Phase three started with handling the CUNY DHI publicity, and responding to my fellow Instructional Technology Fellow about constructing a WordPress site that is readable by JAWS for a visually impaired professor. I directed the question to two of my friends in composition/rhetoric who focus on disability studies – Dale Katherine Ireland and Andrew Lucchesi. I think this is a great example of how many of us work in the digital humanities – we may not have all the answers, but we know who or where to go to find them.
After emailing back and forth with my collaborator Ben Miller, we decided (after many attempts by Ben to fix the problem) that we should go ahead with the WST tutorials despite existing glitches. If you have worked with Drupal, you know how difficult a seemingly simple fix can be – especially after a version update.
Then I spent the next 3 hours using Camtasia to record and edit a virtual walk through of the site. Thanks to Andrew’s recommendation, I was using this software for the second time, and felt this was a good opportunity to review it here. I must say, it is very simple to use, and pretty satisfying. However, you should watch the tutorial before getting started (especially if you don’t have a friend who has used it and a shared office to experiment in). I had some difficulty getting started, since I tend to be verbose and provide too much information in a short time. About five or six takes in I finally had my intro streamlined and the rest seemed to flow. The most frustrating part of this activity was that running Camtasia caused the WST to load very slowly – and it already takes a long time for the full network to render. This meant figuring out how to pause and restart the recording process effectively, and then editing out any gaps.
I sent the video to my collaborators (Jill Belli, Ben Miller, and Sondra Perl) for review, and will post them to the site tomorrow after my Instructional Technology Fellows meeting. All I can say, is that I am happy I am not a video editor full-time. It is certainly not my calling, but I am glad I know how to do it with a relative amount of proficiency. And to keep things in prospective, when I shared my frustration with my husband (via GChat) he said:
Robert: imagine doing it before digital editing. Stop. Record. Play. Stop. Eject. Insert tape 4. Record. Play.
Truth. I am lucky to have a husband who gets it.
It is apparently Rex Manning Day. Awesome. I leave you to contemplate Empire Records. Happy DHing.