The e-learning exercise for the second week of EDUC5860 – Issues in Digital Technology in Education was to explore YouTube and other video services that are commonly available on the web and to try creating a video and posting it to YouTube. The topic of the video had to relate to the class or to your area of study. For people who have created videos in the past and used YouTube it was suggested that they additionally attempt to include captioning with their video in order to provide greater accessibility.
From Analog to Digital
I chose to tell the story of my own elearning journey. It began when I was much younger and trying to teach myself to draw, before the Internet existed in everyone’s home. There was no way I could have known that the Internet would come along just about the time I was starting university, and that through personal interest, exploration, and determination I would begin to develop and coalesce a wide array of skills that are only becoming more and more relevant as the digital age of the twenty-first century emerges.
Here is my video:
The tools I chose to put together my video for this assignment included iMovie, Garage Band, and Blue’s Snowball microphone. iMovie and Garage Band are both Apple products and while I’ve used much more elaborate and professional video editing software – my undergraduate degree is in Film & Video Production – I find that iMovie is perfectly fit for the purpose of this assignment and the needs of most people who are making short, relatively simple videos for the web. iMovie is simple and intuitive, making it easy to learn and frustration free. The ideal mix of simplicity and power has always been a hallmark of Apple products and it is their main strength when it comes to creating tools that can be used for education. Garage Band, for instance, is a piece of software I’ve never used before, but within five or ten minutes of fiddling with it I was up and recording my narration for this video. Now, if only I had the voice of Morgan Freeman.
Like most other social media platforms, YouTube is also relatively simple to use. In fact, simplicity and intuitiveness are an absolute necessity of any social media channel because if people cannot figure out how it works, it will be very short-lived. Having used YouTube plenty in the past I took on the added challenge of adding captioning to my video. Rather than let YouTube automatically interpret my audio and determine what I’m saying on it’s own, I uploaded the exact text I read from to record my voice over. YouTube the automatically timed the wording to my voice over so that the appropriate captions are displayed below the right images. Despite having seen and heard many YouTube captioning catastrophes, my method seems to have worked rather effectively.
With this video I wanted to employ storytelling as a method for teaching since I’ve been so obsessed with stories for my whole life. I firmly believe that storytelling is one of the best and easiest ways to teach as well as one of the oldest. Stories are enjoyed and respected world wide by all cultures. Social media is actually just another way to tell stories, which is one of the main reasons it has become so popular. Social media puts the power of storytelling in the hands of everyone and gives us all a voice that we can publish in various multimedia formats. One of the powers of video is that you can show rather than tell. Video makers and filmmakers can layer meaning between what is being shown on the screen and what is being heard. Sometimes they can reinforce one point and other times they can combine to create new meaning. What I showed in my video was the progression of my artistic development while simultaneously telling about the technological advances that allowed my exploration of art and learning to take place. Showing the progression of my artwork from traditionally hand drawn to digitally drawn also reinforces the impact technology over time. This brings me to another unique quality of working with video and that is the ability to manipulate space and time. Time is the element I played with the most in this video, first by showing images of bygone eras, technologies, and popular culture iconography, and secondly in the time lapse segment where I’ve shown the entire process of creating a cartoon drawing on an iPad from start to finish at a highly sped up rate.
For many, working with video can be a difficult and sometimes frustrating process. A lot of training and understanding about visual storytelling and technical processes is needed in order to make the most effective videos. However, services like YouTube and applications such as iMovie are helping to teach people around the world these necessary digital skills. Tools that were once exclusive to mass media conglomerates and Hollywood, are now in the hands of everyone.