Archive for September, 2007

PhotoBucket – Quick and Easy-ish Video Editing

This is an idea I came up with when I did the excellent Consultants-E “ICT in the Language Classroom” course earlier this year.

A colleague on the course was asking if anyone could think of a way to use this video clip with learners.

Well after I’d stopped laughing at the video, this was the idea I came up with:

I think a nice lesson for this particular clip would be just for everyone to be “eyes.” You turn the sound down on the TV and after watching the film once, the students, in pairs, have to talk together and guess what was said in the dialogue.

They write the dialogue down, then watch the film again to see if they had predicted correctly. As we all know, prediction skills are a vital help to listening skills.

You could even do something like this online.

If you posted the film to a blog or website without the dialogue, you could then invite students to write their ideas of what is being said and post it as a reply to the blog entry.

After a week (and lots of nice prediction ideas have been posted by your students) you could post the “real” version with sound to the blog..

Of course, saying that you could do something like this online, and actually doing it are two different things. My colleague asked me how you could edit the film to remove the sound. I thought that Photobucket would be a good tool, so I set out to test out my theory with their video editing tools. And… it worked! Here’s how I explained to my classmate to go about doing it:

Before you start you’ll need:

  • A Photobucket account
  • A video you want to use in class like the ones you find on Youtube or Google video .
  • About an hour of time (unless you’ve done this sort of thing before)

Ok now let’s get started.

  1. Download the video you want to use from Youtube. Video Downloader is a good tool for this. Save it somewhere you’ll remember on your computer.
  2. Log in to your PhotoBucket account and upload your video.
  3. To make sure your students can’t see the original version of your film, upload it (or move the film) to a private album. If you leave the film where it is, as soon as your students have finished watching your cleverly edited film clip with no sound, they will be able to watch the original. This would probably ruin your lesson!
  4. Now you are ready to start the fun bit. Look in the botom left hand corner of the page and you’ll see the “Create Remix” button. click this then edit your film. there is a written tutorial here if you need help, though to be honest I’d recommend watching the video tutorial that opens up the first time you use the Remix tool.
  5. To cut out the sound from your film, all you need to do is add a bit of music to your film. There is a music button on the right hand side of your main video editing screen.
  6. Add some titles to your film from the “Graphics and Captions” box and you’re nearly there!
  7. Finally, when you are ready, click the “Preview” button to see what you have done so far.
  8. If you are happy with your film click on the “Publish” button and hey presto!

All you’ll need to do now is to tell your students the web address of your newly edited clip. You could ask them to post their dialogues to a blog if you have one already. Otherwise, you could simply ask them to write their dialogues on paper and bring them to the next lesson.

And here is the finished article… a video with no dialogue, which is ready for students to post their ideas of what the conversation is that they’re having in the film.

1,2,3 Virtual World !?

Following along the from the discussions on teenage learners and online safety started in the Webheads’ and Graham Stanley’s tours of Second Life, a new tool is being launched which I think might be of interest to everyone interested in ICT in language teaching.

The B.B.C. are reporting on a new web tool being launched which allows virtually anyone to develop an online world.

Metaplace promises that anyone can start a virtual world in just 1 minute, which could be a bit of a blessing to language teachers wanting to take teenage or young learners into an online world for language classes but are afraid that they might be exposed to inappropriate content.

In this week’s tour of Second Life, loosely chaired / guided by Graham Stanley, we were discussing how senior management of many language schools are very worried about young learners being exposed to content that is unsuitable. Often they would rather pull the plug on a project rather than risk any sort of contact with adult language or worse.

In a tool which seems to promise the ability to set up a virtual world and import and export content into it, Metaplace seems to have come up with a product that could be an ideal solution to educators’ needs. It is entirely web based, so there is no need to install programs onto a school’s computer systems, something which many teachers with strict IT departments often find blocks them from trying out new ICT tools. It remnains to be seen whether the worlds can also have restricted membership, which would allow teachers full peace of mind when using them with young learners.

Although it is only going through alpha testing at the moment, Metaplace promises the ability to embed their virtual worlds into blogs, webpages, wikis etc, which would also allow language teachers to set up interesting projects. I can already imagine lessons where group of students set up their own worlds then host guided tours around them in L2.

I have signed up to test Metaplaces and will post a review and any other thoughts and ideasto this blog if I get the chance to join the alpha testing group.

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