Monday, January 31, 2011

Using Video to Create Autonomous Presentations

This past week I have been learning to edit video.  I have used Photo Story 3 for about a year to create Ken Burns style video clips for class based out of the thousands of historic images that I have collected over the years.  My students respond pretty well to them, and they do equally well with quality Youtube videos. Last week while studying the Holocaust I found lots of good videos but the big problem was some of the imagery was too explicit for 8th grade students.  I also have a good number of DVD's and other long films but keying them up to just the right information and skipping through them takes valuable time.

Finally I found a great solution. Moyea's FLV editor Lite  is a free program that allows you to edit flv files quickly and easily.  It contains seperate lines for video and audio that can be trimmed and cut so that either or both can be removed or replaced.  Those shocking images from a documentary of Youtube video can be pulled out while the commentary remains in place.

If you have video that is in any other format then Quick Media Converter is my favorite App.  Its also free and simple to use.  It can change nearly any video file into anything else.  DVD into FLV no problem.

If your just looking to download and play Youtube videos Realplayer  has a video download function that allows you to download video from almost any website.  It has a trim function as well though it is not as advanced.

Here's an example.  All Quite on the Western Front  is available on Google video.  But its a two hour film and I only need two sections of it.  I wanted my students to know what life was like in the trenches of WWI, so I sat them on the floor in between two rows of desks in the dark.  First I had them read from Over the Top by Arthur Guy Empey 1917.

The read Chapter IV from the book, which is only about five pages long, and then we watched the trench scene from All Quiet that is presented below.  Afterward, they began writing letters home as if they were the soldiers in the trenches.

Untitled from Historyman8 on Vimeo.

I know they get more out of this than if I lecture or if they just read from a book.  In order to share their letters   they post them on their blogs as I mentioned in as previous post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


21st Century Presentation Literacy was not established as a regular posting forum, but I find myself feeling more responsible to the blogosphere to become a regular contributer.  I rarely make New Year's resolutions but this year I have decided to try to make more regular editions to the blog and to expand its scope to include more differentiated methods of presenting information in the educational environment.  From stand up presentations to website design everything educators do as learning leaders needs to be modeled and to be constructed with solid  presentation design.  The Periodic Table of Visualization below should help myself , an I hope others, craft presentations of any kind.

Special thanks to the people at for setting this up and for everything they do for "Communication, Engineering and Business".  Remember even if it doesn't say education we still need to find ways to enable our learners to develop these same skills.