Sunday, September 26, 2010

Multimedia PSA Group Project

During this course I was given the opportunity to examine multimedia and video production. I created a digital story and used Windows Movie Maker to create a movie from still digital images. I researched and evaluated open source video editing software and worked with others in my class on a video production PSA (public service announcement) project.

I envisioned that I would be able to learn to use video and audio editing software during this course and I feel that I achieved those outcomes. I also wanted to explore using screen capture which I did on my own separately from the required assignments for the course.

The ability to use video editing software is very relevant to the work that I do because I manage our program website and will be able to create and add some resources that will aid students in reaching their educational goals. I can add videos to an online course on financial literacy which I am working to develop. I can video students participating in program events and cultural trips. I can also share the tools that I am using and help students use these tools to create projects to be used in presentations for their coursework.

I think the main outcome that I did not achieve was getting more practice in actually editing video clips. This will take some practice but is something that I know I can find tutorials and resources to aid me in doing.

I feel that I was successful in completing the course assignments. I was discouraged by the fact that the updated syllabus did not correspond to what was in the courseware and seemed to be confusing to my classmates when posting on the discussion board. The large number of students in the current class made it difficult for me to find time to read all their posts and get to know some of them better. I really enjoyed working in a group on the PSA project and was encouraged by the quality of work that we were able to produce.

Something I learned about myself from this course was the fact that I am becoming more confident in my leadership abilities and in my technology skills. I am getting faster at posting links and writing content. My attitude toward collaboration has changed from when I first started the degree program. I actually looked forward to the group project this time and took more of a leadership role than in the previous group experience.

Multimedia Week 5: PSA Post-Production

In our readings this week for the course, I watched a video on Edutopia entitled Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age: A New Model for the Workplace.  Randy Nelson, the Dean of Pixar University, stated “The core skill of innovators is error recovery not failure avoidance.”

When I first started this Master’s program I had a fear of failure, but I didn’t let my fears cause me to abandon my dream of furthering my degree. Failure can be the best motivator at times because it causes us to refocus on what our goals are and find new ways to achieve them. In my opinion we need to educate teachers and students that failure is not something to be avoided but is sometimes the best object lesson available to us. In practicing my multimedia skills during this course, I made a lot of mistakes, but with each mistake I learned something valuable that will help me improve my technology skills over time.

This week our team was not able to find a workable time to all meet together so we largely communicated by emails and Emily P. and I met on on Thursday night according to our project schedule. Emily P. and I discussed the Rough Draft #3 of the PSA. We both agreed that Michael A. did a great job of editing our PSA.

Michael showed rough draft #3 to a friend that composes film scores who suggested using one theme only since the PSA is so short. Michael unified the music in rough draft #3 and added it to the dead parts. He also added the credits to the end of the PSA this week. Emily P. added the talent releases for both actresses to the “files” section of our Google site this week and added modifications to the script outline in red. Michael A. created a Final Shot List page to reflect the final revisions that were made to the PSA shot list. Emily W. kept our project proposal updated with the changes to the PSA and Janie F. contributed by editing and posting comments on the Google site.

Our team agreed to meet at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Our plan is to complete our debriefing at that time, clarify everything that is required for completion of this assignment, and discuss the strengths and weakness of our group project. Our team has been great about communicating with each other and keeping the project on schedule as originally planned. I think we have all been pleased with the outcomes and have learned alot in the process.

Debriefing Web Conference:
Everyone agreed that the project was a terrific accomplishment and a result of our team effort. Some areas that were suggested that could be improved if we were to take on another project would be to use a better camera and look for improved lighting conditions. We agreed that working together from various locations with differing time schedules presented challenges but did not seem to affect our overall communication.

Using the Google Site and email allowed us to communicate with each other and work at the times that were most conducive for each individual team member. Our use of the Google Site was preferred over the method used by other teams who used wiki sites. We found the Google Site was very organized and easy to navigate.

