Journalists’ Toolkit has definitely been quite an experience for me this semester. Although I have taken other digital based courses here at UF, I don’t think that any of these have allowed me to practice and improve my digital skills as thoroughly and as often as this course has.
Yes, I knew how to create a soundslides slide show before I took this course, but only on the technical side. I have learned that the storytelling part of creating a soundslides presentation is a completely different thing. I think this is one of the things that has really been emphasized for me during this course, although I realize I still have not perfected this art. Yet, I know I have come to understand it more fully, and my storytelling skills have improved as I can see in my projects for this class as well as those completed for other classes.
Photography is another portion of this class that I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from. I find myself taking significantly better pictures now than I ever thought I could. Editing, sizing, and optimizing these for the Web has also become almost second nature to me because of this course.
Moreover, if I wasn’t completely aware of just how time-consuming and detail-orientated digital projects of any kind are before taking this course, I am certainly aware of it now. I have learned that while “content is king,” design and consistency is also important. Most importantly, I have learned that when you think you are done editing, edit again, and then edit some more! There is almost always some small mistake you have overlooked.
Completing the projects assigned throughout this course has proved invaluable to me as they have helped me to significantly improve a lot of skills I already had some experience with such as collecting and editing audio, and creating digital storytelling projects.
In summation, although I have often been very frustrated by this course, its time-consuming nature, and the always unreliable Internet and computer software needed to complete projects, I have come out of it more knowledgeable, more professional, more patient, and more complete as a communicator in the Digital Age.