Thoughts on Movie Maker

I’m the kind of person who walks near the printer and makes it go haywire. So, you can imagine how hesitant I am about using special software to edit videos. With that being said, I can honestly say that the tutorial for Movie Maker makes it seem pretty straightforward, a phrase any technologically challenged person loves to hear.

I love that everything I need to use in Movie Maker can be found with just a quick search in Google or YouTube. I never knew that I’d be able to download and convert a video on my laptop. I also enjoyed the fact that cutting the video down to a usable piece seems to be easy and fast.

Finally, I was pleased to see that I didn’t have to jump through hoops with Movie Maker in order to get music and pictures in my videos. Not only will this come in handy in the coming weeks for school, but this will also be great for future presentations in my classroom one day.


Great Tips to have Great Photos

In a time that is filled with Instagram posts and Snap chat updates, it is clear that we love taking pictures of the world around us and videoing significant moments of our life.  It is also clear, however, that not all of these snapshots or videos are of the best quality.

That’s when tips from a professional, like Dave Walker, come in handy. In a presentation, Dave mapped out some some great strategies to turn even the worst photos into masterpieces. He covered several tips, but one of the best was how to properly light a photo or video. Walker suggest avoiding direct sunlight. Instead, he recommends shooting during the “golden hour” or in overcast weather.  Golden hour is the hour before the sun goes down, which casts a gold coloring over everything that is not as harsh as direct sunlight. It is also good to shoot in overcast weather because the clouds work to diffuse the harsh beams of the sun.

Walker also gave some great tips on shooting video. In a video, Walker says that it is best to cut the length by 2/3 of what we think it should be. For instance, if you think a video should be 10 minutes, it would be best to cut it to 3 minutes. These are just a few of the great tips presented to make anybody’s photos or videos better.


Technology in the Classroom

When it comes to education and technology, there are a lot of opinions. As the video points out, many people are unsure of the effectiveness of technology use in education. This video points out that there are several reasons that technology doesn’t work in education, but that each of these problems arise simply from the way it is used. The problems with technology mentioned really hit home with me, especially the fact that student data is only given to the student when it is too late to be used. The speaker, Richard Culatta, uses the example of a report card. Once the student sees the report card, the student can no longer do anything about their grade. If technology in education was being used properly this result could be avoided.

The speaker also states that, in the past, technology has only been used to digitize the things that we already have in textbooks or in lectures. This is why classrooms with technology are currently providing the same results in students as classrooms without that technology. I know that personally this has always been an issue for me. If a teacher has a PowerPoint of the lecture, it’s never much different from what’s being shown in the textbook. Culatta shows in his lecture that we can get more out of our technology in the classroom by allowing it to provide personalized instruction, give timely feedback, and vary the pace of the instruction.  All of these are critical aspects of education and, through the use of technology, can be extremely beneficial in the classroom.

If you would like to watch the video for yourself, be sure to check it out below.

Reimagining Learning