For the past 5 weeks, I have navigated different discussion forums and Youtube videos for my Network Learning Project for CEP 810. My initial goal was to teach myself how to DJ (or rather mix music) using the Pioneer DDJ-SB mixer and DJ software Serato on my computer.
However, as explained in an earlier blog post I found myself in a slight hiccup because I updated my computer to the latest MAC OS X Sierra which no longer supports Serato (for the time being) and using the DJ Tech Tools Forum I was able to find a different program that linked with the mixer — DJay Pro by Algoriddim.
I think that the Network Learning Project was fun and I enjoyed having the opportunity to try out different online resources that I don’t normally use when I am trying to learn/understand something. I believe that YouTube is an easier tool to use, BUT that’s only to say it’s effective when there is available content that you are looking for. I was unable to find any good video footage of someone teaching/explaining HOW to use the latest DJay Pro application with the specific mixer that I had. That was difficult and instead I found myself watching videos on each (software and hardware) to understand and then stringing the missing links on my own.
Oftentimes you can find instructions in video format on YouTube which I think makes it easier to learn because you get a visual representation of what you want to learn and some YouTube channels give you specific step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the goal(s) that you have.
Furthermore, the other network option we were allowed to use were discussion forums. I think that discussion forums are a great way to interact with other people that have the same interests as you and/or even the same problems that you have. However, I find them to be more difficult to navigate and sometimes you had to be very specific with your search keywords in order to find a post that answered the same (or similar) question that you were seeking.
I found the forums to be the most useful when I first started off this project because I was able to find some beginner’s forums and learn about beat-matching, audio FX that are integrated into the software and choosing music that flows well together when mixing. I also can say that the forums were great when I was in a bind about my software hiccup – and found someone with the exact same problem and other users had posted other DJ software options that work with the Pioneer DDJ-SB mixer.
After participating in this NLP assignment, I think that I will definitely continue to use YouTube for further learning opportunities; however, I’m not sure that I will use discussion forums as much as I potentially could. I have used them in the past but only because they come up in general Google searches that I have done.
I think it’d be interesting to try to incorporate a similar NLP assignment into my Spanish class and have students teach themselves something specific using an online forum or YouTube videos — and then come back and share with the entire class how they learned, what resources they used and demonstrate their knew knowledge and understanding of that specific content.
Honestly, I think it’d take some pressure off of my own teaching and put the students in control of their own learning and understanding.
The following is my final video explaining what I learned and I even give you a couple samples of mixing and what I learned throughout the Network Learning Project: