Posts Tagged ‘video’

The Problem with Overexposure

February 28, 2008

The problem with exposure is overexposure. How can teachers create safe spaces for children? For that matter how can parents? The internet is a Pandora’s Box, alluring, mysterious and enlightening. Is the incidence of occasionally unfiltered audio of video a threat to internet use in elementary schools? angelDo the benefits of internet use outweigh the pitfalls? Several posts ago I commented on the surprising use of youtube by young students. I didn’t teach them about it nor have I even even mentioned it because I don’t feel it is a safe place for unaccompanied minors. Our county has excellent filters and they certainly seems to be 99% effective in eliminating unwanted material but the filters can fail and students can run the risk of overexposure. Take Google images, regardless of the setting an search on any term may result in image overexposure! It happened to me one time when I was searching for computers. Mixed among the computers was a random photo labeled computer but without any computer in view.

Media Specialists have grappled with questionable content since the dawn of libraries. Parents dissaporve of some books for religious, political or content about the human anatomy. Some illustrations or photographs may depict strong sequences of violence. I have been on the critical end of this debate when my own children were in elementary school. In fact a middle school teacher showed the class an R-rated movie without parent consent. It was Schindler’s List. My daughter loved her teacher. I felt the woman had exercised poor judgment. I emailed the principal and let her know that perhaps the teacher was not aware of the rules concerning movies. She thanked me and handled it discreetly. No one lost their job. In fact it was a teachable moment for me and my daughter.

I recently encountered some unanticipated pitfalls using audio on the web. Think about still images, screening them is relatively simple procedure. You can see with your own eyes in short order and assess the content. With video alone, you could fast forward and scan the scenes. A different kind of problem arises when using audio. How can you and I be sure the audio content is safe without listening to every word, every second? What kind of warning do you have before it’s too late to stop the sound? What if the unexpected happens? How do you recover? What do you tell the students? I have been asking these questions of my peers and the most frequent answer is to fudge the offending word or phrase and change thlisten and learne meaning, if possible to placate any innocent listeners, but what if that isn’t possible? How can we trust the content even when it comes from a reputable source? Is what we hear online as damaging as what we hear in person? These are the questions creating cob webs in my head. Teachers have to protect their students. I think we have to consider these questions seriously. The advent of phone comments on blogs and VoiceThreads and even audio comments on websites or podcasts raise the chances that some unfiltered audio will reach the ears of innocents. Are there any guarantees save removing internet access? Let me know if you have any answers. I’m all ears!

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New spin on Pinnacle Video Editing, it’s FREE!

January 8, 2008
I have long been a fan of the Pinnacle digital video editing software for its ease of use and affordability. Now they are offering a free download called VideoSpin and it gives you all but the ability to generate mpeg2/4 and divX. In short you can’t produce movies for the ipod, youtube, or can you? They want you to upgrade to their Studio 11 and it may be worth it to save the hassle of using conversion programs. If you have relatively small videos they can be converted using zamzar.com but if you are producing anything substantial then conversion may not be practical. It also may mean loss of quality or distorted aspect ratio. So I guess it depends how picky you are. I plan to try it out because from what the tutorial showed it looks better than MS MovieMaker (no surprise) and I think it would be a great starting point for teachers who would like to begin learning how to edit video.
clipped from www.videospin.com

What is VideoSpin?

VideoSpin is a brand new tool that allows you to create your own movie clips in minutes using your own
videos and pictures.


VideoSpin is a fully functional gadget which lets you:

  • Mix videos, photos and music together
  • Add Titles and Transitions
  • Upload to the web in a snap!
  • Do it all for FREE!

So don’t wait any further get started and spread the word!

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