Here is round one with the mashup video that may be used for some of the promotion for Gardner’s MOOC this summer. It’s in early stages right now. I want to match up the audio so that the echo-y feel of the Engelbart presentation is carried through and I am considering replacing chunks of video elements of Gardner’s pieces because the first two don’t bring much value (and the first one may actually cause confusion1). I’ll also be looking at what other video might bring additional context. In any case, I think this has a few pretty golden moments but it’s a fine line between that and getting too cute with things.
I did a presentation the other day on how one might use the Promethean software to do some interesting things with video. I don’t think the software is essential to do any of this but it did make it pretty easy and we already have it on all our computers and all our student computers. In any case, I used the video above to demo a few easy things for kids to do using screenshots from virtually any video.
Yes, it did make my kids’ day to use a Fineas and Ferb song about squirrels in someone’s pants. I’m not sure what the teachers thought of it but sometimes you have to amuse yourself.
Simplest- Visual Answers
Take video screenshots to answer questions. Easy but a different level of involvement with the video. Depending on the questions this could be low level stuff or something more sophisticated.
You could do simple things like ID the protagonist. Or you could ask harder questions like- Capture the most dramatic frame in the video.
Summarize or Cartoonize
Using simple screenshots you can add word balloons to summarize the video or just use the frame captures as fodder for comics in general. You can make it more complex by adding restrictions (see below) – things like you have to summarize the video in only four frames and 6 lines of poetry. Stuff like that. It can make things more interesting and done with the right examples it could even be at least amusing.
Scary Mary Plot Reversal
The still picture version of a Scary Mary type plot reversal. Simple stuff, I know.
This is a rough and dirty way to do something similar to what Dan Meyer did with the basketball shot image (at least for the still portion). Essentially, you just hit the frame capture tool at semi-regular intervals and then lay the images over the top and mess with the transparency some. Not super, but really easy and all done in one program that we have and people use.
My example used Angry Birds. I don’t think it was the best choice. I think the basketball shot Dan uses is more interesting to most students- especially if you are the one taking the shot.
Once again, I’m just trying to find ways for teachers/students to mimic stuff Dan Meyer is doing but with as little tech knowledge as possible. I saw his use of an embedded timer in his falling rocks series. That is one nice aspect of the way the Promethean software works. I can add all sorts of useful objects from a built in library- the timer being one, grid overlays are another (it’ll default underneath objects, you can set it to the topmost level under object properties).
The main goal with all this is just to show that it doesn’t have to be hard. We can use simple software and simple ideas to do some pretty interesting things with students. All of our students have this software yet usage still tends to focus on duplicating things you might as well do in PPT.
We’re looking to get more classroom video for a variety of reasons and that led to a demo from Teachscape and their Reflect product. It’s a decent idea, 360 degree video of the classroom and another camera with a specific focus. You can’t see anything about the quality in the demo videos. One major warning flag is that they don’t have any video from the product. No obvious prices. Let’s just say it’s really expensive, really expensive. Expensive enough that I can’t remember the numbers properly because my brain filed it under crazy.
It looked even more insane when I happened to find the Sony Bloggie. I’d never heard of it but it seems pretty similar to the Flip and it has an attachment for 360 degree video.
If I was going to spend the money that Teachscape wants for their unit, I’d want quality like Yellowbird. This stuff is slick and interactive (you do have to fly in a team from the Netherlands though).
I’m also playing around with the idea of trying one of the 360degree lenses on a 5DMKII and seeing what I can do with the video.