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Student college experience videos – produced using mobile phones

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j-white
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« on: February 19, 2008, 10:43:28 PM »

I am looking for some advice relating to an aspect of mobile phone use in Further Education. I am setting one of my computing groups the extension activity of producing a video of their experiences at their college, for use by new students in the next academic year. Hopefully, the videos will include what facilities and features they like/dislike about the college environment to provide a student perspective. The plan is for the students to use their cameraphones to take photographs, and perhaps even video clips, which will be ‘stitched’ together with titles, music and narration via Microsoft Movie Maker. The resultant movie file will be converted into alternative formats via www.mediaconverter.org , or a similar website, for playback on mobile devices, such as mobile phones, MP4 players and PSPs. Distribution will be via Bluetooth or as a download from the college website.
I have the use of a laptop (RM One, Microsoft Windows XP Professional). I have already setup a Bluetooth dongle and various card readers, to allow transfer of files onto the laptop.
I would be very grateful for any website links to videos produced by students completing the above task. I would also be very grateful for ideas on extending the above task, or activities linked to it.
I have the use of two GPS-enabled PDAs (HP iPAQ hw6915 Mobile Messenger and Mio P550) as well, but would prefer to concentrate on mobile phone use initially.
Any advice would be gratefully received
Many thanks
Jonathan
Incidentally, a different group I teach, who all have learning difficulties, have recently produced an audio trail around the college (  www.symbolworld.org/learning/life_skills/it/audio_trail/audio1.htm ), amongst other computer related activities: www.symbolworld.org/learning/life_skills/index.htm  .
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danmoorhouse
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 08:43:20 AM »

Hi Jonathon.

I've discussed a similar idea with a couple of people on here. The one I'm planning is for a historical site but the basics aare pretty much the same as what you're planning.

The add on that was suggested to me that appears to be feasible and really useful would be to then add in links to a mobile blog or poll so that the students could then go away and add varied comments / reflections on different aspects of (in your case) the campus. That way theres a good audio visual site that students have (hiopefully) enjoyed creating but also something that is useful in the longer term for gathering student opinions etc.

I'm still playing around with ideas about how best to put it all together - I've got some classes that have PDA's and others that will be using mobile phones for it. Some of the downloads in the resources section look pretty andy for that side of things, and some of the mobile applications run by people who visit here would do the job very well.

Would be good to see the finished product. I'll pass on details of mine when I get it finished and online.
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neil@wildkey
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008, 10:58:02 AM »

Hello Jonathan
You might want to think about using WildMap (particularily with the GPS enabled Mios but will work on any WM phone)....we have used this before with pupils to record the areas they like about their school....whats good about this is that the information is portrayed as a trail on the handheld...so the information is spatially set out....if the devices have GPS the user can see where they are and access the relevant interest point (if no GPS they can just click on the points as per a digital map)...WildMap allows people to establsh an initial trail of interest points which the pupils can then add to in the field...content includes images, video, audio, weblinks, quizzes etc...any information created in the field can also be converted into a webpage (see www.wildkey.co.uk/heligan/ for a recent example from a training day we undertook) ..we will be using this software with special needs students at Aylesbury as we have built up some experinece in this area...see http://www.educationbusinessuk.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=336&Itemid=3
regards
Neil
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j-white
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 08:12:49 PM »

Thank you so much for kindly responding to my query. I started the activity with the group this afternoon. I showed the students an example of a promotional video produced by my college, along with www.reaseheath.ac.uk/video/options.html and www.thomas-hardye.dorset.sch.uk for comparison. If you type college experience video into Google (http://tinyurl.com/2syy6y), there are several examples, which can be downloaded or are embedded for playback online. I recommend VLC media player (www.videolan.org/vlc), if your downloaded video will not work.
The group consists of fourteen students, so were split into two groups of five and a group of four. Each group was given a different ‘zone’ of the college to record, to avoid replication and allow each group to edit their section.
Equipment-wise two of the groups had one camera phone per group, but the memory card on the camera phone of the third group was full, so they borrowed one of the backup digital cameras I’d brought along.
The groups were encouraged to take digital stills. I’d discovered that camera phones use 3GP format for video so although not discouraged, I’m hoping that the digital camera will be used for video as the models we have record in AVI format, which can be imported directly into Microsoft Movie Maker 2 without conversion.
I gave them twenty minutes to start to record their zone. The footage has been transferred, via Bluetooth and memory card reader, to a folder on the laptop. The results were variable in terms of both resolution and quality. Next week I will check their camera phone settings for picture size (e.g. VGA, 1 megapixels, 2 megapixels, 3 megapixels) and picture quality (e.g. Normal, Fine) before they leave the room. A few tips on taking better pictures would also be advantageous! Unfortunately, none of the camera phones possessed a screwfitting, so a tripod cannot be used.
When the footage is gathered and edited there will be a discussion about whether to have narration, titles etc and/or a (copyright free) soundtrack.
I may use a graphics tablet with freeware screen capture software (AviScreen Classic, www.bobyte.com) to ‘record’ their signatures or add alternative titles.
The students involved have already said they would like the resultant video to be converted into mobile phone format (e.g. 3GP), so they can distribute it to friends, family etc via Bluetooth. I am considering getting them to produce a questionnaire to record the feedback.
I hope to use the two GPS-enabled PDAs to follow-up the ideas suggested, along with other ideas such as mediascapes (www.createascape.org.uk) and geotagging. I also hope to glean information from Futurelab (www.futurelab.org.uk) as well.
Any further advice would be gratefully received
Many thanks
Jonathan
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j-white
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 08:58:38 PM »

I continued with the activity with the same group this afternoon. The students used the blog feature within PebblePad (www.pebblepad.co.uk), which is password-protected, online, “ePortfolio” software. They were asked to include the information below in their blog:
1.   How did you plan the activity?
2.   Who is in your group?
3.   What make and model of camera phone (or digital camera) did your group use?
4.   What type of memory card does it use?
5.   What format are the photographs?
6.   What format is the video?
7.   Which ‘zone’ of college did you record?
8.   Which zones did the other groups record?
9.   How were the images and video transferred to the laptop?
10.   What software will be used to edit the video?
11.   How will the video be converted into alternative formats, such as 3GP?
Their entry could only be a maximum of 200 characters, so they had to be concise.

