Wednesday, 26 September 2007

First video

Thanks to Anna for putting up the first video

If you have any in the final stages, please let me know.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Session 8 - enhancing and effecting

Good attendance yesterday evening at the F2F session and I am glad that some of you brought your own videos and I had fortunately remembered to make that video of exercises in the park for the others to work on.

As I said before, I am due to tell the rest of the AMEP world of the wonders of online ESL video at the AMEP conference in QLD the first week of the holidays. Now, it would be extremely more worthwhile if apart from rabbiting on about what we have been doing and how we have been doing it I had some samples to show. I have your Photostories up there but I would also like some videos - it doesn't matter if they are incomplete or rough or unedited or look terrible or do not teach anything or anything like that - your names and faces will not be associated with them, so please this week, either put them up on YouTube and tell me the address OR give me a copy of them. I will be approaching you on Wed or Thurs re this. Ta.

Apart from that I forgot to tell you that you may have problesm opening your MOvieMAker project files to work on again. Sometimes, if you are on a different machine. and you open your project you get little red crosses on the boxes in the storyboard and not your images.

Now, this is because MM doesn't actually import the video clips into the program it just makes links to them and if you have changed your location it can't find them. So just tell it where they are. You can do this by shouting at the PC but this doesn't usually work. so ....

Double-click on one of the red crosses and you'll get this message:

Click "Yes" and browse through until you find your video.

Double click on it or one click and "Open" , wait and your clips should appear!

If you have any problems, please contact me on GoogleTalk (pgnichols) whenever.

Happy working.

PS Good news for the Casual Participants - I put through yur pay cliam for the term for Learnscope participation so you should have some extra do$h in your bank.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Online session 7

Well this session went pretty smoothly for me. So far, I found that having a look at the worksheet prior to the session is a big help; it allows me to get a general idea of where I'm going and work on potential problems beforehand, some of them anyway. I agree with Philip, the problem is not how to do things (we are all smart and talented!), but getting suitable ideas, especially for advanced levels, and willing participants. I'd love to record a short oral presentation as a model for students to have a look at but, not surprisingly, most people are reluctant to be filmed and posted on YouTube. I guess I'll have to do it by myself again. Love your interview example Philip. By the way, How did you do the rolling credits on your clip about image resolution? It added a very professional savoir-faire. Impressive!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

The best of times, the worst of times

In this case, being Geraldton and Albany but it's the ideas in the first paragraph that I like.

Anyway, if you go back to last Saturday's entry, you will recall I had my doubts about attempting to teach MovieMaker online as the face2face session had had so many pitfalls. Thankfully (with one exception), it went much better than anticipated. I modified the worksheets to make them clearer and easier to follow and Thursday saw the 2 Cla(i)res settling down happily in their own Elluminate room conversing with and assisting each other while they went through the worksheet and even went beyond it in their video editing. Meanwhile, Anna had her private room where I was able to talk her through the trimming process.

Friday off to Albany and I think this was the most successful Elluminate session we have had. The Application Share really came into play as I was able to first demonstrate how to trim the videos and then got them to share their desktop with me so I could talk them through the process and view at the same time. Elluminate does have its good days. In fact, Albany had been one week behind due to their Lab being booked when we needed it, but now so efficient were they that we managed to do both Sessions 6 and 7 in the two hours!

The only mar on the whole thing was for Marnie in Geraldton. She is there all alone with no-one to support her and this week she got the worst of the deal. First of all her camera is an Olympus, which means that her videos were saved as movs and not recognisable by MovieMaker. Then , because she was involved with a sick friend, she had no time to convert them. So on Thursday while the others were happily progressing with their editing, we were attempting to use Zamzar to convert and of course you need an email account and it took absolutely ages so by the time it was all over, the session was all over. I congratulate Marnie on her perseverance though! I will be holding a repeat online Session 7 next Thursday 20th for her and anybody else who missed this session (Jean? Annabelle? Cathy?).

By the way, I have been playing with MovieMaker too - firstly, you may recall in the session on taking videos, I talked about different frame speeds and resolutions. You can look at the different combinations that your still camera probably produces when taking videos here and basically, if you're putting it up onto YouTube, there doesn't seem much difference.

Secondly, I feel that one of the main problems you have is not how to do the videoing, but what to video. I hoped I gave you some ideas with the CSWE assessments but it still takes time and inspiration. Clare is making a pronunciation video, I know, and Anna is negotiating with Claremont council to waive the $1 000 000 indemnity insurance she requires to film within the library (she shouldn't have asked). In the meantime, here is an idea how you can do an interview with just one person.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Olympus and Panasonic users


Your camera films videos in an Apple format (*.mov), which means that the program we are going to use, Microsoft Windows MovieMaker 2, refuses to recognize it. We therefore have to convert it to a format that it can recognize.

