DGST 395 Learning Journal

Applied Digital Studies by Sophia Geron

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Final Reflection and Participation

This semester, I have learned a lot of different ideas and tools with each assignment in this class. As a class, we went through the book The Peripheral and the Exploratory Programming, learning and creating new ideas. Then as an individual we created a project based on our interests and shared what we learned as a class. I think I did really well in this class because I learned a lot by exploring each of the projects. There are many tools I have learned how to use for this class and know I will use beyond the classroom.

Learning Journal – A

I think the appropriate grade I should receive for this assignment is an A. I kept a steady learning journal from the beginning of class. I originally thought I would just keep a word document with all my thoughts about what I was learning about, but after the first month it made more sense to create this blog and continue them here. It was easier to share with other classmates through slack and create my teaching journals (which I counted as part of my learning journal because while teaching I still learned a lot) to submit on Canvas. I posted at least once a week and shared my discoveries of programming and the tools I used for my podcast.

Teaching the Peripheral x 3- A

I think an appropriate grade for this assignment would be an A. I taught all three of my lessons on time and submitted my teaching journal promptly. I think by discussing different chapters as groups, even when I was not teaching, made it so much easier to understand what was going on in the novel as a whole. When reading this book I discovered ways and ideas of how technology could change in our world. The scenarios in the Peripheral seem like they could be very real in the future. I think this novel was a good way to begin discussion about different digital tools and possibilities.

Manifesto and ReManifesto- A

For this assignment I think I deserve an A. For my Manifesto I talked about how coding is creating, which I still believe after learning all I could this semester. I worked through all the chapters I finished considering how the different ideas worked and or why they didn’t worked if you inputted it this was versus that way. I learned a lot about programming, especially since I did not know anything about it before this semester. I believe I will use these skills in the future at either my job or for a project of my own.

Teaching Programming x 3- A-

I believe I did A- work on this assignment. I only made it to the end of chapter four, so while I progressed I did not progress as much as I would have like to. Programming was harder for me to understand so I really appreciated the way we worked through it together. There were a couple times where my group piggybacked chapters or sections and it was super helpful for me as I progressed.

I used powerpoints for all of my lessons and had my group program in whatever topic we were going over into python, which I found to be super helpful. The best discussions during programming teach was when we went over what a topic was and how it worked, then tried it hands on. It was easy to figure out where we went wrong when we made an error and why there was an error.

My Big Project/Proposal/Teaching/Reflection- A

Spilling the Tea Podcast

I loved my project and learned a lot about how to use the tools I found while podcasting with my friends over the last several weeks, which is why I believe I deserve an A on it. I turned everything in on time and critically thought about the project the whole time. The schedule that I first proposed was also followed pretty closely, except for the fact I released them as each one was created. When I was proposing my project I said I would do well with this project if I create even one podcast and I created THREE. Plus, my friends and I really want to continue to create more, so we are going to add to this. Not only did I create a completed product, but it is something I can continue to grow beyond this class.

I was really worried about the tools I would have to use in order to create this project. I thought we would have to go to the vocal booth every time, but I learned about the USB mic, which was super convenient and easy to use. I also used tools like audacity and GarageBand. The DKC was super helpful when I had trouble, but for the most part using the tools was way easier than I thought it would be. I talk a lot about this in my progress reports from earlier in the semester.

Progress Report 1

Progress Report 2

Progress Report 3

The one thing I did not consider when I first wanted to create the podcast was the audience I wanted to reach. I just thought maybe our family and friends would want to listen, but I really want to reach a wider audience. The podcast also got picked for the Digital Showcase at UMW this semester, which I take as a good sign that at least one person thought it was a productive and interesting project.

This project was a lot of fun to create. I know I am going to use the skills I learned from working on it down the road with any creative work I may do. I already used it to create an audio essay for my creative non-fiction class! It will be super interesting to see what I do with these skills, and I already have a few ideas.

Participation- A-

I have been to all but two classes this semester and tried to be a part of discussion whenever we had class or small group. I struggle with speaking up in class sometimes, but I feel like I did a really good job this semester, especially in small group. There was oftentimes, if we were given an assignment like going through the Digital Showcase submissions or writing a ReManifesto in GIF for where I would take charge and get everyone to add ideas and then put it together. I also posted my project information, my posters, and my progress in Slack most of the time.


I think for my final grade I should get an A or A-. I learned a lot this semester and you can see how through all of the assignments above. This semester brought a ton of new learning experiences for me and I worked through each one of them. I think my final product shows that I worked hard, but I think through the progress reports and learning journal you can see that I thought things through critically and shared my struggles. This class gave me a lot more knowledge about digital tools I am going to use in other classes, on my domain, and hopefully in the future when I work for a library. It also prepared me for how I might learn how to use new digital tools and sites in the future. Even though I may not know them yet, by learning a few this semester it’ll be easier to pick up on new ones when I come across them.


