Working on this was surprising and rewarding. I initially, was concerned that I had nothing to say. Likewise, I stumbled out of the gate with some of the ebook publishing products. I did a bit of online searching and discovered PressBook a product in the family of WordPress. It is cloud-based and subscription based. The user interface is nearly identical to WordPress content management, and so for me, there were just some particulars to learn but an easy transition.
That as well framed the question: what if I use my WordPress content to develop a book. That lead to some toggling back and forth between browser windows and wholesale copy and paste. I was surprised to find both a start of a book in the content and curiosity and desire to work on the project even beyond this assignment.
The web version of the work done thus far is linked, here:
I exported the book in both .mobi format and .pdf to see how the publishing would handle the videos that the book draws on heavily. Alas, I was deeply disappointed. Neither embeds the videos nor even creates an image placeholder. Also, WordPress will not upload .mobi files as they potentially represent a security risk. The first link is a zipped directory with the .mobi data, the second an old school .pdf..
So, for my purposes and the content of my book leaving the book in WordPress, or the online PressBook makes sense since the material is mostly derived from online sources. PressBook is a great tool nonetheless. My project doesn’t fit well with the publishing capabilities of that tool, but a book driven by more static content would be fine in that environment. Whether my book works ideally in this environment I found learning the tool and working with the content to be inspiring and thought-provoking. As I mentioned I was unsure I had a book in me or my content so that discovery was rewarding.
I am not in love with what I have produced here. I tried to use Screencastify and just got annoyed. So, since I have Camtasia on my work machine I just fired it up and started recording. My first attempt was merely with an oral narrative, see the Gold Glove recording below. I then redid this Jon B. recording with the inset reaction camera. Technically, these both are Screencast recordings. However, aside from the topic, I am uninspired with my use of the technology.
Gold Glove, a case study, of a YouTube, content creator. Blog posts where I write about Gold Glove.
I don’t recall what free Screencast program I used to create the following video. However, I think my storytelling is better and overall this is a better use of technology to aid in telling the story. The pacing on this is languid, and that is a flaw.
I told the same story as the first two screencasts, but I experimented with tools and techniques in making this one that make the viewing a little more dynamic a little more interesting.
On the whole, I am concluding that I have a learning curve that is still steep and rising when it comes to making screencasts. I’ve struggled in the past trying to use free versions of the software. Using Camtasia again involved challenges and frustrations however the experience of the technology was better than with other products. I believe as well that a step by step sequence or a clear storyline makes for a better cast. The conceptual discussion just doesn’t work very well, at least at my skill level.
It is different from Photoshop obviously for patent and copyright reasons. That means you have to Google and YouTube how to’s because it is different, but it is full-featured and robust in its own right.
So, I think this first video is most in the spirit of the assignment, that is creating an instructional video. Don, previewed it and made some suggestions about timing the narration a little better and a couple of other fiddly details. And I appreciate that feedback. I have not made those changes mostly to show a progression in learning as we step through the videos.
All of these videos are filmed with a GoPro I borrowed from my son. I assembled them in Movie Maker, well because it is cheap, cheerful and ubiquitous. I used Audacity to create the narrative for the first video. I used Movie Maker’s narration tool in the second video. In the third video, all the narrative is captured real-time with the microphone on the camera. I think that audio quality and balance is a consistent weakness in my videos. If I were to continue making videos I would want to really get control of that element of the presentation. Some of it would be capture equipment, some would be editing software and a systematic approach to making the audio.
If you read other of my blog posts, you hear me riffing on YouTube content creation in two specific ways. First, is,
I return to and explore these themes in other posts. However, in filming for these videos, I was testing my interest and passion for YouTube content creation. If I was a better photographer and perhaps had better equipment, I might be more passionate. I also felt like I struggled self-consciously turning my trips into narratives at the same time I was trying to experience them.
With this video, I begin to meander away from the instructional mission of this assignment. Although, I do get a few factoids into the narrative. I think I also do a better job of timing the story with the imagery. Technically this video was much more challenging to make. I ended up loading the footage into Camtasia and stripping the audio track (an unpleasant roar of the airplane engine) once I did that recording the narrative was easy.
I think that with this third video I am pretty far afield from the direction of creating an instructional video. However, I like that the narrative filmed real-time hangs together and except for lacking footage of the thunderstorm I have a complete description. I think that better audio capture and a real selfie-stick or a tripod would significantly improve my use of the GoPro. Even better would be to have a digital SLR for the vlogging sequences. Because this third movie breaks my three-minutes or less rule I stayed entirely focused on setting up the campsite, cooking dinner, and surviving the storm. I had some excellent footage of paddling, wind, and waves, to the island, but in the end chose to focus the story.
Photo manipulation is daily work for me. My job involves sizing and optimizing images for the web, and print. I am handy with Adobe Photoshop. That is not to say that I am a good photographer. I started using 35mm film SLR when I was a kid. My Grandfather tried to teach me about his retirement-passion amateur photography. So, I am familiar with some of the concepts of this assignment. I use a Canon EO5 at work. I purchased an iPhone just last year when I moved to Dillingham. I have amused myself a little with the native camera app. So, the charge to take six different quality photographs is perhaps the more challenging facet of this assignment.
