Well, some of us are not as good as Dan is when it comes to video. Heck, I bet 99% of us couldn’t do the things he does with video. But why let that stop us from using video, and more importantly, coming up with ways to have our learners constructively use video in the classroom.
So, before we begin, we will need some software. First, download Photo Story 3 from Microsoft. You can find it here. Say what you want about Microsoft, but this piece of software is darn good, it does exactly what it says it does, and it does it fantastically.
Next, you will need some way to get voice into the story (if you want the learners to narrate). If you don’t want the learners to narrate, but instead you want music, then skip the next couple of paragraphs. Photo Story 3 has built in music that will solve your problem. You are ready to go!
Okay, I am doing math, so I need some way to narrate. …. Hmmm, I have an iPod, so I could use the iTalk. Griffin Technology makes it, it would set us back $49.99. But I am a teacher and cheap, so I hoof it on over to eBay and find that it will cost less than $20.00 including shipping from many sellers. Decision made.
But if I am uber-cheap, I want to do it for free. My laptop has a microphone built in, so isn’t there some software that would record and more? Yes there is, and it is open source and it is called Audacity. If you want to do sound, then you want Audacity. I even used it in a Trig class to demonstrate sound waves, beats, constructive and destructive interference. Audacity will do all your sound needs. Cost = $0.
But, I don’t have my laptop with me today. Yea, I suck. But WAIT! Hey, there are two other different ways to do this for free.
Gabcast and Gcast both allow a person to call in using a phone (or perhaps a cell phone! what high school learner doesn’t have one of those these days!!!) and make an mp3 recording of their voice! This is called a podcast. For free. From a cell phone. From anywhere (I see possibilities for storytelling here).
Okay, so we have software that will take our photographs, or any jpeg files and will combine those jpegs into a video. Along with that video, we can insert music, or, in the case of math, perhaps a learner’s slow explanation of how they did the problem.
You see, I took my digital camera to school (not really, this is a plan for something I am going to do later) and took pictures, one after the other, of the learners doing a problem. I just took a picture of the page using my old 2 megapixel camera, which is plenty of resolution for this, and then using Photo Story 3, chained the pictures together. Next, I recorded a narration, and saved it. Imported the mp3 file into Photo Story, and now I have my voice, narrating me doing a problem.
Imagine having teams of 4 – 5 working on the problem. In a class of 32, that is 6 to 8 teams, each trying to explain how to do a different problem. They come up with a video explaining how to do it, post the video to YouTube, or Vimeo, and now we have 8 – 4 minute presentations on how to do the problems for a test.
I did nothing but facilitate the learning. (hopefully). Cost = $0.00. Time = about an hour or less. Isn’t this what learning should be?