Sunday, October 27, 2013

Walking the Walk - Creating video for students with only an iPad

Next year my school will begin it's 1:1 iPad program. We're starting slow with only the freshman class, so it will take us four years before we're totally 1:1. I've been tasked with helping get teachers ready for the flood of technology headed our way. One of the ways I've been doing this is through iTunes U courses for professional development. One of these is Flipping with an iPad.

I've been making videos to use with my students for years on my computer with Camtasia Mac using a Bluetooth Wacom tablet and Sankore for annotating on the screen. But these take me a while to make. A lot of this time is spent in the set up. I've been urging some teachers to lecture less in class and to use videos as replacements. I know lecture is not the best way to deliver content, but when starting a revolution we have to begin somewhere. So I decided to make a series of videos using only my iPad so I would have a much better idea of what was involved. I'll be adding all of my lessons learned to my iTunes U course. 

I'll call these videos Quickcasts, not because they're short, but because I want to make them quickly. The goal for a 5-10 min video will be no more than 20-30 min from set up to upload. This first one took a bit longer than that, but future ones will go much quicker. I learned a lot getting it together. Here's how I did it.



I used Explain Everything to capture all the video and screen writing. I used the Notier stylus for annotating and drawing. I've tried many styluses and this one works best for me. Over the years I've become more of an audio snob with my videos, so I have to have a microphone. I used the Rode smartLav. This was the first time I used it, so I still have a bit to learn about proper placement and such. My next video should sound better. On a side note, I've also played with the microphone built into my iPhone ear buds, I'm not sure how much better the Rode microphone is.

I also used Explain Everything to create the intro clip. It was too slow so I wanted to speed it up. Unfortunately iMovie on my iPad 2 could only slow down the video, not speed it up. I'm not sure if newer iPads can speed up video or not. So I took the clip into Pinnacle Studio to double the speed. I could have finished the video here, but I wanted to gain some experience with iMovie on my iPad, so I took the clip back to iMovie. All of our teachers already have iPads with iMovie.

The intro music was created in NodeBeat HD. This is a fun little app that I picked up a couple years ago while it was free. Moving audio around on an iPad can be problematic, but I was able to email the file to myself from NodeBeat and then import it to my project in iMovie. I could have used GarageBand to create the intro as well. Then I rendered the video to my camera roll and used YouTube Capture to upload. It is possible to upload directly from iMovie, but I also wanted the saved video file to drop into my iTunes U course anyway.

Next time I will position my microphone differently so the levels won't be too high. The intro clip with music is done so I'll just reuse it again. I may also spend a little more time prepping slides in Explain Everything so the video itself can be shorter. While nice at times, students don't need to watch me write every word on the screen in real time.

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