The photo was taken with Canon EO5 Digital Rebel XSi camera; the lens is EF-S 18-55 on a tripod. Original image dimensions 4272 x 2848 at 72 ppi., exposure speed 1/6 second, aperture f/9 with the default ISO of 400.
I was surprised that the picture was at 72 ppi and that caused me to optimize this image for web use. It also caused me to explore the camera setting to adjust the pixels per inch setting. (And I learned that that setting was not a camera setting but a Photoshop setting.) I cropped the image for composition. I changed the RGB levels individually just shaving off the high and low end of the histogram leaving as much data as possible. I then adjusted the curves selecting Brightness and Contrast for this image. Finally I “saved for the web” this involved resizing the image to 600×450 and changing the quality to medium at 512k (I use 512k as my default for rural Alaska) this gave me a file size of 17.1kb for speedy web browsing.
Getting this image was an iterative process I tried to frame it with the camera as opposed to relying on Photoshop for cropping. However, in Photoshop I selected the 5×7 crop and the Golden Spiral layout after seeing the plant leaves flowing to the KDLG logo. I had to turn the plant to emphasize that flow. I then experimented with shutter speed and aperture to see if I could distinguish any depth of field differences.
The photo was taken with Canon EO5 Digital Rebel XSi camera; the lens is EF-S 18-55 on a tripod. Original image dimensions 4272 x 2848 at 72 ppi. For the first version, I set exposure speed .8 second, aperture f/8 with the default ISO of 400. For the second version, I adjusted the shutter speed 1/5 second and aperture f/4.5 and ISO 400 because I wanted to see the effect on depth of field (meh). I cropped the images for composition. I changed the RGB levels individually just shaving off the high and low end of the histogram leaving as much data as possible. I then adjusted the curves selecting Dark & Light and the snap to neutral mid-tones for this image. Finally I “saved for the web” this involved resizing the images to 600×428 and adjusting the quality to medium this gave me a file size of 25kb, and 22kb respectively.
Because the point of an assignment is to learn something I decided to install the Camera! the app on my iPhone and see what that was about. On installing it, I learned that it wasn’t updated for the operating system on my phone. The one bug I’ve found so far is being unable to delete images. The app offers some interesting features over the native camera app. The effects, and some photo framing guides I was quick to discover. I am amused to use a phone to create a print quality image, so I offer this potted plant.
I used an Apple iPhone 5SE shutter speed of 1/40 second, aperture setting f2.2 and an ISO 25, with a forced flash. Original image dimensions 2417×3912, 1.54 MB. I selected the “Roadtrip” fx setting in the app. I messed around with it in Photoshop to size 1200×1942 and adjusted it (if I left it at 2417×3912 at 300ppi the file would have been 27MB). This file is pretty large for the web at 7MB and the wrong format .tif to preview, but you can download it from the link I set the resolution at 300ppi so it will print nicely.
I used an Apple iPhone 5SE shutter speed of 1/60 second, aperture setting f2.2 and an ISO 25, with a forced flash. Original image dimensions 3042×4032, 1.23 MB. I selected the “Roman Holiday” fx setting in the app. I messed around with it in Photoshop to size 1200×1600 and adjusted curves and levels. This file is pretty large for the web at 5.5MB and the wrong format .tif to preview, but you can download it from the link I set the resolution at 300ppi so it will print nicely.
Monitor images intended for display on a monitor perhaps as a desktop image.
Both of these images were taken with my iPhone and accordingly the f/2.2 and exposure were 1/2000 with an ISO of 25. Both were modified in Photoshop. The one called Dillingham Panorama I used the healing tool to work power lines out of the image. I adjusted levels and curves and sized for monitor desktop. The sunrise image I adjusted levels and curves. Weirdly the camera meta-information doesn’t display with that image. I am not sure what that is about. However, it is within parameters normal to an iPhone.
A quick and dirty review of one of our required readings. This useful but slightly dated article explains Braddeley’s Working Memory Model the authors then do an extensive literature review it appears both of research they then connect that model with learning theory starting specifically with multimedia learning. The literature review is extensive. They conclude: “Accordingly, we can conclude based on this review that working memory, by and large, is working during learning from text and pictures in the way one would expect it based on Baddeley’s model.” They also point out some inconsistencies between the theory and the way the model has been used in research. Accordingly, because the theory seems to be holding up they suggest several methods for more precise use of the model in future research.
While this is a very technical review article it puts me in mind of the text for my other course this term, Making it Stick. One point those authors regards the importance of retrieval of information/knowledge/skill in their definition of “learning.” In Schuler’s article, we learn about different memory channels, verbal and visual (for a quick and dirty summary) and they indicate that working two different channels doesn’t seem to overload adding to memory. However, reading (translating character’s to verbal, and visual, a picture) may compete for the same channel. Perhaps, rather than writing about an image speaking about it is better for embedding both image and thoughts about the image?
Brown, P.C., H.L. Roedinger, M.A. McDaniel (2014). Make it stick: the science of successful learning. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Schüler, A., Scheiter, K., & Genuchten, E. (2011). The Role of Working Memory in Multimedia Instruction: Is Working Memory Working During Learning from Text and Pictures?. Educational Psychology Review, 23(3), 389-411. doi:10.1007/s10648-011-9168-5