It's Elementary!

by Jamie Forrest

Falling Into Place September 30, 2010

Filed under: Class reflections,eci831,New Learning — Jamie @ 2:42 am

Today was a great day.  Why, you ask?  (Or at least maybe wonder…)  The reason is simply that things really seem to be falling into place for me.

In preparation for this week’s class, Alec asked us to create an introductory video.  At first, I was trying to find ways to avoid being in front of the camera.  I ended up making a Voicethread.  I was not overly pleased with the results.  It was okay, but just okay.  I was even willing to step in front of the camera, but I realized that I had absolutely NO IDEA about where to start in making a video.

This got me thinking about my situation at school.  I am often viewed as the “go to” person for technology questions and seen as “pushing the envelope” technologically.  This was on my mind last night while listening to Dr. Schwier speak about the history and evolution of technologies.  Both in listening to Rick and Alec talk and in following the backchannel chat, I noticed that many of the tools and technologies that are deemed “old” or “out of date” in the real world are “new” and “novel” on my staff.  This is perhaps why I am regarded so highly.  However, I know enough to know how much I DON’T know!  The fact that I don’t know anything about making and editing video was really eating at me.

So, today I decided to do something about it.  I went to my principal with the ideas I had about QR codes and book reviews.  She was super excited by the prospects and even offered to purchase a new 4th generation iPod touch for our school to help me get started and to create a few samples.  She suggested I consider applying for the Best Buy grant to purchase MacBooks and iPods to facilitate getting this project to a sustainable state.  She then suggested I talk to one of our ET guys about learning how to edit video.  So, after school I walked into the staff room and who was there but the very ET person I wanted to speak to!  I talked to him for about 30 minutes and he offered to come TWICE to work with me!  One day to teach me how to capture video and one day to teach me to edit it.  He then suggested I contact a different ET person to ask if there would be funds available to cover my class for the ½ day of video editing so I could learn uninterrupted.  So, I emailed her, and within another 30 minutes, I had approval!  It feels absolutely wonderful to have that kind of support!

My mind is absolutely reeling with ideas and I’m really looking forward to what is to come!  I would really appreciate any suggestions you have about hardware, software, video content, etc.  I’m open and willing to learn!


7 Responses to “Falling Into Place”

  1. That is a HUGE step, not because you’ll be learning to edit video per se, but because you got an idea, ran with it, and implemented the next step so very quickly. An education received is only effective when it is put into use, so I imagine Alec will be delighted that you are jumping in with both feet and moving forward so quickly to make use of some of these new (or new-to-you) tools!

    Personally, I haven’t done much video editing myself. I’ve made a few short ones (see my YouTube account), but it’s still a pretty time consuming task for me because I don’t do it often enough to be proficient. I’ll be interested to hear which program(s) you use and like.

    Tell me more about your QR code idea – it sounds intriguing!

  2. Mary Worrell Says:

    These are great feelings, aren’t they? The more I learn about the potential that technology can have in my classroom the more I realize I need to learn…and as I’m learning things change and I need to learn more.

    I think the life-long desire to learn is the most important thing I can instill in my students before they leave the room. I will do more in teaching them HOW to find the answers on their own than actually teaching content or how-tos myself. I hope you can find a way to show your students and staff how you’re learning this new technology skill because it’s a great modeling opportunity.

  3. ktenkely Says:

    So AWESOME! I can’t wait to hear about the QR codes! I love that you took the initiative and decided to bring your staff along with you on this learning journey. That is definitely a great feeling.

  4. This is great. I believe that we (teachers) need to all be modeling this type of inquiry, determining what we need to learn and then how we will learn it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love the energy of your realization…and the potential within it. G’luck.

  6. Aiden Yeh Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Not sure if you already did your self-intro video. You don’t have to pull your hair trying to figure out video codes 😉 One trick that I pass on to my students is to use two simple software programs, PowerPoint and Windows Movie Maker. First, you create your PPT slides, add pictures etc. make the slides visually attractive, play with PPT’s animation feature, add some gifs, etc. Once you’re done, save it first as ppt file (as back-up), then save it again as jpeg slides (make sure to create a folder for this- you don’t want to mix them with all your other files!). Go to and download windows movie maker. You may also want to check out this page Check out this page for tips on using Windows Movie Maker, for a step-by-step process to creating your video.

    OR you can upload your PPT at and upload your audio recording to match your slides. You can also embed the slideshow (with audio) on your blog!


    Aiden Yeh

  7. Jen Hall Says:

    That does sound like a great day. I love the fact that your school is very supportive of your learning.

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