Using digital video in teaching materials


Section 1 – The benefits of video

Video has long been accepted as a valuable ...
•    Tailor made video clips can be produced to meet your specific
        teaching needs. This is particularly useful in ...
Large files take up more space and use up a lot of bandwidth when
being transferred across a network. As a consequence, it...
2. Video capture

Once you have shot your film you need to transfer it to the editing
computer – the process of “video cap...
As mentioned previously, it is better to use lower resolutions and
small viewable sizes where possible. Another way in whi...
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Section 1 – The benefits of video

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Transcript of "Section 1 – The benefits of video"

  1. 1. Using digital video in teaching materials Section 1 – The benefits of video Video has long been accepted as a valuable teaching resource. Among the benefits it provides are: • Richness of information - It can provide a clarity and explicitness not possible with words or still pictures alone • A medium learners are very comfortable with • A useful variation in delivery - can help keep learners attention and concentration when used alongside other delivery methods. • Ready-made and easily reusable/shareable resource • Video equipment is relatively simple to operate (most staff are familiar with using a TV and VCR) Until recently the use of video for teaching has tended to involve showing perhaps a 30 minute programme to the whole class, possibly pausing occasionally for discussion. Although this can very effective, there are some shortcomings including: • Learners can see a video as an opportunity to switch off and have a rest from the lesson • Differentiation is difficult when showing a video to the whole class • You are restricted to the programming and content chosen by the original producers. It may be that only some of the film is useful/relevant and that some material you need is not covered. • Editing can be tricky and copyright restrictions mean that you are often not allowed to selectively edit the film and produce copies Section 2 – Digital video Whilst the showing of video programmes will continue to be useful in the classroom (either on VHS or now on DVD), the advent of digital video (DV) brings a range of new possibilities for teaching and learning. Key benefits are: • It is now possible for non-experts to shoot footage, edit and produce fairly high quality results using a basic DV camcorder and a desktop computer. ©Brooksby Melton College B.Williams 02-05-04
  2. 2. • Tailor made video clips can be produced to meet your specific teaching needs. This is particularly useful in Further Education colleges, where there is often a shortage of appropriate materials for specialist vocational subjects • Copyright is not an issue when you have created the materials yourself • The finished clips are in digital formats and, as such, can be used in a variety of ways, most of which are not possible in VHS format: 1. As a stand-alone chunk of tuition to be viewed on its own 2. Inserted into a document, presentation, or web page. 3. Sent over the college network, perhaps via the Intranet, E- learning system or Virtual Learning Environment 4. For front of class delivery, via a digital projector or using an Interactive Whiteboard A major advantage of using digital materials such as DV clips is that they can be stored and reused in a range of ways including: • As a review or revision aid for an individual learner, accessed via the Intranet, from the computer’s hard-drive or a CD or DVD • As a resource, which can be used as-is or modified for use in different documents or presentations • To build complete, self-contained courses by combining a range of clips and associated materials. This can then be used for flexible, blended or distance learning packages • Direct from an E-learning repository (via the college network) delivered direct into the classroom. This can allow the showing of unplanned materials if the need arises during a lesson. So there are a lot of exciting possibilities for DV in teaching and learning. The next section explains the basic principles of creating and using DV. It also provides some important information about certain limitations and difficulties in doing this Section 3 - Creating video for teaching Although it is true that digital video can now be produced on inexpensive desktop equipment, there are still some important issues to consider. Probably the main one is that the file sizes produced by video clips can be very large (even a fairly short clip and take up a number of megabytes). It is unlikely, for example, that a clip of useful length would ever fit onto a floppy disc. ©Brooksby Melton College B.Williams 02-05-04
