Building bridges for the future through collaborative projects
Group Assignment: Google Takes Over the World
Hyperlink to Group Wiki: Link
Hyperlink to Outsourced Video Clip: Link
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Flat Classroom Project is a project that takes place three times a year. Students participating come from all parts of the "flat" world, and are assigned to one group topic. Each group collaborates to create one wiki and the assigned sub-topics. Each group is also given sub-groups which are different from the sub-topics on the wiki, and after the wiki is completed, these students are individually to create a video about their assigned topic.
My topic for the Flat Classroom Project was "Google Takes Over the World". For the wiki, we talked about how the world was flattened by Google, which is quite obvious. Google has become so popular and widely used that it has become a verb, and a lot of its products are very useful in finding information, communicating, and much more. So of course, Google has flattened the world, and quite significantly. It has ultimately revolutionized the way people contact each other and find information about anything happening at any given moment in any given place. We talked about Google in current events, and Google relating to education, politics, arts, and science. Although a lot of the things that were mentioned in the wiki seem painfully obvious to anyone that uses the computer a lot, I had a lot of fun and learned a lot from doing this project. I looked at a lot of the products that Google is in the process of making or has made already, and they're all very useful and most of them are virtually unknown to the average person. I like knowing that there are all of these amazing products that are free and usually easy to use, and I like knowing that not many people know they really exist.
Many wonderful people contributed to the Google Takes Over the World group wiki. These people were great writers and intelligent people, and I'm sure that all of the people in the group did their part. Our wiki was full of information, so much so that the Overview was far too long than it was supposed to be. Each section of the wiki had an abundance of information. My team was great--a lot of us collaborated nicely and regularly, and in this manner, we fixed problems we may have accidentally created, which were the only problems we really came across in the course of the wiki editing process.
We did have a few other minor problems, such as the Overview (of our topic, Google). I could be almost completely sure that only a few people contributed to writing the Overview, but there was so much information that it was far longer than the maximum 500 words. I knew that each member was supposed to contribute to the Overview, so instead of adding more, I edited the whole thing, and was able to take out around 300 words, without changing it drastically.
I'm not entirely sure of how well the sources were cited, but I do know that we ran into a problem that I could not figure out how to fix with our sources. At the bottom of the wiki page, we had our sources cited, but they were spaced out horribly, and very inconsistent. Despite the few problems we faced, I am very happy with how the wiki came out, although I feel as though I have not contributed as much as I could have. Saying this, however, I could never contribute as much as I wanted to, because somebody had always gotten to what I wanted to mention and there was not enough room for me to say much else. Instead, I essentially took on the role of editor, and tried my best to make everything consistent.
For the video we each had to create, we each had to outsource at least one video, and receive at least on video for our own. I created a video for Rita E of me receiving a paper with an F on it to show failing grades. I also took a few pictures to help her out. I did understand clearly what was asked of me, though for one of the pictures, I did have to ask her to explain it just a little bit more. The video and pictures I took of myself did make it into the final video.
I requested a video of a person laughing for a few seconds for the end of my video, which I received from Rita E. I did use this outsourced video in the final product. Truth be told, I almost forgot to put in the video Rita outsourced for me. I was so caught up in animating (badly) my drawings for my video that I completely forgot...until the last minute. Thankfully, though, I planned on putting it at the end, either right before or right after the credits, so it all worked out. Of course, I couldn't just forget the video, for obvious reasons--it was a required part of the video, and I wouldn't receive as many points for it...
My initial idea for this video was quite vague.... It was similar to the final product, and because it was so vague, I didn't quite know what to do, and so the initial idea eventually developed into the final product shown at the top of the page. The truth is, until a few days before the video was due, I was unsure of what I wanted to do for this video. At first I was thinking I would do just another one of those videos with just straight facts, but where's the story in that? And as I kept thinking about it (in the next 30 seconds or so) I knew I wouldn't know what to say, since I had to talk about how we work and play, and incorporate Google.
So my video was made mostly from scratch. I drew all of the faces featured in it (aside from Rita's) and animated them using Adobe Flash CS4. I had pictures of various Google products' logos, and incorporated these as well. (And any other images not mentioned are probably drawn by me, as well) I personally think that I could have made this video a lot better than it was. This was the first time I had ever used Flash, so I am much more familiar with it right now, and I think that if I had enough time, it would have been very beneficial for me to completely redo it, because I'm afraid that it goes too fast or text isn't readable enough. I'm also a little upset with the way my audio came out; it starts and stops quite abruptly and I think I could have done better than that, provided I had the time to learn how to use Adobe Soundbooth CS4. I did my best to make it sound better than if it were randomly cut in random places, and it sounds acceptable, but I think I could do better. I also used Adobe Premiere CS4 for the first time in this project, and this is what I used to put it all together- the animation, credits, Rita's clip, and all of the music. This wasn't so hard; all I did was put it all together, so there's nothing I can really complain about it from here, except for the fact that when I exported it, it took three hours to do.
There's another video, by Patrick W and Irene H, that I thought was much more interesting and informative at the same time. These two made a video about social entrepreneurship and Google. I liked their music choice and some of the effects that they put on the text, and how they thought to lower the volume of the music when someone was speaking. I also liked the fact that they mentioned the person on YouTube was using Youtube to raise money for different charities. I really liked this video, and thought it was a bit more effective, interesting, and informative than a lot of the other ones I've seen, not to put any of the others down in any way.