Communicate 2 – Ongoing Communication

The following is a blog for my EOTC class.  This is about ways to communicate with the parents and students regularly.

One way of communicating with the parents is providing updates to release grades through a grade portal.  At my new school I will be sending these through Infinite Campus.  With an online classes you can do this too.  Whenever I updated a lot of grades, I would always send out a message to students and parents to let them know they had been updated.  One thing to be careful about doing with these group emails is to send them via BCC because of FERPA.  I noticed that the program I was using was doing that but never understood why until now.

I do not have access to my old  emails but they looked something like this.

Dear Parents and Students,

I just finished grading the Photo Scavenger Hunt.  This was our 2nd major grade this semester.  Your updated and average and the grade for the assignment have been posted online.  

If you did not turn in this assignment your grade probable dropped significantly because there are so few grades in the grade book at this time.  Fall break is coming up and you may need to spend some of this time catching up on your work.  Your grade will go up when you turn in this assignment, so please do it soon.  

If you need any help please attend my online session on Tuesdays or email me.  

Another way of communicating with all the shareholders is by using newsletters.  This is something I have never done before but it looks like I am gong to be using . These look like a good place to brag about  what is going on in your classroom.  Here is the example I created using more.

https://www.smore.com/ncsjd-welcome-to-film-class?embed=1

 I hope you enjoyed my blog.  Let me know what you think about my newsletter.

Communicate 1 – Communication Guidelines

The following is a blog for my EOTC class.  In this blog I will be discussing guideline for working in a online environment.

When working in an online environment communication is key. The student and instructor need to communicate on a regular basis.

Heres is a copy of a sample welcome letter.

Welcome to the  Audio Video Technology and Film program. This is the first class offered in the AVTF pathway.  Film is the fastest growing industry in Georgia.  Last year it was a 7 billion dollar industry.  I have been teaching film and video courses for the last 18 years and have worked in the industry.  It is a great time to be studying film because of all of the opportunities available for the future. 

I will be conducting my online session for this class  on Tuesday at 7 PM.  This will be an opportunity for you to learn more about film and ask questions about the material covered.  At these session, you will have the opportunity to earn credit for participating.  If you not available at this time, you may watch the recording of the sessions.    We will have our first welcome session on August 22nd.

If you have any questions you can reach me at my GAVS email address located below.  That is the best way to contact me.  I have also included my Google voice number that you can text.  I will check my email several times a day but will not be available to test until the afternoon.  Depending on when you log in daily, it may take 24 hours to answer your questions.

If you have any question about this course or material contact me.  If you have trouble with you computer or accessing your course you should contact the GAVS help desk.

 

Chris Holcomb

Audio Video Technology & Film

Georgia Virtual School

Online  Hours  4-9 PM

Teacher Email: chris.holcomb@GAVS

Phone (678) 75#####

Generic email

Hello Student name

I noticed you have not logged in for several days.  I care about how you doing in my class. I didn’t know if there is anything to I can do to help you at this time.  If you would like I can call you.  Please let me know

Mr Holcomb.

Stakeholders email

Hello Mr Student name

I am Johnny AVTF instructor.  He had been making satisfactory progress on his assignments this semester.  This last week he has not logged in as much and was wondering if you encourage him to stay on track.  if you have any questions feel free to email me

Thanks
Communication Policy
Please contact me via my GAVS email. That is the best way to contact me.  If there is an emergency you can text my number but I may not always be available to answer it quickly.

Tools for effective communication. I will be sending out weekly updates in D2l.

I hope you enjoyed my blog.

Participate 4 – Digital Safety and Security

Adobe Spark

The following post is an assignment for my Effective Online Teaching Class.  I created the poster in Adobe Spark.  You can download the PDF here- Be safe online.  I would probably print this out and put it on my wall near my computers.

As part of my class, I teach my students about safety in classroom and the workplace.  It is kind of shocking to the students when I skip from being safe on a ladder to being safe on a computer.  That don’t really think about it.  To reinforce this I use software that I can monitor their computers.  I usually wait until they get off task and surprise them with a message that people can see their activity.  After I surprise then I can show them, that I can follow what they are doing and share it with others.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom. Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

Participate 1 – Joining a DLC

This my 2nd post for my online class.  Although it is a little off topic for me, I hope it offers my readers something they can use.  The product I am creating as part of this class should offer something for my readers. If this article does not interest you skip to the bottom and look for Film and TV webmix and click on it.  I am sure you find this is a valuable resource.

The first thing I immediately did was do a Google search to to find out the difference between a digital learning community and personal learning network.  According to the websites I visited, a digital learning community or dlc for short is socializing with others to share knowledge about a subject.  A personal learning network or pln is personalized to you.   So your pln may be composed of several different subjects.  My pln is composed of journalism, film and technology resources.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 4.31.09 PM

I was a little surprised to discover I have been doing this for years in my own personalized way.  I have been participating in RTNF Listserv for years.  I have followed several schools that had exemplary video programs via their webpages. I am a member of a Facebook group for Broadcast Video Teachers.  I started a Google plus group for my school and fellow film and video teachers.  Plus I have been participating in a few different twitter chats.

The digital learning community I have learned the most from lately is the Facebook group for Georgia  Broadcast teachers. It is great because I can post a question in the morning and usually by lunch someone has answered my question.  Most of the teachers in this group are the only one in the building and possibly the district who teaches their class.  It is great being able to hear feedback and share answers with others.  The most difficult thing about this group is you need to know someone to join it.  It isn’t really for students but for their teachers.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 4.30.16 PM

I am using the iOS and the desktop version of this Symbaloo.  Using the desktop versions gives me a lot more options.   Using the iOS version gives me the convenience of using the software anywhere.  I think it may be best to set up Symbaloo on a desktop.  Once I have a fully functioning web mix I have created, it  will be able to easily use from my iPad or other mobile device.