  3. 3. Large files take up more space and use up a lot of bandwidth when being transferred across a network. As a consequence, it is important to keep clips as short as possible and to compress the file or use a smaller viewable area (see below) The basic stages in producing a piece of digital video are: 1. Shoot some footage using a camcorder. Ideally you should use a digital camcorder as the output from this can be transferred directly to the computer. Analogue camcorders can be used, but you then need a computer with a video capture device that can convert the footage analogue to digital. 2. Capture the video on a computer (PC or Apple Mac) 3. Edit, using a software video editing package. 4. Add any other elements such as titles, voice-over dialogue or a soundtrack 5. Export (save) the finished product in a suitable format 1. Shooting your film Digital video cameras are available through the college’s Audio Visual service and can be booked by contacting the AV staff or making a booking request in the staff Information section of the Brooksby Melton “Hub” If you are confident about doing the filming yourself, the AV technician can provide you with guidance on how to use the camera as well as providing tips on planning and camera-work. If you need more help, the E-learning support technician can assist you. Tips on getting good results are available in the using Digital video guide on the Hub but some basic rules are: • Try to use a number of short clips, rather than one long one – this will make editing easier • Bear in mind that sound quality can be poor using the simple DV camcorders available, especially outdoors or wherever there is background noise. It may be better to leave the original soundtrack off and add titles or dialogue when editing • Camera shake can be very distracting and difficult to correct when editing – so always try to use a tripod • Keep it simple and informative. Consider the direct educational benefit of what you are doing at every stage Ask, yourself “does this section add anything useful?” – if not, leave it out ©Brooksby Melton College B.Williams 02-05-04
  4. 4. 2. Video capture Once you have shot your film you need to transfer it to the editing computer – the process of “video capture” The college has two editing suites available. The more advance provides a programme called Adobe Premiere, together with some powerful editing hardware. The simpler system, using Pinnacle Studio, can be quickly learned by inexperienced users and is probably the best option for simple video jobs Again, the E-learning support technician or the AV staff can assist you with video production. Detailed guidelines on this are also being made available in the Teaching and Learning section of the college Hub 3. Editing Once the video is captured, you can start editing it. The packages available allow what is termed “non-liner editing”. This means that you can move your clips onto a timeline then drag, cut, paste or copy to order them into the sequence you want. The length of individual clips can be varied and sections can be cut out and moved or removed. By doing this, you can produce a finished sequence that flows smoothly without any unwanted elements. 4. Enhancing your clip Titles can be added as text overlaid on the video. Soundtracks can be added, modified, and enhanced. Spoken dialogue can be recorded and used to annotate the film. It is also possible to add transitions between shots or add special effects, though it is unlikely that you will want to use these for normal instructional films. To find out more about the editing process and to receive basic training contact the E-learning support technician. 5. Exporting your clip Once you are happy with your work you need to render and export what you have done to be able to view the clip outside the editing programme. Video can be exported in the highest quality and with a large viewable area (i.e. at high “resolution”). However, working at the highest resolution can quickly produce massive files. This may prevent your video from being used over the college network and will use up storage excessive space. ©Brooksby Melton College B.Williams 02-05-04
  5. 5. As mentioned previously, it is better to use lower resolutions and small viewable sizes where possible. Another way in which file sizes can be reduced is by compressing you video into a different format. Video compression is a rather complex and technical subject but, when using a simple programme such as Pinnacle Studio, an understanding of the basic format differences is sufficient The main video formats used are: .avi – the maximum resolution format on for PCs (with Macs it is .mov). Typically, three minutes of footage in this format will consume about 1 gigabyte of space. Mpeg – comes in different versions (mpeg2, 3, 4). This is a heavily compressed format that produces much smaller file sizes but at lower resolution. It is good for small sized clips (rather than full screen) QuickTime. Good for viewing video online, but requires a separate media player (this is already installed on the college computers). Real Video Good for viewing video online, but requires a separate media player (this is already installed on most of the college computers). Streaming formats (e.g. Windows Media Video) – These are compressed to be optimised for video streaming, for use over networks including the Internet. In streaming the clip is not completely downloaded to your computer before it can be played. Instead, it can be viewed whilst it is downloading – the viewer starts watching the clip whilst the remaider is still arriving Inserting video clips into documents Video clips can easily been inserted into a range of documents and other programmes, including MS Word; PowerPoint; and Excel spreadsheets. For information on how to do this, see the separate guides (available in the Teaching and Learning area on the Hub) Using video in your teaching Ideas on how best to use video clips within teaching materials are also available on the hub ©Brooksby Melton College B.Williams 02-05-04

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