Well, here we go with another blog post for ECMP 355! This week we had the opportunity to explore some apps and other forms of technology which could be used in the classroom. Picking just one thing to look into, where I had time to invest in it and that I had never used before, was kind of a challenge. However, I did manage to find something!
Looking at the list of things we could explore, I was naturally attracted to the technology which deals with audio/video editing. I just find working with that stuff really fun. After all, I am a little musical and it’s kind of nice to have that stuff in my back pocket. 😉 Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the exact thing I felt like playing around with. My first choice would have been audacity, because I use and play around with that all the time, but a requirement of the assignment was to pick something we are unfamiliar with. So, there went that idea. My next idea was to get the GarageBand app and try to use it. There was only one problem. It is an Apple product and I have been a PC/android guy for the last few years. No problem; I have an iPod. So off to iTunes I went, pressed the install button, and…hit a road block. Your iPod is too old. iTunes can’t download this app.
What now? Well, as Wile E. Coyote would say “back to the drawing board.” Thinking about this, I knew that in the future I would be making videos for my learning projects in both ECMP355 and and EMUS202. After a little searching, I found a website that might just do the trick.
WeVideo was it. And after searching around for some project ideas that I could use it for, I decided to make an audio book.
Alright. So now that I had a chance to play around with it, there are somethings that I think I would like to say about it.
- Pros – Right from the start, I found the program really easy to navigate.
For me, it had a low entry point, and I am not all that tech savvy. Things are laid out nicely and are easy to find – simple. I like that. The other thing that I liked was that it had pre-recorded sounds that you could use. Those are the sounds you hear in the background, under my voice. Using those sounds, is what made using this program enjoyable.
- Cons – Unfortunately, outweigh the pros from my perspective. The first issue I had was with recording the audio to put over top of the pictures. As far as I could find, there was no way to edit it if you made a mistake while reading, and I did – more than once. That meant re-recording the whole thing, even if you messed up at the end of the book. So I used audacity instead to record and edit the audio, saved it as an mp3, and imported it into WeVideo. That was much easier. The next thing I found out was that you can’t change the speed of the recorded video, unless you subscribe. That doesn’t work for my future projects. Processing speed was another issue. When I went to “finish” my video, it took 15 minutes to process the video and it’s only a 3 minute video. However if I paid more, it would be instant! Finally, I feel like the final quality of the video, after it was processed, was not that great. It was both blurry and has a big watermark on it. Again, money would solve those problems. But why pay, when there are ways to get the same thing for free?
- Classroom Use – I wouldn’t use it in the classroom. But I mean, I am pretty picky after all. Depending on the technology available, I would either use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. However, there are so many ways that technology, similar to this, can be used in the classroom. Students can write and record personal narratives, preform skits, or deliver a speech. They could also record interviews or make How-To videos. The opportunities are endless, but if you are interested, here are a few more great ideas.