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odds and ends

July 17, 2010

We are into the norm video project and still I haven’t prepared my students well enough for it. In other words, I want them to do certain things like present their videos with an introduction, explanation, and conclusion, but I didn’t make it clear so we are behind. Being behind doesn’t bother me as much as my not giving them enough information. I certainly won’t penalize them for my error. However, the more we do this project, the more things I find that I need to tweak to make it a better experience for them. For example, one group is really struggling with editing their video. I provide links to several sites that offer tutorials, but the student trying to edit the video said he watched them but still couldn’t get either MovieMaker or iMovie to work for him to do what he wanted. I feel his pain because I had a similar experience this week. I guess I need to try out more things with MovieMaker so I can give better guidance. I also think I should give better directions to the groups for organizing their work, i.e., suggest more that certain people take responsibility for parts of the project.

One of the oddest things that happened occurred when I imported their first video. I imported their video to my computer because they used the school’s camera to shoot their video. This camera needs a firewire hookup, and the only one available is on my computer. So I imported the video to my computer, but somehow some of the music that was in a video I was working on ended up in one of their clips. I saved the video and copied it to one of the student’s flash drive. When they went to edit their move, we could not get the music out, and it was not appropriate to their video. They reshot the whole video. Importing the music with the video definitely was the oddest thing about this project.

I should note that the only group of the three that presented their video project today did a very fine job.

The end part of the title is that one of the part-time teachers has decided to quit teaching for us. We have taught together for the last ten years. She is a very special teacher who always got her students to perform beyond expectations. She also brought to the group of part time teachers a good balance and challenged us all when we were tempted to relax our standards. I will miss her because she brought both heart and professionalism to the classroom and to our group of teachers.
Best of luck, Barbara.

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