Sunday, September 28, 2014

Becoming a Teacher

This week the assignment in my Master’s Degree course was to create a video using only a phone. Seems simple enough, but the topic was "I knew I was going to be an educator when..." Also, the video had to include voice, photos, video, and audio from only a phone. Fortunately editing could be done with another program.  I considered a single take, a paper slide video, and white board drawings. With time limitations and my questionable art skills I chose to piece together a video from elements created with my phone. I used my iPhone to take pictures and videos and Camtasia to edit the video. There were some interesting challenges with both the theme and the limitation to one device. 

 With the theme being reflective over a time that predates digital cameras and cel phones, the pictures from the time I knew I wanted to be a teacher are in an album somewhere, if they even exist. For this project, pictures would have to be collected within the week of the assignment, already exist or be chosen from Google searches to reflect the theme. If I did not already have quite a few pictures from my classroom for presentations and training, there would have been much less variety of personal pictures and more generic ones from internet searches.  Another challenge was creating a word cloud with an iPhone. The websites I had used previously require Flash and would not work. I was able to find an app, TagCloud to make the word cloud, but it cost $0.99. The music in the project is provided by our marching band. (It is at the end of the video. I did not have the heart to cut out the band students in the interest of time.) Using music from the editing program seems like cheating and the music on my phone has copyrights. I could have searched the internet with the phone for some free music, but transferring files from the iPhone to a Windows laptop is not always straightforward. Pictures and videos had to be copied to the laptop, saved and then imported into the editing program.

It was surprising that the limitation of a smart phone was actually not all that limiting. The phone has internet access and images were easy to find and save. An app was available to add a little extra touch.  Taking new video was easy. I only needed to access the camera and hit play. Having gone through the exercise, it is reasonable to assign a similar project to a student and expect success with minimal frustration. Access to an editing program is helpful but not necessary. If the assignment is structured so that students can use one take or use a method such as a paper slide video they will not have to know how to use an editor. 

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