For my final blog entry for the Teaching Multimedia course, I thought I’d write briefly about the lesson plan I developed for the final project. You can find it above in the "How to use Picasa Lesson materials" page.
One of the multimedia tools I think my students would use the most, and would probably get the most views on their website, is a slideshow. They offer a great delivery system for student media. Most people want to see as many photos as possible anyway, so it makes sense to write a lesson over how to compose them.
When we created our own slideshows in this class, I found Picasa to be a pretty intuitive program. I thought it would be the perfect program to create a lesson and Camtasia video over. The idea is to have students view different examples of slideshows on other student media websites, analyze them, come up with their own ideas about a photo story, shoot, edit, create and post a slideshow.
I have 90-minute classes at North Kansas City High School, so three class periods ought to be enough time, considering the student will have a day in between each class period to work. I’ll have to see how this goes when I try it. Sometimes my estimates on timeframes work out, sometimes not.
When I first wrote the lesson, I thought two days would be enough time. After adding other elements and working through the assignment sheet and rubric, I came to realize it wasn’t. I hope the new length works out.
Camtasia itself was pretty easy to use, especially after viewing the tutorials. I wanted to explore more options and animations while editing my video, but I remembered that sometimes, simplicity is better.
One thing that I need to keep in mind is that I don’t need to be perfecting when reading my script. I started over on the recording at least six times before I realized that I could skip over any errors in the editing phase. My initial recording was around six minutes, 40 seconds. After editing out errors and long, long pauses, I ended up with a four minute, 17 second video. Not a bad first effort.
I tried to keep in mind that many people don’t have very long attention spans. Four minutes may be a bit too long, especially when compared against the tutorials I watched in Camtasia. But I really don’t know how I could have made it any shorter.
In the end, I think the Camtasia video will really help my students. One of the great shortcomings of trying to demonstrate tasks live is that you can’t pause, rewind, and watch again. With Camtasia, my students can watch the tutorial at their own pace, stopping and watching again as needed.