One of the groups added their photos to Microsoft Movie Maker 2, rearranged their order and added some transition effects.

Next week all the groups will take further photos within their ‘zone’ at the college.

Extension activities could include:
a)   Use the World Wide Web to research other student college experience videos.
b)   Design a questionnaire to record people’s opinions about your student college experience video.

Incidentally, the college audio trail I mentioned in my original post, which was produced by a different group I teach, who all have learning difficulties is now available for download. It can be downloaded from the ‘Our Space’ part of my college’s website, within the Tour section: www.s-cheshire.ac.uk/new_scc/spotlight/entrylev/home.htm . The next stage is to make the audio trail into an 'audio-visual trail', as they're currently taking photos along the same route. They will add them, along with the above MP3 file, to Microsoft Movie Maker, save the file, then convert it into alternative formats via www.mediaconverter.org , or a similar website, for playback on mobile devices, such as mobile phones, MP4 players and PSPs. Distribution will be via Bluetooth and/or as a download from Our Space.

Jonathan
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j-white
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 10:37:36 PM »

This week’s session started with a recap of the activity thus far, which covered the five stages of development:
1. Planning – using paper-based mind maps (I would experiment with a freeware mind mapping program, such as FreeMind - http://sourceforge.net/projects/freemind - next time).
2. Recording - camera phones/digital cameras.
3. Editing - Microsoft Movie Maker 2.
4. Conversion - www.mediaconverter.org .
5. Distribution – Bluetooth/Web.
The students used the blog feature within PebblePad again to view their blog from last week, and then send (share) their blog with other members of their group.
A map of the college campus (www.s-cheshire.ac.uk/new_scc/aboutus/find_us/campus.htm) was projected onto a dry wipe board and a member of each group was asked to write the groups initials next to their ‘zone’ of the college, to reaffirm which area they were photographing during the session.
The students were reminded to use their own initiative and take camera phone images during the week, as the fundamental idea of the project is to develop their perspective of the college.
Jonathan
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j-white
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2008, 09:31:40 PM »

This week’s session started with advice on taking better photographs. I copy typed the text below onto a PowerPoint slide and discussed each point in turn:
“Tips for better pictures
1.     Hold the camera still
2.     Focus on the right thing
3.     Think about composition
4.     Zoom in close
5.     But don’t get too close
6.     Make sure there’s enough light
7.     Don’t shoot into the light
8.     Check the background
9.     Beat shutter lag
10.  Shoot more not less”
Text above taken from ‘Digital Photography: Point, Click and Create’ Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (6 Oct 2005). ISBN: 1405307110.
Photographs taken during the week were transferred via memory card reader and Bluetooth to the central laptop, where all the photos/video are being stored.
The students joined their groups and were given 30 minutes to take their photographs within their zone.
The students used the blog feature within PebblePad to discuss why they had taken a particular photo, such as was it a place they go for relaxation between lessons, or was it a best friend at the college.
After Easter it has been suggested that all the photos could be sorted via zone by putting them into separate folders or renaming them in such as way as to be easily recognisable. This should make importing them into Microsoft Movie Maker a little easier; although they could also be put in order via the Timeline feature.
Jonathan
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j-white
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 03:46:10 PM »

The extension activity of producing a student college experience video using mobile phones has now finished.

All the photos and video clips on the central laptop were sorted via ‘zone’ by putting them into separate folders and then renaming them. When added to Microsoft Movie Maker 2, they could easily be put into sequence. Tags (Title Overlays) were then added to each sequence of photos. It was decided that a soundtrack (mp3) would be used instead of narration.

The Media Converter (www.mediaconverter.org) website was used to convert the saved Microsoft Movie Maker file into MP4 and 3GP formats, plus others as required. Distribution was via memory card reader and/or by Bluetooth.

A Project Evaluation was given to each student, which included the questions below:
•   I enjoyed...
•   I used...
•   I am pleased with...
•   I am now able to...
•   I feel more confident about...
•   I paid a lot of attention to...
•   When I started I...
•   I have improved...
•   I should have...
•   Next time I will...

Jonathan
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j-white
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 10:57:13 PM »

Incidentally we sourced the soundtrack (mp3) music from a website called Dance-Industries (www.dance-industries.com) , which consists of, “Free mp3 download of copyleft dance music”.
The artist, track title and Dance-Industries website address were credited at the end of the student college experience video.
For the record (no pun intended) ‘Friends 4 Ever’ by DJTranceBass (http://www.dance-industries.com/view_artist.php?ID=2802&track=24758) was used for the main music and ‘Lost in Sunset’ by Dark Matter (http://www.dance-industries.com/view_artist.php?ID=902&track=7641) for the end credits.
Thanks
Jonathan
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