Tag Archives: toolkit

Multimedia & Authoring: Video

Video authoring can suck the time right out of your hands.  Hours can be spent shooting, editing, finding the perfect transition and music. 

Movie Maker I have used numerous times, however since the switch to Windows Live Movie Maker I had been avoiding it because it looked different.  However after HAVING to sit down and play it is basically the same.  One issue I am having is that Live Movie Maker is not allowing imports from network drives.  I am trying to isolate this to a network problem or a new feature in Movie Maker.  It is not a bad idea, Movies tend to have large amounts of data stored and this is better done locally.  Problem is that it goes against everything we have every taught our students.

My short example, we are still doing post production on this, so I would call this my first edit.  I have figured out transitions, music, fading all over again.

On my hit list for months has been Camtasia.  Teachers have been asking for some Moodle how-tos, so I thought I would kill two birds. I downloaded the 30 day trial and I think I am hooked.  The interface will take a little getting used to and I need some practice selecting clips to apply zooming to.  So here is my first attempt, another work in progress.

Multimedia and Authoring Tools: Audio

Audacity is a tool that I have had in my toolkits for a couple of years.  While I use it occasionally, I tend to set my students loose on it much more frequently.  Uses include an interview tool, oral response and most recently to have elementary aged children reading books.  The book reading is serving two purposes: a digital repository of books for “listening to reading” and a part of that child’s e-portfolio.

Where I am struggling with podcasting is finding the an appropriate moodle plugin.  Up until recently we used Podcast Activity module, but with load balancing servers this would not work.  IT also does not like this module because it is unsecure.  The suggestion found at Moodle is to use a MP3 attached to a forum post to generate the RSS required.  Has anyone tried this?  Does it work?

I find using audacity is not very labour intensive and very easy to use.  Even the most novice user is familiar with the record, stop and export interface.  The challenge for me is to now make the next leap to publicly publishing in iTunes.  Included in this is ensuring that any music loops and sounds are properly cited properly and have the correct attribution license for reuse. 

I will say that alongside Audacity I also use other web 2.0 tools for audio.  Some that I have found success with have been:

Babberize Me


Multimedia and Authoring Tools: Still Images

Picnik Editing

I will admit I was not expecting much with Picasa.  I am instantly turned off by anything that requires a download and install, a result of my k-12 profession.  We tend to rely on software that is supported and installed, Microsoft Picture Manager, or tools that are free online like Pixlr .  However, I was impressed and ended up downloading it onto both my machines and looking for an app for my iPhone.  Great new tool in my arsenal.

 When I started the photo editing I was online in my Picasa album, click on edit and it took me to Picnik .  While this was not the assignment, I spent a fair amount of time playing around.  It has some basic tools to crop, resize and editing as well as some funky additions like buttons and fangs that students would appreciate.  I also liked how saving here brought the image back to your Picasa album.   As our school division explores cloud computing options, the integration of Picasa and Picnik is a definite plus. 

 After downloading Picasa and playing around for a bit three things impressed me.  First the ability to edit an image and publish it to your blogger blog or twitter.  Since I have multiple blogger blogs this will save me a lot of time.  Second was the collage feature which I have been looking for.  It is as simple as my favourite app Strip Design  for creating drag and drop collages.  Now I don’t have to do it on my phone.  The third feature, which I need to spend more time exploring was the movie creation.  Could this be a tool that is more stable than Windows Movie Maker?  I will need to add this to my to-do list. 

 Overall I was impressed with Picasa as a photo editing tool, which surprise me!  It was very intuitive and for those of us that already live in the google cloud, it adds to the seamlessness of my online life.