Teaching My Podcasting Project

Today, I taught the ideas surrounding my podcast project. I didn’t really have a way to create a podcast really quick in class, but I had us discuss what we would do to create a podcast.

So first, I started the discussion about what a podcast is and where we had encountered them before. I talked about how I listened to a lifestyle-type podcast over the summer called, From the Heart, and that was what got me started. I also have listened to a few for class to talk about how the storytelling in it works. Everyone else threw in what they have listened to and where we listened to them the most.

I touched on a little bit how I have created my podcast by talking about my experience with the tools Audacity, GarageBand, and Soundcloud.



Finally, we started to talk about what a podcast could be used for in different ways; to tell a story, share lifestyle tips, and news. We also went into how we would structure it, how to make it conversational, and if we were going to make a story we would need a detailed script.

I really enjoyed teaching this because it was more of a discussion about how we use and encounter this digital media, so it flowed very well the whole time. I am excited to progress and see the finished product of my project.

Progress Report #3

Right now I am working on editing the second podcast, which Sarah and I recorded this past week. Some of the recording got too loud and I am trying to figure out how to fix it. This step is probably the one I need the most help with.

The most recent accomplishment I have made is recording the second podcast.

The one thing that has changed about my project is I am using GarageBand instead of Audacity, really because it did not save properly the first time when I used Audacity and I already have the software for GarageBand.

My next step is to get the second podcast edited and online. Over the break, my mom and I are going to record another one talking about Dressember, which is month-long project we are about to begin next month. I am pretty excited about it and think this project has been a fun adventure so far.

Re: Coding Manifesto

What coding, for me, still means creating. When using the skills I have learned from coding I want to use them to create.

So, when I started learning programming I had no skills or idea how it worked beside the basic HTML which I learned in the previous semester.  Now I understand many basic functions of how coding works. In the book, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, I only made it through Chapter 4 and taught Interfaces, Function Bundle Codes, and Types. I learned a few more skills from peer teaching, but I am not as confident in those skills as I am in the ones that I taught. Now I definitely have a better grasp of what programming is and what I can do with it.

Over the past few weeks I found I learned something best when there was an interactive concept in the lesson. Oftentimes the lessons I taught and learned from power points outlining the lesson. After we went through definitions and concepts, oftentimes, we put the code into Python and explained why things did and did not work.

I do not know how much I will use coding in the future, but I would like to apply it to some digital art project in the future. I might try to use it when  I put together a digital collection for another class I have coming up, but that is all I really have in mind right now. I think I can always just work on it some more by working through more of Nick Montfort’s book. Programming is something I think I can always come back to if I need or want to, so I am glad I learned some of the basic functions of it. This has taught me a ton about just understanding how it is applied in many of the digital resources I use on a daily basis, so I look at these tools differently now. Programming/coding is something I never thought would be attainable or practical for me, so I have been excited to learn it can be and I can use it in many different creative ways.

Table 3 GIF Manifesto for Class Session 11/15


Progress Report #2

In the last week or so I have made a few big steps in my final project, but not without some technical difficulties. Last Monday, I went to the DKC and learned some of the tools I could use to record the podcast and post it online, such as the vocal booth, a microphone that could be checked out from the HCC Desk, and Soundcloud.

Then on Saturday we recorded the very first podcast. I used Audacity to record and a microphone from the HCC. Sarah and I had our dear friend Emma visiting from out of town, so we made a podcast about how we met at UMW and why our friendship is so important to us. It was very conversational and it worked out well I thought. Then when saving the podcast, it some how failed and we lost it all! It was awful. 45 minutes of a great first take on our podcast and it was all GONE.

So after some frustrations with Audacity and trying to recover the file we decided to just re-record the whole thing the next day, with a different microphone and Garage Band. And I am so happy with the result! Once we finally got into the groove we ended up talking for 70 minutes. I uploaded it onto Soundcloud and I am going to set up a page on my domain for all of the episodes, but that is my next step. I am super happy with the progress and my friends are literally the best.

So thanks to Sarah and Emma for being willing to record our memories and put them on the internet. You guys are so amazing and my life is forever changed by you. Thanks to Ben, for letting us use your really nice microphone and sitting through so quietly through 70 minutes of recording. And thank you for Josh for being so awesome and helping out and also listening to long our ramblings.

So I think that my next step is getting the page together on my domain and recording the next couple podcasts. I am really excited to see how this is going to go. The only thing that has changed about my project so far is I am not going to use the vocal booth like originally thought and instead just use a microphone. What I probably need help with the most is the page on my domain and embedding the Soundcloud tracks, so I think I am going to go back to the DKC. I am excited to see how this project ends up in the next week.