I took all of the resources from above and created a WebMix.  This includes tutorials that I use in my class, school websites, youtube channels and professional organizations.  My goal was to create something I would use and other teacher in my subject area could use.  Students might find some of it useful.  I would probably adapt it for student use.

Film and TV Classroom Webmix

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com.  Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.  Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

iBook Production – Camera Composition

I mentioned that I worked on an iBook, a few weeks ago.  I promised to share a copy.  I created a form to download a PDF copy.  Here is the download link:

A few weeks later, I discovered iBook Creator and created a similar book in the EPUB format.

Email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.

Film and Technology in the classroom



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The New Way to Teach Camera Composition: the scavenger hunt revisited

By: C. Holcomb

Photo by C. Bundy

I am not sure if I invented it or saw it somewhere, but I have been teaching camera composition the same way for at least the last twelve years. I know a few others teachers that have a similar lesson to teach camera composition.  The students take still photos for a scavenger hunt, then label the photos, and then create a powerpoint. The technology has evolved to a point where this project is getting easier and the pictures are better quality.
To start this assignment, I show the students a short powerpoint on different shots and provide them with different examples. I explain to the students that everyone has a slightly different definition on shot composition. It important for them to understand this because you can find some resources that explain composition slightly different. This might confuse a student who doesn’t pay careful attention. I rely on my professional experience and my textbooks to define what I require on this assignment.
In the past, I had the students take pictures with the still camera or sometimes with a video camera capable of stills. This project would take a while because I only had a few cameras and I would send the students out two at time to take pictures. Thanks to cell phones most of students do not need to use the school cameras to complete this project. So, a few years ago, I changed this from a partner project to an individual project.

Another benefit of using cell phones is that the students are no longer limited by their location. Most of the pictures were taken in locations just outside my classroom, but now students no longer need to be at school to take the pictures. The results of having a larger location base was that I had students turn in some really good looking pictures. Gone are the days of student taking pictures with a cinder block backdrop and florescent lighting (boring).

Photo by K Cochran

 

The next advantage is, I have been able to decrease the time needed to complete this project.  Not only can the student upload the photos quickly to the computers, but they can also do their entire project on their phone. I no longer require the students to use powerpoint, and now I ask them to use Google Slides. They can work on their project on their phone, on a computer at home, or at school by logging into a Google Account. This semester I will give the students the option to turn in their project in as a Google Photo Album.
In the past, when they they did this assignment, they only took a few photos and many of them were incorrect. They felt rushed to take the pictures because someone was waiting to get the camera, and they had a limited amount of storage space. To overcome this, they had to delete the photos that were left on the card. My assignment only requires fifteen photos to make sure the students have a good grasp on camera composition, but I recommend taking much more than that.

Today, I had one student take only twenty photos, another take ninety-six and one take over two hundred. Now, they can afford to take more pictures until they get the picture they want. I am challenging students to show me something I haven’t seen before by using angles and lighting to their advantage. I have also made this a contest by telling them I would use the best ones in an article I was posting online. The downfall is not every student has a phone.

I know it is hard to believe. I still have a few who have broken their phone, or they refuse to clear up space on it. Others supposedly get grounded from their phone, or run the battery down before class. I started my lesson this year by explaining how to use Google Photos and letting them know it had unlimited storage. Still, I had to pull out some old still cameras to let them use for the projects. A benefit of this is, students working on their own device are finishing their project faster. The last two semesters I have had some talented students finish the assignment in one day!

Photo by C. Gill

Next year, I plan on adding lighting to this assignment. I want the students to experiment with lighting. The students will take photos that are backlit, overexposed, and underexposed. If the student can master this assignment we can make great looking projects all year long! One time, the students caught me experimenting, with lighting, while they were working on their projects, and they began taking their own lighting pictures.
Another thing I am experimenting with, is having the students do this project in a completely different format. When I first started, we were using video cameras with tape. Back then to have the students do this assignment as a video, would take way too long.  It would a lot quicker these days.  I have one student who is doing drawings on a computer. I would like to see someone, who is interested in animation, doing this as one.

 

Students drawing the shots on a computer.

Here is a list of the pictures I have been using for the assignment:

 

  1. XCU of an object
  2. XCU of a person
  3. MS of someone wearing a green or gold shirt
  4. MS of someone near the vending machines/ someone in the stands
  5. LS of someone walking (lead room)
  6. MCU of someone in front the media center/ someone near the gym entrance/ football gates
  7. MCU of someone in the cafeteria/ MCU of someone cheering
  8. XLS of a group of students
  9.  2 shot   
  10. a shot with a canted angle
  11. CU shot of someone in profile
  12. a shot that shows great depth of field
  13. a shot that shows shallow depth of field
  14. a eagle eye shot
  15. a low angle shot

I hope this helps and email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com.  If you would like to see how I define the shots above, you can download this short ebook to your favorite reader.

Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.

 

Book Creator App

I installed the Book Creator app on my iPad this morning.  I used it to create a book of my daughter’s sight words.  With her help we recorded the words on the iPad.  It was a easy program to learn.  We were able to export it out as an ePub, a PDF and a video.  This only took a few minutes.  It will be easy to create a book each week for her to study.   The app cost $5 in the App Store.   It is available on iOS, Android and Windows mobile.  I recommend trying the free version out.   Here are links for the video  and ePub.  

I hope this helps and email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com.
Subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.  Check out the Tap That YouTube channel for tips and tricks on using your iOS device.