect as we each could share our learning.
The next part of the process was selecting the characters. I chose four characters to allow for a host and a representation of each one of our summaries. Seating the characters on the couch was a process in itself. The next step was adding in the dialogue for back and forth question and answer type exchange. As I got a few lines in, I figured I should listen to the dialogue between my characters. I quickly realized they all had the same voice, so I explored around and downloaded different voices for all of the characters. Some of the voices were very robotic and others were not so bad. The download time was extremely slow, moving at 2% per minute. After only one voice option showed up, I had to go back and download a certain voice for each character not just download voices and assume I could choose from a list.
I continued adding more dialogue for the characters until I had our script perfect. I attempted to listen to my progress but as I continued to type dialogue, the buffering time increased to the point I was waiting for 3 minutes for it to playback. I also realized that I could add gestures to the characters, making them move their hand and even look at the host. This was sort of fun as some of the actions were bold.
I was nearing the end of my adventure and thought I should show Kayla my progress on our project, then we would have an idea about changes and the timing. I also realized that listening to it allowed me to catch my mistakes. Aaaahhh one final listen and we would we ready to put it on the web. Kayla and I waited and waited and the buffering time was ridiculous, I had been saving along the way so I knew that I wouldn’t lose my work. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our animated video to play I decided to exported it. I was confident that it would be alright and I could always go back to my saved version.
Well was I wrong. After I pushed that export button our stomachs quickly sunk as a pop up appeared saying we needed to purchase the full version to see our video. We thought we could go back to my saved version and worst case, just record it as the trial version using a cell phone and upload it from there. Kayla quickly whipped out her credit card as there was no other choice but to upgrade. After deciding to buy the paid version for $9.99 US/ month we figured our problem was solved. After we attempted to open up the saved files, another popup appeared saying the version we paid for did not support the feature I had used. There was another choice in subscribing but we did not want to pay the $99.00 a month so we opted for the discounted version. After 3 hours of creating the video and buying the subscription we still had nothing.
Kayla had the bright idea to email for support. I pointed out that it was 4PM on Friday, good luck with that. Kayla quickly composed and email asking for help as we were sick about our project being trapped. Within 10 minutes we received a reply. Apparently we should have bought the expensive version. The email offered to convert our file for us, if we sent it to them. Kayla and I were so very thankful for the quick reply from Nawmal.
I will admit that this is an unedited version of our project, and we had no choice in going back and making changes. This Nawmal experience taught us that we should definitely have read some reviews about the program, if we would have known that many of the features were not compatible with the free trial, we would have chose a different animation program.
This digital experience has taught me how to use a number of different tech tools along with how to use a variety of social media platforms. Not only has EC&I 831 given me the competence to use social media effectively, but it has also provided me with the confidence to use it to try to create change. I have used my blog and twitter as an outlet to advocate for the importance of #freeplay in nature and to promote my natural playground project. Without the growing online support, this initiative would still be just an idea. Social media has helped my project gain momentum like a snowball effect. Before my first blog post, #KitchenerPlayscapeProject was just an idea and today we have an enormous support base and a network of professionals that are working to make this idea a reality. I want to thank the whole EC&I class and Alec/Katia for giving me the confidence and competence to make this happen.