Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Flour Power

After a tedious video shooting, and countless hours spent editing, Flour Power has officially been born. Check it out!

Let me know what you think, and if I should keep it up! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vlog & youtube

These days, I seem to be inspired by articles written in the LA Times. This time they had written about the prevalence of cooking videos there are online. According to the article, there's a huge range in the quality of videos from amateurs like me, to those who claim to be at the professional level. The timing of this article could not be any more perfect. I think I mentioned it in a previous post, but I've been working on a cooking video entitled Flour Power. Ideally, I think it'd be great if Flour Power was a series of cooking tips or recipes, but the way it's shaping up, it's too time consuming. A 5 hour shoot turned into 30 minutes of footage, which will be no more than 5 minutes when it's published. Although cutting down the footage to 5 minutes is the most frustrating part of the process, ideally the video shouldn't be much longer. How many people would actually sit around and keep watching? Perhaps I'm just selling myself short, but I think a lot of it would just depend on the response that I get from people. Once I have finished editing it, I'll post the link up for those who are interested in watching. In case I don't post it here, it will definately be posted on my other blog.

Anyway, getting back to the original topic of the article and videos, I know cooking shows have been around forever, but I can't help but think that this recent boom in the number of videos being posted is related to youtube, and other similar sites. Youtube has every other way for people to express themselves, why not food? Food is so expressive. You can see the amount of time and effort people put into creating it, not to mention the way it's presented. The more I think/write about food, the more I feel like I should pursue cooking more seriously.

If it weren't for my video class this quarter, I wouldn't have noticed so many things. It's been the launching point for so many things - youtube, cooking, Flour Power, and my niece's birthday slide show. I am so grateful for having taken this class, and I hope to continue to refine my editing skills and purchase a video camera.

Monday, May 5, 2008

SGVCUE Technology Fair

San Gabriel Valley Computer Using Educators (SGVCUE) put together a technology conference this past weekend. Being that this was my first conference since I stopped teaching full time, I hoped that I would learn new tools and give more insight about what it is I'm studying to become, a technology coordinator.

Overall, the conference was like any other, a mix of the good and the bad. There were phenomenal presenters, those who were unprepared, presentations that were enhanced with a hands on piece, and those that were hindered because of technological problems. My morning began with a double session on Pixie 2. I think that this software is truly aimed for students K-3. Beyond those grade levels, I fear that some of the students would find the program to babyish. For the appropriate grade levels, it has great potential to enable students to illustrate their work through technology, as well as having some publishing capabilities. The presenter showed numerous books that she created using Pixie which look great. I wish that the computers were working properly, (they executed actions at the pace of a snail!) so that I could have gotten a better feel for the program.

Our keynote speaker was Ted Lai, who is noted for being an Apple Distinguished Educator. I really loved his speech as he related integrating technology to Disney. He encouraged that we need to makes students live, love, and thrive in education. One way that he suggested to engage students is to cross promote. I feel like this is exactly what I'm going to be doing for my final video project this fall. In my video, I'm going to be linking it back to a food blog that I'm starting with my roommate. By me making that simple hyperlink to the food blog here in my technology blog, it is a great example of cross promoting. I'm so excited about this project and I hope that it comes out well.

The second session that I attended focused on Google Earth. I heard about Google earth a while back, as a means to plot the whole world. I even downloaded it recently so that I could have a picture of the earth for a flash animation that I'm working on. Anyway, the application of Google Earth, is for Google Lit Trip. Through literature, you plot the paces the character go so that students can get a sense of where the story's taking place as well as the distance that they're covering. In addition to simply plotting the places, comprehension questions can also be linked to the plots. I think that's probably one of the greater benefits to using Google Lit Trips. Supposedly there are supposed to be ways to use Google Lit Trips for other subjects but the presenter didn't give further examples.

Lastly, the final presentation that I attended was regarding using video to for Digital Storytelling. Although I am in a video class this semester, I found that the information that was presented wasn't redundant. Rather than focusing on taking raw video footage, it was focused on using still images, creating thought provoking titles and slogans. By doing this, it makes creating a video project more manageable to for students as more emphasis is placed on conveying the information, rather than the shoot.

Overall, the conference was very informational. I think that if the quality of some the presentations could be equaled to that of others, it would improve immensely and possibly attract more educators to join CUE or attend the workshops. Lastly, in nearly every presentation they kept pushing Macs and Apple products. They always say that imovie and the like are easier to use. It makes me wonder if it was a mistake to buy a PC again, and if should have bought a Mac too...