Edit-a-thon Part Two

Armed with an understanding of intellectual property, students can now finish the edit-a-thon by creating or selecting actual content.


What students will learn:

  1. Best practices for organizing content for broadcast with Project Empathy.
  2. How to create a Project Empathy bin and upload it to our satellites.

Before you begin

If you intend to assemble a space radio to be sent to a Project Empathy partner school, it is important to pre-load that device's USB storage drive with content. Why send an empty library that has to wait for content from space when you can fill it with a bunch of great content ahead of time and have it be useful immediately upon arrival? The amount of space available for pre-loading content will depend on how big of a USB storage drive you purchase for your kit (more on that here), but we recommend you leave at least 25% of its capacity available to receive new content. For example, if you get a 64GB flash drive for your receiver, don't pre-load it with more than 48GB of content.

So, this edit-a-thon can be for both doing a broadcast of content, limited to 1MB, as well as what gets to go onto the pre-loaded drive of your receiver. The process for using the USB storage is described here.


1. Brainstorm

Think about your audience as well as the story you want to tell.

First, you need to pick a topic for what you want to share on Project Empathy. This was largely completed in Edit-a-thon Part One, but the overview of copyright may have changed student outlook on what to send, including how much existing content they want to curate from the web vs. original content they want to make themselves. To help narrow this down, here are a few prompts:

  • If you could fill a box with only five things to take to another planet with you, what would you put in that box?
  • If someone from another country were to visit your hometown, where would you want to take them?
  • What are some of the most important things you have learned in school? If you could teach a lesson on a topic, what would it be?

When you add your content to Project Empathy, you are the storyteller. As the storyteller, you have to think about three things: your audience, the story, and the storyteller (you). For example, if you want to share content about oil painting, if you identify your audience as being people who have never heard of oil painting, that is going to change your story versus an audience of professional artists. Either audience is fine, you just need to pick one. 


2. Create/Curate

Create the content you will put in your bin to tell your story.

Can include:

You are the writer, producer, and director of what goes on Project Empathy. You can either create content or find content that others have made and allowed to be shared. If you want to pick out content made by others, be sure to adhere to their rules for how they want their content shared.

When telling your story, make sure to address the core questions your audience will have: who, what, when, where, why, and how. You should also use different media to tell your story. Consider including at least one of each type of media in your content bin.

A good collection has to let the user know what you have mixed together. For that you need to create an index. This is like the Index or Table of Contents in a book - it let's the reader know what the book contains and where. The index also accomplishes another very important part of sharing creative work: attribution. 

Here is what a index needs to include:

  1. Name of the work
  2. Name of the creator
  3. Source of the work (the URL where you downloaded it)
  4. License for the work

Here are some additional things that you should include to give your collection more flavor, but they are optional:

  1. A description of the collection - what is the theme of the collection? Why did you pick these particular works?
  2. A quick bio of you, the curator.
  3. Cover art for the collection (if you use imagery from others, be sure to give them credit in the index!).
  4. Your Twitter handle or some other way for Project Empathy users to contact you. 

Please name this file "Index" and save it in either Rich Text Format (the file will end in .rtf) or Plain text (the file will end in .txt) and include it in the folder along with the songs you pick. 

content bin.png

3. Publish

Collect your content, label it, and submit it to Project Empathy.

Publish here:


Once you have your content ready it is time to submit it to Project Empathy. We use Dropbox to accept bin submissions, but you don't need a Dropbox account to submit content. Before you submit your bin, there are a few things you should check:

  • Include a description. It is helpful for those who receive your bin to know what you have included and why. When you make this text file, be sure to save it as a text file (the file should end in either ".txt" or ".rtf"). Most Project Empathy recipients don't have Microsoft Word or other fancy word processing software, so we use these file types to make sure they can be read anywhere. Please name your description file "Description."
  • Mention how to contact you. If you want to hear back from a classroom or someone who has received, include a way for them to contact you. You can create another text file named "Contact Me" that describes how people can reach you. We don't recommend giving out your personal email address and prefer to use Twitter for communication. Twitter requires users to be 13 years old to create an account and we ask you be at least 13 if you are going to share contact information.

Here are the steps:

  1. Collect your content in a folder. Create a folder on your computer and give it a name. This will be the name of your bin, so make it descriptive but short. Put your cover photo, description, and contact info in this folder too!
  2. Compress the folder. Right click on the folder and click "Compress." This will create another file with the same name as your folder that now ends in ".zip"
  3. Submit to Dropbox.  Click the image below to submit your .zip folder.

If you are sending an individual file, you can also upload that file by itself directly to the Outernet broadcast here.


You're Done!