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The Digital Academy, day 2: Youtube Slideshow

The Digital Academy, day 2: Youtube Slideshow

  1. Log into google using the username and password on your card.
  2. Go to the upload page.
  3. Click the “create” button under photo slideshow.
  4. Make a slideshow! Choose your own pictures, or anyone else’s pictures! Mix and Match! Pick a theme, if you want to! Or don’t! Pick a soundtrack!
  5. When you’re done, upload your slideshow. (This will take a few minutes.)
  6.  Embed your slideshow on your blog. (How to)
  7. Tweet a link to your slideshow blog post with the hashtag #digitalacademy!
The Digital Academy, Schedule, day 1

The Digital Academy, Schedule, day 1

This week and next, I’m delivering a three day tech program for library staff called The Digital Academy. I’ve been using this blog to post a lot of the support materials for it, but I haven’t posted the entire thing. Here’s the pre-work and schedule for day one, which focused on text. This is the generic version. Feel free to take and modify it!

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The Digital Academy, day 2: Is there such a thing as too many animated gifs?

The Digital Academy, day 2: Is there such a thing as too many animated gifs?


With your partner, make two reaction gifs based on the emotions listed on your cards. The orange card is the positive emotion card.


The blue card is the negative emotion card. Be as creative as you like!


How to:

  1. Go to the online gif maker tool. (There are many of these around the internet, but this one is super simple!)
  2. Pick “Create animated gif.”
  3. Select “Create gif from webcam.” What this does is give you an interface where you click the “add frame” button for each image in your gif. You click it a bunch of times to make the animated movie.

While it’s easiest to do this with a webcam, you can also take a bunch of screenshots, like doing old school animation, and create a video that way. That means you can create one of these for web instructions, too, like how to use a database or how to search the catalog. If you’ve got time, give it a shot!

You can do this as you like: you can both emote at the same time, or one person can control the computer while the other acts, and take turns, or you can find another way to communicate these emotions and portray them using the gif maker. Whatever you like! As long as you create two gifs that match the emotions you’ve got and post them!

Check out the settings, see what they do. If you want to start over with the gifmaker, just reload the page. Save your completed gifs to your computer, then post them on your blog. Tweet your finished creations with the tag #digitalacademy! Retweet your partner’s gif, too!

Welcome to the Digital Academy!

Welcome to the Digital Academy!

Some very polished, not at all too-fast talking words of introduction, explanation, and preparation:

And select your sandwich of choice for lunch!

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The Digital Academy, day 1: 11:30 – 12:30

The Digital Academy, day 1: 11:30 – 12:30

The brilliant thing about text on the internet is how easy it is to publish it, comment on it, and share it. Medium is a posting platform designed to make it easy to publish long-form articles as simply as possible. They’ve taken the idea marginalia and made it a reality. The point of Medium is to focus on the text, without all the bells and whistles. You’ve probably read a Medium article before without knowing it; Medium is about the content, not the platform.

  1. Go to Medium. Sign in using your twitter account.
  2. Read this article. Add a comment in the margin!
  3. Post your 1500 words as a Medium article. (How to.)
  4. Add your Wordle and/or Voyant images to your article.
  5. Post a link to your article on twitter with the hashtag #digitalacademy.
The Digital Academy, day 1: Morning Bonus Round

The Digital Academy, day 1: Morning Bonus Round

All done with Hemingway and Wordle? Try Voyant! Voyant is a digital humanities tool for analyzing text. It’s more complicated than Wordle, and doesn’t pull out definite articles and other common words by default. You need to tell Voyant exactly what you want it to do.

Scholars use this tool to analyze large blocks of text, like the complete works of Agatha Christie, or the complete works of Shakespeare.

  1. Paste your text in Voyant. Explore.
  2. Paste all our text into Voyant. Explore.
  3. Take screenshots and post them to your blog.
  4. Tweet your screenshots using the hashtag #digitalacademy.
The Digital Academy, day 1: 10am

The Digital Academy, day 1: 10am

Wordle is a word cloud generator. It will take any text and show you which words you use most often. It removes the most common words that don’t mean as much (like “the”) so that what you get is meaningful. Word clouds are often a good indicator of what a block of text is about. Is that true in your case? What does Wordle think we are collectively most interested in?

  1. Open Firefox. (Wordle only works in Firefox.)
  2. Paste the text of your blog post into Wordle.
  3. Tweak fonts, colours, and layouts at will.
  4. Once you like how it looks, take a screenshot and post it on your blog.
  5. Copy all the text in our shared document. Paste all the text into Wordle at once.
  6. Tweak fonts, colours, and layouts at will.
  7. Take a screenshot and post it on your blog.
  8. Tweet links to your screenshots at with the hashtag #digitalacademy!
The Digital Academy, day 1: 9am

The Digital Academy, day 1: 9am

Let’s explore how machines can analyze text! Hemingway is a web application that reads your text and makes editing suggestions.  Hemingway looks for adverbs, the passive voice, and overcomplicated words, highlights them for you, suggests ways to modify them, and tells you what your readability score is. A readability score tells you what level of education your reader must have to be able to understand what you’ve written. Hemingway will also tell you how long it would take to read your text out loud.

Note: you don’t need to take all of Hemingway’s advice. It’s a machine, not a human: it will probably make some mistakes when it looks at your text. The algorithm behind Hemingway looks for certain kinds of patterns it was programmed to find; it could have been programmed to look for different kinds of patterns in text. And in the end, it’s your post, so, just like with a human editor, you can always ignore its advice.

  1. Paste the text of your blog post into Hemingway.
  2. Explore Hemingway’s analysis and advice.
  3. Edit your text as you see fit.
  4. When you’re happy with your text, paste it into this document, under your name.

You have one hour.