kid video for quant bio

Wow, making a video was beyond time consuming. I had this grandiose idea that I would introduce myself, and then use my iPad like a digital whiteboard to go over why and how we make graphs in the sciences, and then do a screen capture of how to actually make a graph in Excel. I definitely got a little carried away with what I would accomplish in this “simple” video.

I already had Camtasia on my Macbook Pro, and thought that since Screen Chomp, an app that makes an iPad act like a digital whiteboard and records audio, was made by the same company all on apple products there couldn’t possibly be an issue sharing the files.

I could not have been more wrong. I spent hours getting the audio and the text synchronized and perfected on my iPad, only to learn that when I exported the video, the audio was gone. I wasted at least a day only to learn I needed to redo my work. I was not pleased.

In the end, I was able to save the project playing the silent white board movie while using the screen grab mode in Camtasia while providing the audio. As it turns out, it is much easier to narrate while not simultaneously writing things out. This video is fairly important to my course Quantitative Biology. We do an assignment where students are tasked with using Excel to create graphs from data sets and they really struggle with actually using Excel to make a product. I tried to tie the logic behind why we make graphs to the actual act of making graphs in this video. I probably need a little bit more tying it all together at the end of the video.

Another production note, I was surprised at how important a natural light source and an appealing background were. When I first tried to film the intro part of the video, I was at home, at night, in front of a blank wall. The video looked horrid. The next day filming in my office with plants and a window behind me made the video look much brighter, happier, and engaging.

Another teachable moment from this video production assignment was directly related to the reading about how the brain works and that there is no such thing as multi tasking. One of the things about recording audio for a video, is that you can’t be interrupted. I had no idea how many times I get interrupted until I tried to record a video. My office is two doors deep from the main hallway, and I don’t know how people with office doors that lead into the main hallway get any work done.


My second make for this assignment is a redo of my slides on the Calvin Cycle. When I first did this lecture, I talked a lot using an infographic provided by the text book. The thing about the infographic is that it’s a refresher for people that already know the Calvin Cycle, not a great tool for actually teaching the Calvin Cycle to first timers. I tried to break down the Calvin Cycle one carbon at a time, using pictures, and in the end had a table showing the investment of RuBp, ATP, and NADPH so students could more easily follow along with what is being shown in the infographic in the first slide. This was a very slow process, but it really helped me think about how many steps are actually involved in learning. When I lecture in front of a large classroom it is very very easy to forget how many steps are involved with learning a topic for the first time. Doing this make where I tried to do as much as possible using pictures really helped me slow down my brain and actually go over the many steps involved. I think it will really make a better lecture.

[slideshare id=60133081&doc=calvincyclereview-160328213052]

Another thing I would like to accomplish is getting this power point I made into this blog, but I need the hyperlinks to stay active. Not really sure there is a way to do that. I remember being able to save power point files as HTML in earlier versions of the software, but that feature seems to be gone now. I used a website to convert my powerpoint into HTML5, but I have no idea what to do with the folder of seemingly random files I now have from the conversion process.  I thought this was a really nice way for students to review information because the could click and navigate through the information presented in class at their own pace. It’s set up a bit like an outline, a bit like a concept map, and a bit like a wiki. The idea is that if they don’t know a word or a concept, they can click it and it be brought to the power point slide about that concept. Are there any other ways for me, who knows nothing about HTML code or CSS to convert this power point into a website? I would love to be able to make a giant hyperlinked concept map of my entire course. I have been day dreaming about getting that put together since I started teaching, but it’s a fairly large undertaking. Any ideas for this #makeyourown make?

Power point with internal hyperlinks

3 thoughts on “kid video for quant bio”

  1. Sounds like some really solid reflection on the video making process. Another minor tip would be to do something really small and simple with any new tool to make sure it really does what you think it’ll do. I’ve learned that the hard way as well.

    If you share your HTML 5 files with me via Google Drive, I’ll see what your options are for embedding them in the blog.

    You can make HTML based concept maps with a variety of tools that range from the specific- I’ve used Mind Meister, Gliffy, and Lucid Charts in the past. You could also do this sort of thing in Google Slides if you wanted. Some of these things are pay, some are freemium etc. There are also desktop applications that do this sort of thing. I love Omnigraffle but it’s Mac only and fairly expensive.

    Play around with a few and let me know if you hit any roadblocks.

  2. Wow, your 17 minute video makes my 5 minute video feel insufficient 🙂 Like Tom stated though, when you are trying new things go small to see if they work. I found that even though SnagIt said I was capturing full screen, it cut off the bottom of a few slides I used within my video. So I will have to redo that if I choose to use it for class. Even with that, it took a lot of time to setup, prepare and create. I love how we can scroll through your .PPT within the blog. I need to learn to do more cool things like that!

    1. Scrolling was easy! You just upload and then copy the embed code. I really needed to make that video for the class I’m teaching so I really felt compelled to go all out. The best thing about OLE for me has been that it forces me to learn new things, like learning how to make the video and use my tablet like a digital whiteboard. I probably wouldn’t have started doing that until this summer without the OLE.

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