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Odds and Ends

June 3, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I made a video using Jing, a free screen recording application from Techsmith.  It is a quick way to make videos for student use.  This very amateurish video is about a few sites on-line where a person can store files.  I made it for my students so they would have places to store files.  Among the file sites are Windows Live, which can be accessed with a Hotmail account, Google Docs, Office Live, which can be signed up for with a Hotmail account, Box.net.  Here is the video.

I have recorded student presentations this summer with my family’s video camera.  We bought a video camera when my wife and daughter traveled to the Philippines last Christmas break.  We bought a Sony Handycam.  It looks something like this one.

What I have enjoyed is saving the videos on the memory stick and uploading the movies to Windows MovieMaker from the Memory Stick.  It beats dealing with cables.  I checked out a camera at school, but I can’t use it at school because when they gave me a new computer, the firewire card wasn’t transferred and the camera they gave me, an older Sony, requires firewire connectivity.  I can do it at home on my Mac, but the camera also doesn’t take good video in lowlight which the students love to use to bring out their PowerPoint presentations.  The Handycam does a good job in lowlight. 

One student today made a presentation in which he showed how to solve the Rubic cube in class.  He messed it up and restored it during his presentation without losing his cool.  That was an impressive presentation! 

Tomorrow, I am planning on trying to build a lesson around the students analyzing persuasive videos.  The theme is going to be built around the ocean.  I am going to start with a story from PBS Newshour about the plastic covering a large area of the Pacific Ocean.  Then I am going to show Mike deGruy’s talk, Hooked by an octopus.

From this I will have them analyze the talk for effectiveness of persuasion by having them examine the logical and factual development, the emotional effects, and the recommendations and evaluate them. 

If we have time, we will also analyze The Story of Stuff video for its persuasive effectiveness.  This is leading up to their next video project, an issue video.

With the video about plastics in the ocean, I have written a quiz in PowerPoint to use with the video. With this quiz, I am going to use the iclickers I checked out for the summer session.  I have done this two times already and have found them revealing as the students don’t get as many questions correct as they seem to before I used them and just did informal polls.  Using them has led me to making more short video activities in class that give more listening practice. 

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