Friday, August 28, 2009

The Old Guy Goes Multimedia

For want of the correct adaptor, I was prevented from showing my Keynote presentation on "Apple Solutions for the 21st Century" at Madonna U. last week. Instead, I improvised, going directly to the Web for a "show & tell" of some online concoctions I've whipped up for my high school courses. I took a more or less chronological approach. It made me realize how I had evolved over the past 18 months. My progression is outlined here:

It all started with podcasts by phone. I made mp3 lectures with Gabcast for my Government class, and I began to require my students to report by podcast as well.

About 14 months ago, I began to integrate hyperlinks into my film study guides, illustrating concepts with photos and YouTube examples.

Exactly a year ago, I began using the Flip Mino I received for my birthday. I turned the camera on myself and started to record video directions for absent students. More significantly, I loaned the camera out to my AP Government students, so that they could vlog opinion pieces. Then their classmates blogged about these vlogs. The blogging feature of iWeb was perfect for this little enterprise.

In November, '08, I began to edit video movies with iMovie. I was very intimidated by this great software, but once again Atomic Learning helped me out.

In February, 2009, I taught my sophomores how to use wikis so that they could host their own multimedia resources. Many groups conducted interesting interviews and created short video pieces. Using iWeb I began creating exhibition pages for my students' multimedia work. I then shared the link with the editor of the school bulletin, The Mercy Memo.

I began podcasting with GarageBand. What an upgrade over Gabcast! ( Thanks for the tip, Andy Mann). And thank you, Rick Strobl for suggesting at Schuste's retirement party that I animate jpegs with PhotoToMovie. This was the best $50 I ever spent on software. Combining GarageBand mp3s with jpegs and turning them into movies has been a fun summer pastime.

Discovering that I could search for Library of Congress public domain photos on Flickr, further enhanced my ability to animate jpegs for instructional purposes.

I finally learned how to use Keynote. I had no idea that what I took to be slide show software could present so many multimedia options. This is my July and August preoccupation-- making moves using GarageBand (for soundtrack) and Keynote.

While I can't prove that my students are learning more after being fed with this stew of media, I know that I have, and I believe that I am modeling communication skills that they will need in their careers.

"Multimedia Message" (The cover of the May/June Communication Arts Magazine). Flickr Creative Commons photo by mwilke.


Rick said...

Some things are meant to be... it sounds like losing the adaptor was a blessing in disguise! This is one of your better blogs, my aging friend!

Larry Baker said...

Thanks, Rick. My wife pointed out to be that being required to submit a movie for ADE pushed me along the multimedia track too.

K. Koskela said...

I agree with the quality of this entry. However, I also sympathize with the glitch that kept you from your expected presentation! I plan to sit in on some of your classes where you introduce these applications to your students. I am on steep learning "hill" (no curve, just a huge hill!)and think the exposure might help motivate me to work harder at learning about them. Great job, Larry. Proud to say you're a colleague!

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