Multimedia and Video Technology

Reading List:
Course Reflections:

Week 1:
Webinar: Introduction to course.
I love using technology, which includes incorporating multimedia components. The following quote was a confirmation for me. "In instructional design, the purpose of multimedia isn't just to incorporate multiple media, insert cool text, or add complexity (which can detract from learning). Use each medium to its advantage and to combine media so that the potential learning is greater and more effective than using single elements alone." It also gave me pause, because sometimes I teach students how to use these elements and do not think about how we combine the elements. I have a finished project in my mind, but most of the time I just want to cover everything so that students can have exposure to this powerful medium.
Our digital native students have grown up with multimedia and video from birth. We, on the other hand, have to catch up with them. They can all teach us a thing or two. Many of my students have FaceBook and MySpace pages. They know how to add elements to these sites. Many have posted to YouTube. They also know how to use Picasso to edit photos. We have to make sure they use each medium effectively.
I think visual graphics will help engage our students. I teach at the high school level. Most of my students want to get on a game as soon as they enter my classroom. For the past week they have been presenting a "This is Me" PowerPoint presentation which tells a little about themselves. Most of the presentations are very visually pleasing. Many know how to use colors and fonts in an appealing way. Many added sounds and animation. I had a few who did not have a clue what to do because they did not have BCIS and the last computer class they had was keyboarding in middle school. But, with a little instruction and peer tutoring, they were able to create great presentations. Quite a few of the students want to major in graphic design or computer game design. They are digital natives; this is the only world they know. We can guide them so that they are the next Martin Scorceses, with lots of imagination and skill.
Shank, P. (n.d.). Designing multimedia applications. Adobe Think Tank. Adobe Systems Incoroprated. Retreived August 23, 2010 from
Week 2:
"Whether you’re creating a Hollywood feature film or tightening a vacation video, the challenge is to take raw footage and within the limitation of equipment and budget, transform it into something compelling and watchable (Lonquist, 1994)." I found this quote memorable because I 'try' to edit videos of our Sunday worship services. I do try to transform what I have captured, raw video, into something compelling and watchable. This quote validates what I try to do with our worship videos.
It is hard to get students involved in their own learning. I teach high school students and I find myself backing away so that the students can do things on their own. I know that if I do everything for them they will never learn. Case in point, we were completing a command prompt activity from our textbook. I showed them every step up to the point where all the students had to do was follow the instructions in the book. Most wanted me to read and do the activity for them. This exercise, which should have taken about 5 minutes, took at least 10! This was only because some students could not follow the simple instruction of typing exactly what the textbook said to type. Those who did were frustrated and tried to show them; but most just waited for me to come around to help them read and type. They were very excited when it worked, but .... all I could do was sigh and smile. Someone had to let go of the bike or take off the training wheels for us to get the confidence to ride by ourselves. That is what I try to do with my students, facilitate learning, not continue to act like training wheels.
Final Word and Thoughts: This weeks assignment was very interesting. It caused me to open and use a program that I have had on my computer since I bought it about two years ago! Video editing is very challenging. Many times we forget what goes into creating what we see on the screen or hear on various venues. This exercise has given me a new appreciation for the craft and skill that is need to make multimedia meaningful, especiially for our students. I use multimedia, but just as a way to challenge students to explore what is available for them in the future. This week's lesson has made it even more imperative that I help my students prepare for a future that may include using the many multimedia options available. They are the digital natives. We have to tap into their natural desire to use technology. Multimedia is an excellent tool to that end.
Thanks, guys! I have been looking for video backgrounds and stock footage for videos I create. This will add artistic flair and, in the words of Janis Lonnquist, transform my videos into something compelling and watchable (1994).
Lonnquist, J. (1994, November). The art of the edit. Videomaker. Retrieved on September 1, 2010, from
Podcast and Blog at Podcast on
Week 3:
According to Marc Peters, "In the right hands, and with a lot of ingenuity, even the most dire of video can be made to look presentable." This quote was very relevant to me, not because I teach videography, but because I am one of the videographers for our church. Our productions are more "boot-leg" than professional; the information from this week's articles will help them look presentable and feel more professional.I must agree with all the comments regarding voice over narration. I did not realize it could be so hard. Then, when I received my grade, I realized that it is harder than I thought. I also had a lot of revisions in my script, I added and removed photos, I edited and re-edited everything. I felt that it was adequate, but I know it could have been better. It did not help that I had people coming and going, doors slamming, family asking me questions, all while trying to complete my photo story. This exercise helps me appreciate, even more, what I see and hear on the radio, television, and online!Dorothy, I like that quote ("Writing voice over narrations in a video." "Once upon a time, there was a video maker who presented a program for a group of writers. It was a good video program, well received. In fact, one writer remarked, 'You must have a very good video camera,' which happened to be true. Later, the same writer presented a paper on script writing to a group of video makers. The paper was acclaimed by all present. The video maker with the very good video camera (who had presented his program to the writers) remarked, 'You must have a good typewriter.'" (Lindenmeyer, 1995))also. I think that when students can collaborate on projects, they create a quality product. Peer editing and tutoring are definitely assets in the process of producing a video. Many times one person can not catch a mistake that another may see or hear right away.FINAL THOUGHTS/WORD: This week's assignment has been a little overwhelming. I am so very grateful to have people in my group who know what they are doing. I never envisioned that so much was involved in a great or even a mediocre multimedia production. I have learned that the angle from which you shot sends a message to your audience. I was more aware of shooting techniques while videotaping as a result of the information gained this week. I also learned that good video stories are the creative artistry of several skills blended together (Lindenmeyer, 1995). As I recorded today's service, I recorded with my storyboard edits in mind.Lindenmeyer, H. (1995, September). Writing voice-over narration for video. PSA Journal. Retrieved on April 9, 2009, from, M. (2006, April 18). Shoot to edit: A guide to using your camcorder. Digital Director. Retrieved April 6, 2009, from: /features/shoo-to-edit-aguide-to-using%20your%20camcorder-a184.html
Week 4:
Webinar: Questions regarding final PSA. Dr. Abernathy continues to encourage us by saying it will be alright. We'll see when its over.I had problems with my audio on the Photostory project. I found myself going back and forth just trying to adjust the volume of the audio track. I set it to the lowest volume I could hear, but when I would edit my transitions, the volume would change. There was no way to highlight the entire thing and adjust the volume. That may be why my voice sounds so far away while adding narration to my Photostory project.The information in this week's readings were a little technical for my taste. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the Adding stuff - the really big deal subsection in the article "Introduction - Editing for Beginners - Part 1." I have alway viewed the closing credits at the end a movies that include foley and never knew what it was or what the job entailed. I think it is pretty cool to be paid to be the person creating the "clothes rustling (body sounds), foot steps and objects being handled" sounds you hear in a movie.FINAL WORD: I finally downloaded Audacity so that I could play with it. This is an interesting program. I have so many programs on my computer I was leery about adding anything else. I did try some of the edits by working on a track I wanted to re-master. I think this may be software I will continue to use. It is a little complex and will require more in-depth study to become proficient at using it. But, it is worth a try.
Audacity. (n.d.). Introduction - Editing for beginners - Parts 1 – 4. 1(2). Retrieved April 21, 2009, from:

Week 5:
Discussion:Webinar: No new questions. The one I attended had no sound or video. It was very short.All quotes are from: Pixar University's Randy Nelson on Learning and Working in the Collaborative AgeThere were so many great quotes in this video. Like, "Mastery in anything, is an indicator of mastering in the thing you want to get done," and that "NASA looked for those who had failed and recovered and not those who avoided failure." The quote, "... proof of a portfolio vs. the promise of a resume," struck me as a powerful insight. I try to instill in and reinforce the need for a portfolio to my Web Technologies students. To me, a portfolio is proof of what you can produce as a Web designer. This is also true in this class, we have the proof of our product, not just the promise that we can produce.I love this quote ("Make your partner look good.")because it is what I heard when I was in industry. My boss always said when he looked good in front of his peers he would make sure I looked good. As a matter of fact, as a secretary in the 70's I was making more than $15 per hour. I tried to be to be really good at what I did. I have used this philosophy which I learned as a twentysomething secretary in the 70's in my classroom with my students. I want them to look good at everything they do.I liked this quote ("The core skill of an innovator is error recovery, not failure avoidance.")also. Sometimes I want to avoid failure, so I just do not try. I did the same thing to my students the first years of teaching. Playing it safe does not produce effective learners. Our students need to see that we do not know all the answers. This year, with the new CATE TEKS, they will see just that! I have to tell them often, as I am learning while teaching them new software, that I do not know all the answers, but we will learn together. So, yes, the important thing, in education and life, is learning. Especially learning from our mistakes.Final Thoughts and Word: I enjoyed the video by Pixar University's Randy Newman. He made so many valid points that are worth remembering. As a matter of fact, I plan to bookmark and share this video with my College Readiness classes. I like the fact that NASA did not try to find perfect astronauts for its first space flight. They did not hire those who had a perfect resume but no portfolio proof to support it. NASA avoided those who had "simply avoided failure," as stated by Newman. Many of our students do not like to try new things because they do not like to fail. When I re-entered the work force, it was at Lamar in the Telecommunications Department. One of the technicians told me that in order to learn, I would have to try and I would make mistakes. He also assured me that his job was to fix mistakes. We must encourage our students to push beyond their level of comfort. They like to be safe; they need to know that to simply avoid failure does not necessarily make you successful.
Nelson, R. (2008). Learning and working in the collaborative age: A new model for the workplace. Edutopia. Retrieved April 23, 2009, from