Nov 112006

Jumpcut is a terrific web-based video editing application, that I discovered after Ollie Bray mentioned it on his blog. You upload movie clips and then edit and remix them. Here for example, is a short film that I created from some BBC Creative Archive footage.

The original clip is here. Why not remix it yourself?

The implications are fairly obvious; students can edit a short film as a homework assignment without requiring video editing software. Teachers can provide suitable source material. Audio clips and various effects can be added and the resulting movies tagged and shared via email, or embedded in websites. The BBC Creative Archive has been withdrawn at the end of its trial period while they consider the implications of the service. Hopefully it will be back soon.

Jumpcut is another sign that the day of a PC with zero applications installed, apart from a web browser, is approaching. Read My Uninstalled Life for more!

Oct 292006

I’ve just finished an attempt at a multiple user video conference with legendary edu-blogger Doug Belshaw and South Wales based Tom Biebrach. Over the past few days Tom, Tony Cassidy and I have been thinking about using web cams and video-conferencing creatively in the classroom. We’ve established a few technical points including:

  • Google Talk offers good sound quality and simple instant messenging – however you can’t chat with more than one person at a time?
  • Festoon is a free download that adds video conferencing facilities to Google Talk but we discovered that the time-delay with more than one user renders it almost useless. Even one to one, the video is very slow. However my connection could be a limiting factor. We also need to test Festoon with Skype.

Festoon Festoon – not quite up to the job.

  • Windows Live Messenging is great for IM chatting – you can have several people in a conversation. Sound quality is not as good as Google Talk when making an audio call but video is pretty good. There’s no support for multiple users with video though.
  • Doug Belshaw poins out that if we were Mac users then iChat would probably be a good alternative, however we’re just not that trendy.

Top Ten uses for a webcam the list so far based on our discussions…

  1. Atlas Gloves. Dominate the whole earth with a web cam and a pair of illuminated ping pong balls. The ultimate prospective parents evening diversionary activity. Related post.
  2. Getting students to talk about their work. A web cam provides an instant opportunity for students to explain their ideas – giving less literate students an opportunity to shine. See this post about Year 7 students talking about their work to a mobile phone.
  3. Students act as on-site reporters for the rest of a class. For example they could report on a hazardous event and the rest of the class then respond in a desicion-making capacity. This would work well as an additional dimension to my Montserrat lesson.
  4. Debate a topic with another class / another school? Representatives present their case via the webcam to a panel of judges who rule on the outcome.
  5. Use the web cam to illustrate small scale experiments on physical processes for example meanders or waves in a flume tank, erosion in a partly cropped bed of cress to represent deforestation (SLN post by Trebor here) or earthquake shaking effects. Students can add narration via Movie Maker later.
  6. Collaborative pojects such as recording the weather simultaneously across the country by pointing the web cam out of the window at a pre-agreed time. See SLN thread started by Tony Cassidy.
  7. Opportunities for two classes to work in tandem on a project in a parallel descision-making task. The decisions made by one group could impact another group, for example a coastal management activity. Two classes could work on the same project then submit their ideas to other students for a peer assessment activity. My San Francisco / Google Earth activity would be a good candidate. Students could email each others placemarks, then debate them via the web cam in a video conference.
  8. Video-conferencing offers another way for teachers to engage with CPD. Files can be shared instantly.
  9. Develop links with a school in another country to explore a different locality. Doug Belshaw was kind enough to provide a link to Global Leap, an organization providing support for educational video conferencing in the UK.
  10. Ask questions to expert geographers. Do any Higher Ed institutions offer this facility?

The list has been devised with inputs from Tony Cassidy, Tom Biebrach and Doug Belshaw. Please feel free to add to the list by submitting a comment, or contact me to be invited into our next conference.

Photostory 3 INSET notes

 Asides, Teaching resources, video  Comments Off on Photostory 3 INSET notes
Oct 082006

I led an INSET last week on Photostory 3 Although several of my case studies used copyrighted music, this one doesn’t so you can download my clouds photostory if you like.

As a plenary we came up with a Top Five uses of Photostory in case an inspector pops in with a check list and you need to look like you’re taking learning seriously.

  • “What is the word?” Write down the theme of the photostory on a slate and get the students to guess it after watching the presentation.
  • “Student narration” Create a photostory (and save the Project files) and play it with no music. Then plug in a microphone and get students to record the narration themselves.
  • “Silent running” Play a photostory with the sound turned off. Students have to guess what sort of music is used and why.
  • “What happens next?” Pause a Photostory and get students to predict the next photograph.
  • “5 W’s” Students come up with 5W’s before the presentation finishes (What? Where? Why? When? Who?)
Oct 082006

A couple of absolutely brilliant Google Videos make a superb case study of river pollution.

new river 1 Link to Google Video

As well as describing the state of the New River, (possibly the most polluted river in North America) the video also refers to undocumented migrants swimming across the river, safe in the knowledge that the border patrol guards won’t follow them into the dangerously contaminated water! Try playing the first video with the sound turned off to get students to guess what it’s about.

new river 2 Link to Google Video

The second video discusses the proposed improvements to the waterway.

Sep 232006

Google Video is becoming a rich source of inspiration for video materials. Download the player and you can then play most videos off-line. I recently found several excellent films to illustrate a case study about Dubai:
The World
Dubai Waterfront
Cranes in Dubai
Dubai – The Megaprojects

More Dubai teaching materials on Juicy Geography

Mar 132006

Last week I spontaneously decided that it would be a good idea to film some students talking about their homework. I recorded the video on my mobile phone and converted the file into .avi format using Xilisoft 3GP video converter.
Subsequently, I’ve felt that this is a really good way of assessing work. Because the students themselves aren’t in the frame (an important point), they focus on describing their homework. Their understanding is evident, and a collection of short videos like these may be a useful tool when demonstating their progess to a sceptical Ofsted inspector.

I got some Year 10 students to talk about the Year 7’s work today and filmed them in the same way. There were two reasons. Firstly I thought it would be an interesting form of assessment for learning, because the Year 7 students would be able to see how other pupils interpreted their work, and consequently how to improve it. Year 10s got the opportunity to revise some of their work on settlement.

I’ve briefly edited the videos in Windows Movie Maker and the results are available to download below:

video link Year 7 talk about their work (9.4mb wmv)

video link Year 10 talk about Year 7 work (4.1mb wmv)

The files play in Windows Media Player, and because of the limitations of the recording device, you may need to turn up the sound on your speakers.

Multimedia Google Earth placemarks

 Google Earth, ICT, Photographs, Teaching resources  Comments Off on Multimedia Google Earth placemarks
Feb 272006

Gavin Richards has extended my post on adding images to Google Earth windows with an illustrated article that explains how to incorporate a variety of digital assets into a placemark. Excellent effort Gavin!

Tom Biebrach has produced a kmz file linked to a geotagged video explaining Ogmore estuary. It’s a brilliant piece of work!


google earth placemarkdownload Ogmore estuary placemark