Drafting and revising the project contract prompted me to explore what pieces of technology I will need to complete the website and what kinds of technology and media services are available to me.
I started by looking at what technology I already own or have access to through immediate family members. First, I have an acer laptop, which I normally use to complete coursework or to communicate on. Generally, I can also access online programs or basic photo, video, and audio recording or editing software with my laptop. I also have an iPhone 6s, which I intend to use to take pictures, video, or audio recordings. Lastly, my father owns a basic digital camera that I can borrow to take photos of a higher quality or in higher volume, when my iPhone will not perform as well. (For example, I am using my father’s digital camera with SD memory card to take pictures on my trip to Hillsville, VA).
Considering the list of personal technology is basic, I also revisited Shannon Steffey in the UVa-Wise library to discuss what kinds of technology and media services are available to students through the library at the college. Shannon told me that the library has laptops and iPads available for students to check out and use within the library, though she also thought that the library could allow for students to check them out for use outside with proper reason and documentation.
Beyond devices that can be checked out, Shannon explained to me that the library had some devices and specialist librarians that could give me access to and advice on services within the library. For example, the library has study rooms with computer and web camera abilities on the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth floors. I have a good amount of experience with this technology in the library because I use one of the study rooms on the sixth floor to attend class.
In addition to the rooms, Shannon led me on a tour through different floors of the inside of the library and showed me a media room on the first floor (that, in the future, the library hopes to equip as a digital production/editing studio for students), an archive room on the second floor that has a book scanner that bends so that the book can be scanned without extending its spine flat, and an area that has microfilm and microfiche readers for archived documents in the library. Lastly, she also overviewed several offices within the library that I could visit to get help with learning to use WordPress, working with digital sources, or with technological malfunctions, all of which I know will be helpful as I start to construct the website.
Outside of the library, Shannon also pointed me to a media services department that is located in Zehmer Hall, one of the academic buildings on campus (and, fortunately for me, the one I attend classes in most frequently!). Zehmer Hall has a media services lab that has Apple computers with photo and video editing software, in addition to other useful programs offered through Apple. Beyond the lab, media services has devices such as cameras and video recorders, in addition to a few other basic recording devices (like microphones) that students can arrange to check-out.
Finally, after a survey of available technology, I also wanted to briefly reflect on what technology I believe that I might initially need for the project. To begin, I know that I will need mostly just my phone, laptop, and digital camera for interview and media collection. However, after a week or two (particularly after the end of Spring Break), I also know that I am going to want to look into using the media services lab, if only to familiarize myself with the available applications, so I intend to schedule a time to work in the lab after I have collected some material (most likely around the date of March 20th).
However, regardless, after exploring the technology and services available to me as a student, I am much more equipped to work with material for the project site.
Turner, T. (Photographer). (2019, March 11). Laptop and other technology [Personal photograph taken in Hillsville, VA].