Posts tagged: Video

My Common Craft

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By , October 22, 2009 2:13 pm

I’ve been struggling with ways to do some videos for a range of technical and dry topics for a while and after quite a bit of suggestion, I’ve got the people I’m working with to look at Common Craft as an exemplar. Surprisingly the videos are technically easy to make, but post production is of course where one pays the piper. This 30 second spot took about 2h to do from start to finish, in multiple versions and with a couple of sets redone. These videos are certainly fun, and if well planned can get quite a bit done and I would assume that they can also be rather timeless without having to worry about hair or clothing.

A model day at Disney

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By , October 9, 2009 11:32 am

This was done with a TS lens and a “Hybrid” SLR and without any words tells the story very nicely. Digital storytelling isn’t about the tools that are used, it’s about how the new tools allow more people to tell more stories. Enjoy.

Rethinking delivery – another example of 50% – or is it?

By , September 30, 2009 1:51 pm

Between getting photos and videos done from the field trip that I took with Science 100 last week and some of the meetings that I’ve had this week, I’ve noticed something has changed in the world. This is an obvious change, but it seems that very few people want to accept it. This change is in the way that we think about delivering information. One of my colleagues put it together perfectly in my last meeting – “we can no longer guarantee delivery”.

The University (mine as well as others) functions on the premise that it can ensure that it has contact with the student. From the assumption that they are going to open the physical mail that offers them acceptance (trapped in the age when the letter was the only way that news traveled, then one could assume that was authority and a guaranteed mode of delivery, think about all the journals that are “Letters of/in”) to the LMS that delivers their course content. It believes it so strongly that it dumps massive amounts of resources to ensure that the message gets out to the student. But for all its efforts, it still fails and seemingly, is failing far more often now than ever before. Why?

Well it seems that nobody told the generation older admins that in a media saturated universe, students won’t or can’t themselves rely on only a single source for their information. Media has to be easily accessed on an enormous range of screen sizes and through a massive range of bandwidths. These are both problems that we thought we had left behind as desktops became more powerful and then were eclipsed by laptops and those by phone and netbooks. Content has to go out over physical media, passive media (radio, TV), active media (email) and social media. If you want to be sure that the students know about an important date, there needs to be an ambient buzz generated within at least two of their content channels and if there is media to go along with it, it should be accessible by almost any device.

I don’t think there is anything here that is ground breaking or anything that regular readers won’t have already thought of or understood. But this seems to be at the heart of many of the problems that instructional designers face when trying to explain why there is no standard cut and dried way to create a course, announce a deadline or show a demo if you want to be sure you get through to your audience. Much like the advertising adage “only 50% of advertising works”, it is as likely as not as you are going to actually connect to your audience so you need to be sure you have more than one way to get to them. Again, not anything that anyone having gone through any form of teacher training won’t have heard in the past when learning about multiple encoding.

So why is this worth posting? Well, being a common sense observation, it isn’t really that common… Observing that with all the options for one to communicate, not everyone is going to use the same set.

When pressing DVDs earlier, I was asked why I was also making stand alone files by two people who were going to be using the media. I explained that this would allow the various users to play them anywhere there is a network connection. The older individual involved didn’t understand the need for the files, the younger, didn’t understand the need for the physical media. When making photos available, another individual was hoping that I would be able to provide thumbnails for easy loading and and an easy way to see the pictures (slideshows etc). This morning, in a meeting, talking about podcasting, LMS and social media, part of the room “got” it and the other didn’t – the kicker, it was a mix of get and not different topics and it seemed independent of generation.

3D projection comes to the classroom

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By , June 19, 2009 7:55 am

One of the ways that Hollywood is trying to fight piracy is to start making movies in 3D. These movies require specialized projection and of course those funny glasses. Thankfully the technology for the projection side of things and the glasses have both come a long way. Far enough that there is now a projector that is available for the classroom at education friendly prices. Texas Instruments has cooked a projector system that does 3D from a single source. I’ve seen a few uses for 3D in the classroom – usually in Science classes as students are given the opportunity to see molecules, organs or interactions in 3D. I’m sure there are other fields that might make use of it as well, but that will have to wait I guess.

Now all they have to do is make the assembly/production of 3D material easier (hopefully this does not require some manner of propriety encoding) and this could take off within a decade. In the mean time, it might be a way to bring 3D movies home, should 3D versions of movies… assuming that they are not blocked from projection and they can be decoded properly by the projector. Hmm… did I just point out the sticking point there?

Fruit of Patience

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By , May 19, 2009 8:14 am

To be able to get a single image like those that made up this video is like within the grasp of anyone who calls themselves a photographer. To be able to get enough to put them together into a video is a testament to dedication and likely a bit of insanity as well. But it is to be able to get images like this that I use Patient Man Productions for my photography sideline. I can only hope that one day my patience bears fruit like this:

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Controlling phones in the … briefing room

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By , May 15, 2009 10:28 am

Cell phones can annoy even in the work world – which, after a fashion, is what the classroom is. This is certainly a vignette for a good reaction to the use of the device in an obviously disruptive manner. Many presenters (instructors or press secretaries) would like phones to be silent to prevent the temptation to talk on them. I’m sure that there would not have been a similar response if the people involved were just hammering away on the keyboards instead.

Taking this one step further, it might be a good idea to make use of phones before or after direct instruction, but not during. Students/participants can use them to collect information to bring to the face to face event, but during the face to face time, the device should only be used in a collaborative manner. So if the entire class/room can share in the discussion, then talking on the phone might be justified. Otherwise, the accessing of information to support or explain the topic is likely the most polite/correct course of action.

Photo and Audio merge in the cloud

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By , March 31, 2009 8:19 am

Aviary, a cool online image editor/creator has picked up DigiMix. These, together with Jaycut or Jumpcut (now owned by Yahoo!), it seems that there is no longer a need for schools to invest in these basic editors.

Jiggy with Bio

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By , March 30, 2009 8:48 am

Thanks to an old student for this:

If this is going on at Stanford, why are so many other places so afraid of using video as a serious tool for student expression?

Wow Papervision

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By , March 11, 2009 11:27 am

Have you ever wanted a shark to hand out on your desktop? Well, check this Papervision3D demo out.


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By , February 10, 2009 10:42 am

GoAnimate Demo: Star Trek Launch from GoAnimate on Vimeo.

As you can see, this seems to be a drag and drop simple way to put together some animation. It is Flash based and fairly easy to start mucking around with. Transporter

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