Here is the link to the podcast on Soundcloud:


Teaching Exploratory Programming on 4.3- Types

Today I taught my classmates about types from chapter 4, what they are and what they do. We went through a powerpoint I had put together learning the definitions and put them into python to understand how they work. In code, “int” represents integers, “str” represents strings, and “list” represents lists.

We typed into python different examples and labeling values with variables. Then we tried to guess how it would work. We also went through a couple examples of how it doesn’t work and discussed why it doesn’t work.

We got to the main idea of polymorphism at the end. Polymorphism is when a single arithmetic operator, function, or method is able to work on several types of data, such as integers, strings, and lists (Montfort 70).

The thing I wish I had done better was come up with an activity we could have played around with and figured out together. I had done that in the past and it seemed to work well. The lack of activity also made the lesson just a little over ten minutes. I also think the concept I chose was something a lot of the students already understood, which made it go by faster.

Teaching Exploratory Programming 4.1- Functions Bundle Code

On October 27th, I taught Functions Bundle Code and went through the first part of chapter four. We discussed what an abstraction is and how it can be applied in both art and programming. Then we went through the tax problem in the book with my powerpoint, inputting as we went into to Juypter, and learned how to compute the tax for New York Sales tax.

Christina was also teaching Functions Bundle Code so we paired up and worked through the beginning of the chapter together. She was teaching the section directly after me, so we took turn going through the chapter. This was super helpful because we had two people talking about it and I think helped everyone, teachers and students, understand the concept more fully.

Overall, I think it went well. I am planning on getting further through the book before I teach again next Friday. I really want to make sure I fully understand the concepts before I teach them, so I am slowly making my way through the book.

Progress Report #1

Currently, I am working on preparing the outlines for the podcasts I want to create. The basic idea for my big project has not changed yet, mainly because I am only now just starting to get to work on it. My most recent accomplishment is signing up for a tutorial in the DKC on how to use the vocal booth and I have that this coming week.  My next step is the tutorial itself and then creating and outline of the first podcast with my friend Sarah. I think this tutorial will help a lot because I really do not know how to create audio recordings and that might be my biggest hurdle to overcome.

Project Proposal

Executive Summary:

For my project proposal, I want to make a podcast and learn more about how to do it. My friend Sarah and I really want to create one where we talk about things that are important to us. There are risks and reward and ultimately, I would like to be graded on if I can show that I have done my best on this project using the many resources I have available.


The purpose of this project is to learn how to create a podcast and use it in a meaningful way for myself and my audience. My friend Sarah and I have debated about creating a podcast for a few weeks and this is a great opportunity to do so. We really want to have an open dialogue on issues and ideas such as body image and social media, being an English major, and living on campus as a transfer student. Over the past year we have learned a lot together and would like to record some of the things we have encountered in some fashion. Podcasts have become a more popular entertainment medium, and I personally have listened to more than watched TV shows in the last couple of months. Experimenting with this medium can teach me not only the logistics of making a podcast, but how this digital platform affects the audience.


Risks and Rewards:

The rewards of this project are knowing how to create audio content in a creative way for others to enjoy, having a record of some of the ideas and conversations my friend Sarah and I talk about often, and being able to share this projects with other people who can expand on our narratives.  The risk is that it might not turn out the way I am hoping it will.


  • The vocal booth in the HCC. I made an appointment with the DKC to learn how it works and what tools I can use for this project.
  • My friend Sarah, and maybe other friends.
  • Time to meet in the vocal booth and record the podcast.
  • Time and energy to edit and put it together on a platform
  • Planning on using tapewrite, because I can put images to run along with the recording.
  • Probably cake for our reward when we finish recording.



October 23rd– Tutorial on how to use vocal booth and tools.

By October 31st– Outline at least two or three different podcasts

First Week of November Record First Podcast

Second Week of November Record Second Podcast

Third Week of November Record Third Podcast

Last week in November Edit Podcast

First Week in December post on Domain and share with the class.



How will I know if the project is successful?

If I at least create one podcast. I really want to do more than one but because of the risk of it not turning out the way I want it to I will be really happy if I create at least one. As long as I show that I have learned more about the medium of a podcast and that I worked hard on the project I think the project will be successful.


Teaching Exploratory Programming- Chapter 3.2 Interfaces

Today I taught from the exploratory programming text book on interfaces in chapter 3.2. I used a powerpoint and took my group through the process of a double( ), what it means, how the original data doesn’t change, and how it only takes one argument. We experimented with trying zero and more than one arguments and looked at what the error messages say. Then we talked about what it would take to use more than one argument and played around with a couple different ideas in juypter.

I think today went well. I should try to experiment a little more on my own before I teach to have more than one example to give. I think by being interactive in the teaching and going through each step with my students helped us understand how the double( ) function works better. Discussing it with my peers who have different experience levels than I do also helps me understand programming ideas in different ways I hadn’t considered before.

Slide from my presentation.

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