One advantage that we felt that our team had was the fact that we were proactive in organizing our team early on in the course and each member provided leadership and no one felt like they did all the work. Another strength that was identified was the use of to collaborate via web conference. This created a feeling of cohesiveness among our team and we all agreed that we enjoyed working on the project.

Nelson, R. (2008). Learning and working in the collaborative age: A new model for the workplace. Edutopia. Retrieved April 23, 2009, from

Monday, September 20, 2010

True Love Waits 3.0 - "I Wish"

True Love Waits 3.0 - "I Wish" from LifeWay Student on Vimeo.

Sex Begins in the Kitchen

A friend reminded me about this book today.  I met the author Dr. Kevin Leman years ago at a Christian Bookseller's Convention in Anaheim, California.  I am sure I have an autographed copy of the book somewhere if it survived the storm.  Here are some excerpts from the book .....

That is what Dr. Kevin Leman, nationally known speaker and author, contends. “Men and women are so different when it comes to sex and intimacy,” said Leman.  “You have probably heard the saying that when it comes to sex men are like microwaves and women are like crock pots, which is why I say sex begins in the kitchen. Men can be aroused in just seconds while women take a lot longer to warm up. I think one of the biggest dangers in marriage relationships is that both partners think they have each other figured out. Women tend to believe that all a man thinks about is sex and men mistakenly believe that women aren’t interested. In reality, both are clueless about their partner’s needs especially when it comes to sex and intimacy.”

 “When was the last time you wrote your wife a love note and put it in her purse or put a piece of lingerie in your husband’s briefcase to be found at some point during the day?” asks Leman. One of the key elements to having a fulfilling, and lasting marriage is keeping intimacy alive, he says. This happens by being intentional and creative in the way we love each other.

Leman says there are three basic needs married men and women have. When those needs are fulfilled it takes a healthy marriage relationship to a deeper level of intimacy and satisfaction and increases the potential for the marriage to stay together.

Men need to experience sexual fulfillment – not just sex, but to feel respected and needed. Women need affection – to be cuddled, talked to, and romanced. Women also need honesty and openness and to know that their spouse is committed to the family.

So how do couples meet each other’s needs? The first step is to appreciate the differences in each other instead of complaining about them, says Leman. These differences can be the very thing that compels us to experience something new and brings a healthy balance to the relationship. Leman also suggests learning your spouse’s love language. Many of us tend to give to our spouse what would fill our own love tank versus what would fill their love tank. If you don’t know what your partner’s love language is, Leman suggests thinking about what your husband or wife complains about. Often they are tipping their hand about their love language.

Here are some tips for keeping love alive in healthy relationships:

• Surprise your spouse with a night away from home – it doesn’t have to be expensive, just romantic.

• If your nature is not to be assertive sexually, do something different.

• Remember, there are not many men who don’t like the idea of their wife pursuing them.

• Leave a message for your spouse on the bathroom mirror that will give them something to look forward to.

Couples who have been married more than 30 years share that the way they have kept intimacy alive is by creating opportunities for romance and making love – from candlelight picnics, star gazing on the deck and strolling through the Bluff View Sculpture Garden in the spring rain to a bona fide magic moment where you exclude the world and it is just the two of you enjoying each other.

You can’t have sex and expect the intimacy to be there if you haven’t taken the time to develop a strong bond between you and your spouse.

“If you want to beat the average, you better make sure you have a real love affair with your spouse because if you don’t someone else will,” said Leman. “The stakes are high, but the odds are in your favor if you commit to intimately loving your spouse."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Multimedia Week 4: PSA Production

Our PSA team met again last night on to discuss the progress of our group project.  There were 4 members present and this time each member was able to get their video and mics working.  The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and we offered suggestions to improved the video and it was determined that some of the video shots needed to be redone and a few revisions made to the script and narration. 

Emily P. did a great job in videotaping her daughter and Michael A. did a great job of editing the video clips together. You can view the rough draft of our PSA project by going to the following link:    EDLD 5363 Google Site

We decided that Emily P. would retake an over the shoulder shot of Natalie on the computer, coming out of the school and the narration at the end. Emily W. will put the week 5 assignment on Google Docs and update it with the revisions to the proposal, script outline, narration, and shot list, with the changes from the Google site. Pam C. will update the Google Site with the changes that were agreed upon. We also agreed that Pam would attend the class video conference tomorrow night and report back to the group. One question we had was to submit proof that we are collaborating on the PSA project through using this Google Site.

