ECMP 355

Podcast Experimenting!

Sarah Campbell and I made our first podcast show last week.  It’s a little rough around the edges and, if we had had more time, I would have loved to play with the volumes of different tracks. But, alas, this is what we were able to come up with.

We made a mash-up as opposed to a voice recording because it gave us the opportunity to play with vocal loops, background music, copy-and-pasting options, etc.

We decided to dedicate this to teachers who have been needing some inspiration lately. Feel free to share and comment on !! Thanks!!

Door Scene Video

I’m actually really proud with how this mini-project of ours turned out.  I mean, prior to this exercise for ECMP 355,  I had never used iMovie much less edited a video.  With that said, I am incredibly thankful that this was a group project verses a one-man-show simply because the collaboration gave us the opportunity to teach each other, to learn from each other, and to learn together when we hit a roadblock.

What I found most surprising was that the editing took at least three times longer than filming did.  My expectations going into the project was that we would be filming forever trying to get everything just right and then simply adding music to it on the computer.  Boy was I wrong.

In terms of applying this into my future classroom and having my English students using video, I am absolutely ecstatic because I think it could be a great tool to observe their comprehension of novels or short stories that we’ve studied.  I’m sure there are numerous other ways to utilize video-making projects into the English classroom.  If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please, please, please comment and share! I would love to know.

Cheers!

PowToon as Alternative to PowerPoint

In ECMP355 this past week we watched the Death by PowerPoint YouTube video which discusses the ways people have overused PowerPoint. As an assignment, us students were to create a short video or podcast using other methods than PowerPoint to present a topic of our choice.  I chose to present on how my first week at my volunteer placement went using PowToon, which I had never used before.  I had heard of it when I was in grade 6 from my sister who was in grade 8 at the time.  A teacher had given them an assignment where they had to use PowToon and I had watched her use it. I was absolutely fascinated. So when the opportunity arose in ECMP to use this method, I jumped right at it thinking “How hard can it be if my sister was able to use it when she was only 14 years old?”

This is what I was able to come up with….

It was actually a rather difficult program to work with. As sad as it sounds, I worked on it for about two hours just to get 57 seconds worth of content.  A tad bit pathetic.. Granted, this was my first time using it and I spent a lot of time looking through the different options they offered and, not to mention, I am a perfectionist and was trying to tweak every little thing to make it all work together.  It is definitely a program that you have to know rather well in order to use it efficiently and effectively.  As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”.

In terms of incorporating this into the classroom, I would definitely offer it as an option for the kids to use but not make it mandatory.  I mean, the program made it easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites and the the uploading process onto YouTube was easy-peasy, but the time and patience it requires from the user is not ideal.

Comments from people who are efficient at using PowToon would be greatly appreciated. I would love to know if it gets easier and easier with time. And if you could leave some tips as to how make attention-grabbing videos with PowToon that would also be awesome. Thanks!!

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