Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Final brings resolve to live event coverage

For the final exam in this course I chose to spend a few dozen hours creating an refining a set of lessons that will best prepare all students for the production of a live event.  The file below is a link to an interactive PDF that contains all the supplemental materials needed to execute this set of lessons.  These materials include exemplars, reference sheets, rubrics, and a tutorial on how to post the production of your live event onto our school website.

2-Part Broadcast Final

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another week guided another first

While eluding to create the true definition of a podcast last week, this week’s interview style podcast was set to be my first real podcast.

The idea of creating a podcast that contained an interview wasn’t the daunting task but creating one that was original and authentic was.  In thinking about content and an original idea, I decided to establish a new tradition within my current Media Tech Program.  For this podcast I chose to sit down my six seniors that I have had for multiple years now and chat a little about the memories and things learned over their career within the program.

I decided to talk with the six senior about four different areas with four different questions.  I asked the students to describe what has been their favorite part about the class.  I also had the students discuss their most influential project.  We finished up the podcast discussing two different trips down memory lane.  I first asked them to guess what they might think the memory that would stay with them the longest.  Finally, I ended the podcast with them discussing the funniest thing they can recall happening of their Media Tech career.

The most difficult process to this production was organizing all six seniors to be at the same place at the same time.  College recommendations have been written and they have already chosen their school for next year so my leverage as their adviser is dwindling.  We first tried before school during our weekly late start Thursdays but that wasn’t successful.  So they finally agreed to sit down right after school one day and get it done.  There was also a slight audio hiccup in one of the senior’s answers that upset me.

I was happy with this product because it was something I had never done before and something I am looking at turning into an annual event with each graduation class.  This is my third year since taking over the Media Tech Program and I have had these seniors for three years now.  There has been so much growth in these three years and these seniors are the reason why.  Their hard work and dedication has allowed it to grow so rapidly and to expand to include a monthly production on top of our daily show.  To celebrate and commemorate this year and this group of seniors, I had already planned to great a DVD that will include the entire inaugural season of HTV Monthly.  The DVD will also include a number of additional stories we featured that weren’t included in our monthly production.  Lastly, I will include this podcast that will become a traditional and be included in end of the year DVD’s in the future.

The vodcast from last week is and was something that will transfer into my classroom moving forward.  Podcasts however are more of an inconvenience and step backward in a program that focuses on broadcast and broadcast technology.  It is easier for my students to setup their camera and just shoot it.  The convenience that a podcast brings to storytelling is the lack of visual support.  Podcasts would allow my students to not have to film broll, a vital part to a story set for broadcast or web.  A possible inclusion of podcasts could be for monthly board meetings, although I cannot imagine a lot of people would be searching our website looking for the podcast of last month’s board meeting.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Modified podcast transforms into first vodcast

The assignment for this week was to create our first podcast and as a broadcast adviser, I felt it would be more authentic for myself and beneficial to my students to experiment with creating a vodcast instead.

Vodcasts combine the audio component of podcasting with visual media.  This method of storytelling provides a forum for a wide variety of video podcasters, including filmmakers and artists.  Seeing how these are my students, I thought now would be the perfect time to give it a try.

In thinking of a truly authentic vodcast that would be beneficial in taking the time to produce, I decided on an important term in broadcast called broll.  In this vodcast, I introduce some of the terminology while teaching the application of applying broll within the software my class uses called Final Cut.  At this point the students have the basic knowledge of creating events, projects, importing footage, marking in’s & out’s, using the blade & arrow tool, and the timeline.  I feel this product can server as the lesson itself for future semesters but immediately as a reference for students that are absent or are struggling with the concepts.

The idea for this really came from a colleague of mine in another building within my district.  We both teach graphic arts and he has nearly all his lessons on his class website in vodcast format.  He took an entire school year to record each lesson.  He recorded at the end of each day so he had worked out all the kinks to his lessons.  He told me how much work it was to setup but also how much of a dream in turned out to be once completed.

The most difficult part to teaching technology and software is the rate in which students learn.  Some have experience, some don’t, some learn by doing, some learn by reading, some want to be there, and others do not.  Creating these supplemental materials give students the opportunity to learn at their pace and get the extra help if and when they want it.

The end product was something I ended up being happy with.  The major flaw to this was simply the time it took to create, which I know none of us have enough of.  I can clearly see the benefit of creating a dozen or two short videos on various lessons that are areas of concern for my students.  I felt comfortable with the edit having taught broadcast now for over 10 years.

The main thing I take away from the exercise this week is the understanding of the process.  I know the next one I create will be done in less takes, edited more efficiently, and have a better overall quality.  I do look forward to creating some more and I will just have to add it to my summer to-do list.  The problem with that list though is that it is getting longer and longer while less days are available.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Creating a photo gallery opens eyes

This week for class was one I was eager for and excited to spend dedicated time working in detail with my camera.

The assignment for this week included shooting a series of photographs while experimenting with various settings in the manual mode to our DSLR cameras.  We were to play with our ISO, shutter speed, and aperture while looking for a series of 10 specific shots.  This final set of 10 photos were to then make its way to our blog as you can see below.  The shooting of these photos along with the creation and posting of the gallery have really been an eye opener.

While preparing for my photo shoot and advising my students in the setup to their live broadcast of the basketball game, I noticed multiple professional photographers entering the gymnasium.  This particular game was for an IHSA Regional Championship and had both local and regional representation from multiple publications.  Watching them in action was entertaining and a newly found respect was restored.

Having coached the game for 17 years, I knew how hard those photographers worked but having to sit behind the camera for once made it a completely different experience.  Time and time again, as I was manipulating my settings to what I thought would be correct for that shot, I would end up missing the shot entirely.  If I didn’t miss the shot, I wasn’t entirely happy with it because the settings weren’t dialed in correctly.

To watch those guys (yes all three photographers were men) run up and down the court, switching cameras, and switching lenses was cool to witness.  Again, being around them for years was one thing but to watch them, opposed to the game, was educational.  I know they’re missing shots too but for them to be dialed into their cameras and knowing exactly where to adjust what in order to get what they want was both fun to see and depressing based off of my performance.

Shooting a sporting event is much more challenging for being on top of those settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.  This assignment has allowed me to realize I want to have a basic cheat sheet (index card size) of general rules for particular settings as well as making me realize I need to continue to shoot in nature until I feel more comfortable with my settings and the camera.

The other thing this assignment did for me was give me that aha moment with this blog.  Being someone who was not on any form of social media just a few weeks ago, I was still unsure about the look and feel of this blog.  I am starting to sway towards seeing how influential this can be for my students having posted my photo gallery for this assignment and now seeing the blog come together.

The inter-connectivity between all the social media entities with the blog, Twitter, and Instagram really allow for the students and our program to be transparent in our audience being able to see us under any platform.  Plus, as an adviser there is always down time for student work as they find themselves in between stories and the updating of these social media entities are a great filler of time with real-life application.