I have just started my second class through Michigan State University’s Educational Technology program. Through this class, CEP 811, I will be exploring the Maker Culture and how that relates to what we do in schools as learners and educators.
This week, I was challenged to explore a new tool, Mozilla PopcornMaker, and use it to make a remix about a hot educational buzzword. I chose to make my video on flipped classrooms. It is embedded below:
My sources are cited in this Google Doc.
I chose this topic because I’ve been teaching in a flipped classroom environment for 3-4 years now. I strongly believe that it can be an effective teaching strategy, and I’ve found that teachers I work with are becoming more interested in finding out about this strategy. I also have worked hard to inform administrators and parents about what flipped learning is and is not, and I think this video could be shared with administrators, teachers, and/or parents who need a basic introduction to the topic. I started by contrasting the traditional model of teaching that most people are familiar with (and often somewhat frustrated by) with what occurs in a flipped classroom. I chose not to go into detail about how to make and share videos, because I wanted to focus on the benefits of and rationale for using this teaching strategy. It was hard to fit everything into just 1 minute!
I found PopcornMaker to be a pretty straightforward video-editing tool. I typically use Camtasia to make and edit screencasts for my flipped classes, and while PopcornMaker is not nearly as robust as (the very expensive) Camtasia software, I found it had similar basic features and was relatively easy to use. I did experience one browser crash while making my video, and I lost what I’d been working on, but luckily I’d saved recently. It’d be great if they’d make it more like Google Drive, with automatic saving. I think with a little help, my students would be able to use this tool to remix their own videos.
It is easy to search for videos, music, and images directly from PopcornMaker, but unfortunately I don’t think you can filter for Creative Commons licensed material in those searches. I struggled to find appropriate Creative Commons licensed videos and pictures, but I eventually found good enough options through Google Images and YouTube and some of my own videos.
I actually found it pretty fun to tackle the challenge of explaining a concept I understand well by creating a very short mash up of others’ work. My final product will be useful for me to share with others, and I have a new appreciation for the amount of creativity and work required to create videos and music, even when it’s just a remix of others’ work!