Using the Google site to record our comments and changes has been an invaluable tool to enable us to collaborate together on this project.  Our team is spread across the state of Texas and we work different hours and have varying family schedules so the Google site and schedule has served to keep the project on track and meeting our required deadlines.  I received my grade back today on the Pre-Production work that our team completed last week and we received a score of 100.  Yayyyy Team 4 !!!!!

Another thing that I am pretty excited about this week is that I learned to do screen capture using CamStudio which is an Open Source (free) application.  Being able to do screen capturing will allow me to create some tutorials to use on our program website and also create some personal projects.  I also practiced adding video files to Windows Movie Maker and became really excited about working with video and audio files to create a movie.  Less than 2 weeks ago I was talking about how fearful I was of working with video files and multimedia.  (See post dated Sept. 2nd) What a difference having a little inspiration and the right tools can make!  Multimedia rocks!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Multimedia Week 3: PSA Pre-Production

In an article I read this past week for my Multimedia class entitled Shoot to Edit: A Guide to Using Your Camcorder, Marc Peters states “In the right hands, and with a lot of ingenuity, even the most dire of video can be made to look presentable.”

Something I learned from reading this article is that it’s not what type of camera you have or what software you use that determines whether your video looks professional.The author discusses the importance of how you hold the camera and the angles that you use when shooting your video. Peters provides lots of tips for using different techniques to create a variety of effects and make editing your video easier.He stresses the importance of putting some time and effort into practicing and experimenting with different angles, positions, and camera techniques.

I think this is some valuable information that will assist in preparing videos of the student interviews that we are preparing to post on our program website.Usually when filming an academic enhancement workshop, a tripod is set up which is focused on the speaker. Gathering shots of the audience responses or using different angles would, in my opinion, make a video much more interesting to the viewers.I would compare this to the difference between someone standing behind a podium presenting a lecture or instead using a variety of interactive learning methods with students.

During the last 3 weeks of this course we will be working in teams of 5 to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA).  Our team consists of Emily Priesmeyer, Emily Wisbrock, Janie Fryar, Michael Alves and myself. Three of us have worked together on a previous group project. Emily Wisbrock set up a Google Site early in the week for us to collaborate in and discuss our ideas for the project. I updated the site to reflect the tasks that were on our assignment.  Michael Alves shared the assignment using Google Docs so that we all could work within the same document and then submit our assignments indivdually.

Our team then met together via video conference using TinyChat which I facilitated. Specific tasks were divided among the group members to complete portions of the project proposal, script, narration, shot list, and copyright information. Roles were assigned to each member in order to complete the video project within the next 2 weeks. Our team plans to meet on Thursdays and Sundays during the Production and Post-production phases in order to monitor the progress toward completion and to debrief at the end to review what we learned and discuss areas in which we could make improvements. The topic that we agreed upon for our PSA is Cyberbullying and our purpose is to educate tweens and teenagers (aged 11-13) and their parents about uncommon forms of cyberbullying and bring awareness to this important issue.

Be sure to watch for a copy of our completed project to be posted here within the next 2 weeks!

Peters, M. (2006, April 18). Shoot to edit: A guide to using your camcorder. Digital Director. Retrieved September 9, 2010, from:

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Value of EDLD Web Conferences

I have attended many web conferences using Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro for the Educational Technology Leadership program as I continue to work toward my Master’s Degree. The value that I find from attending the web conferences is that it not only gives me an opportunity to talk to the instructor but it also allows me to meet and connect with my classmates. I feel that the ability to have a face to face connection with the instructor on a weekly basis is critical in the success of an online program. Our instructors in the Educational Technology Leadership programs offer tremendous support and encouragement to the students.

