For the most part, this is all cool. But sometimes, I feel kind of out there alone, floundering around. Since students are used to Skyping, chatting, or creating quick video messages for Facebook with their computer cameras, they don't necessarily arrive to class with high production values for their assignments. As I posted recently, our school has no universal standards for video, so I sort of make them up on the fly.
Colleagues present a different type of frustration. Thanks to the mandate by our administration, each academic department will make a short presentation about their curriculum to the entire staff. Thus, both of my departments have approached me for technical help, so that we can look hip and with it (There is considerable irony in this, since both groups have been slow to embrace techie stuff). Well, I recently made a suggestion to one department and posted in to our ning:
I propose that we include a 4-5 minute video that features the projects we do. . . . .The video would be composed of 40-50 still photographs and a voice-over narration. Each member would identify a cool project he or she does and collect some digital photographs that capture it.. . . . I am willing to edit the video but would like someone else to quilt the narrative pieces together into a whole script. I can then work on cutting down the photos or narration to fit the project.
I suggested we get started immediately. Well, you can still file this one under Procrastination.
Finally, since so many staff members are unfamiliar with actually creating videos themselves they have an anything-is-wonderful level of discernment for student creations. This semester, I have attended two all-school assemblies where student created videos were projected for the entire student body (at the request of adults, I'm sure). They were awful. In one case the editing was sloppy; in another case the sound was dreadful. The problems were so basic that the productions would never have been approved in other mediums. But since they were videos, it was assumed that something sort of YouTubish would communicate to our student body.
All things tech seem to evolve at a glacial pace in education, including minimal expectations.
"with fear in my eyes . . ." Flickr Creative Commons photo by ifranz