The easiest way I have found to do this is to use a free online converter known as “zamzar”.

Please download the worksheet here and try to convert your video before the online session on Thursday

Monday, 10 September 2007

better late than never

Sorry this took so long. I couldn’t upload my clip last session because the camera’s batteries were flat (yes, I do keep spares, but my beloved had a cleaning frenzy and threw them out by mistake...). When I was able to do it, I realised the film was completely out of focus and therefore useless. My family members run away when they see me with the camera, but I found another victim, sorry, willing subject. Unfortunately, that time the film was overexposed. I had a couple more tries before I realised that for some reason, my camera does not cope well with outside light for films (something to do with the settings I presume). I must say the thought of giving up did cross my mind at this point, but I soldiered on... So, finally, here it is: Introducing oneself!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Belated Photo story on YouTube

Hi all. Due to technical difficulties as alluded to by Philip, I have finally uploaded my photo story called ASwissChristmas.
I hope you can view it. I know its a bit rough.
good luck with the videos.

Warning! Online session may be a disaster.

What a frustrating session we had on Friday; I only hope that something was learnt.

Issue 1 (I note that we don’t have problems, difficulties or setbacks any more, just issues).
I decided to go into Lab 1 on Friday as it is roomier, less scruffy and the computers are newer. Although according to Microsoft MovieMaker2 is standard with XP SP2, for some reason it was not installed on the Lab 1 computers and downloading seemed only to be able to happen through Windows Update, which would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Scott, the Data Manager cum IT trouble-shooter, had not gone home and was able to put a copy on the shared drive, which everyone could download. Why hadn’t I checked, you may well ask. Well, MM2 was installed on the “Teacher’s” computer so I assumed it was on the others as well. (It was typical of him that the way he chose to give instructions to us in the Lab when he was upstairs in his room, was to take control of the Teacher’s PC and use the HALish “Text to Speech” function so we could hear and follow what we had to do to install the program).

Issue 2
As we all know MM2 is part of Bill Gates’ MS empire and they don’t really like anything faintly redolent of apples. To our great annoyance therefore, although some of the class were okay, those who had invested in Olympus cameras were most disappointed as MM2 would not recognize their videos as they were in .mov format. We were reduced to editing a Transperth .wmv video which happened to be on the shared drive.

What I have learnt (although this should have been basic):

  • Check all machines to confirm software is there.
  • Have a fallback editable video available.

What others who will be coming to the online sessions on Thursday need to know:

  • Make sure that MovieMaker2 is on your computer.
  • If you are using an Olympus (and possible other brands but not Canon), please check your manual to see what format video it produces. I will check the brands you have told me you have and will let those who sent it to me know.


    Canon Ixus 55 - no prob


    Kodak C530 - Okay I think


    Sony DSC P43 Okay I think


    Olympus Stylus 410 - yikes! conversion necessary


    SONY "Cyber-shot" Okay I think


    G G-Shot DV1110 dunno


    Ricoh Caplio R2 Okay I think


    yikes! conversion necessary


    Olympus camedia model no C- yikes! conversion necessary

I have been searching for a free user-friendly intuitive video converter, but at present haven’t located one, so If you have an Olympus, then please send me a copy of the video so I can convert it to a MS-friendly format for you.

This in effect is rather disappointing and I'll try to find an alternative. If anybody has any suggestions, please advise.

Saturday, 8 September 2007


Loved your video of Adriaan's antics, Sonia - he does a great jig!

I wonder if our friends will start avoiding us when we have a camera in our hands - "Philip's the only one who'll see it!" - famous last words!

It's so good of our friends to be our trusting subjects!

online sessions

Hi Philip,

just wanting to thank you for the choices in your sessions - it was good to start off in the lab and to be able to move on to accessing them online with all the home comforts!

you do a great job patiently dealing with our responses to the rapid learning curve!

and you've opened up a world of potential creativity - if we only had time!

How do we choose between going to a movie or making a movie in our precious free time?


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Face2face session Friday 7th September

I hope you've managed to shoot some footage for the session on Friday. Basically what is ideal for practising is a video that has some excellent elements within it but with lots of mistakes in the middle, at the beginning and at the end. Make it too long, make it overdrawn and have as many takes as you like in one video or more.

I think we'll begin at 4.15 pm (that's 1615 WAST) so we can use Lab 1.

See you then.

By the way, did anyone read my entry about "Blog droop"? (See below). Seems that Sonia is the only one who is not suffering from this epidemic.