Learning to use a headset and webcam has really enhanced my communication skills and has allowed me to apply these skills to other areas of my work and my personal life. I like to think of myself as a “people connector”. I have made some great networking connections through the web conferences with other educators across the state of Texas. These people I now refer to as friends rather than simply colleagues. Each has strengths that I do not possess and serve as great resources for me for the future as I continue to apply what I have learned. I now even have a classmate who has relocated and is teaching in China and we can chat using Google instant messsaging. Class members from earlier cohort groups also help encourage the new students in the program. I look forward to attending the web conferences because I always get clarification on the weekly assignments and gain new insights from the comments and questions of my classmates.

Movie Maker Video Editing Tutorial

Movie Maker Video Editing Tutorial Podcast

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Multimedia Week 2: Video Editing and Media Production

As part of my week 2 assignment for my Multimedia class, I was challenged to research and evaluate video editing software for the purpose of media production. I selected Microsoft Movie Maker and Pinnacle Studio to evaluate to compare video editing software programs. My classmate, Michael Alves directed me to the following Wikipedia site which offers a very thorough comparison of video editing software:

Movie Maker is one of the best video editing programs and comes already installed on most new computers. One of my colleagues uses Movie Maker and highly recommended it to me. Movie Maker allows you to create, edit, and share home movies and has simple drag and drop features that make it friendly to beginner users. Movies can be shared via the Internet, through e-mail, stored on a CD, or saved for playback on the video camera or TV. Movie Maker requires a Windows XP operating system and 2.0 GB of available hard-disk space. The program does require capture hardware to get the video from your camera into your computer.

Another site from my readings this week that I found to be extremely helpful is a tutorial from that demonstrates how to edit video clips in Windows Movie Maker.

Pinnacle Studio was once recommended to me by a friend. I purchased the software for around $100. that was later destroyed in a hurricane. Like Movie Maker, Pinnacle is a great video editing tool which allows beginners to easily create professional looking videos. Pinnacle is extremely versatile because it includes hundreds of professional – quality functions such as Chroma Key, which enables you to add someone to a video scene even though they weren't there when the original video scene was captured. Other features are Picture-in-Picture effects, pan and zoom tools, color correction, image stabilization, and digital surround sound.

In the past I have used Movie Maker for a couple of small projects using pictures where I added music or narration, but have minimal experience working with video files. Basically, I learned to navigate the software on my own without the aid of tutorials. I did attend a workshop at the TCEA conference in February of this year that helped increase my video editing skills although I have had little opportunity to use them.

I had never conducted any research to compare or evaluate video editing software. I was not aware of the many free programs or the tutorials that are available to assist me. I have had a fear of working with video files, but I feel more confident in the knowledge that I can use Movie Maker for video editing in the same way that I have used it with still pictures to create a digital story.

In an article by Andrew Garrison titled Video Basics and Production Projects for the Classroom, the author states “Media production engages and excites; it leads to unexpected discoveries, increased self-awareness and esteem, sharpened critical thinking, analytical skills, group work skills, and ability to communicate ideas.”  He goes on to state that “Media production demands writing and rewriting, research, group effort, and clarity of thought.  Media production offers a means for student to talk to whomever they think is an important audience.  It does all this because students want to say things that have meaning to them.”   The idea of using media production to engage students excites me because of the myriad of skills that it teaches those who are participants in the creative process as well as the audience or observers. It also provides students with the opportunity to have a voice and to express their ideas and creativity to a global audience.

Learning to do video editing will enable me to use the tools in my work with students. I am the webmaster for our website and we are adding some video clips of our students sharing testimonials about their successes and how the program helped them reach their goals. I can also use my skills to video workshops that will provide professional development and help improve the study skills of the students in our program. Using my video editing skills will enable me to add content to our website that will be interactive for students and make them want to return and to utilize the other services that we provide.

About. (n.d.). Getting started with desktop video. Retrieved on September 2, 2010, from
Garrison, A. (1999,Winter). Video basics and production projects for the classroom.  Center for Media Literacy.  Retrieved September 2, 2010, from