August 6, 2013

Trying Some New Things This Year

Orientation from Jim Randolph on Vimeo.

I got an iPad mini for school.  I'm going to use it for my morning broadcast and any other photos, videos, presentations I'll need to make.  I stole the idea from my friend over at the Stroud Library.

The above is the orientation video I made for this year.  I didn't have the iPad mini when I made it.  My Lovely Bride and I brought my daughter and some of her friends to the Media Center over the summer and just took a whole bunch of pictures of them with our iPhones.  When I got the iPad mini I dumped them all into iMovie and re-arranged and cut and added narration.  The first cut was 11 minutes.  My Lovely Bride said it was boring and wordy.  I'm usually funny in front on the kids but it's hard to do that with a microphone alone in a room.  So I did a second try and tried to loosen up and add some sound effects to silly it up.  Now it's just over 5 minutes and hits all the important points I think.

The reason I wanted to do a video for orientation this year is because I'm at a much bigger school.  I don't want to say the same thing over and over again forty-some times.  I'll introduce myself, show the video, answer questions and read a fun book aloud.

For the morning broadcast I got the iPad mini, a doohickey to mount it on a tripod, a little doohickey that will connect it to our ceiling-mounted projector so I can show off stuff if needed and a doohickey that can read SD cards right into the iPad mini.  I also got an iRig microphone which is designed for mobile Apple products and works very well. That way if someone take photos with their camera I can import them right into the iPad and add it to the morning show with no sweat.  On my own I went out and bought this cover for the iPad.  It's great.  Very lightweight, allows me to mount it on the tripod thingee without having a cover flap in the way and it's already saved me from a drop to the sidewalk when we were filming yesterday.

Yeah, yesterday was our registration/meet your teacher day so I rounded up a couple of the incoming fifth graders who have already been trained to do the morning show.  We put the first episode in the can.  We decided to film in front of our brand spanking new outdoor classroom. Then we snatched the big flag from the cafeteria they use on stage for presentations and brought that outside in front of the building for the pledge.  It was easy and fun.

After that I took them into the Media Center and we sat down to edit.  It took like five minutes.  Maybe. We just dropped in the clips in the right order, added the "News" theme, music and transitions and dropped in a photo and stretched out the time on it for the moment of silence.  They were impressed and can't wait to try their hands at it.  The young man was like, "I gotta get me that app!" (referring to iMovie).

And that's just the first one.  We have a bunch of ideas to keep it fun.

It'll be much better than being tied to the live broadcast in the broadcast room.  I won't have to babysit five or six fifth graders working as the crew and anchors and two pledge volunteers plus whoever else has something to say for twenty-five or so minutes for a five minute show.  Now we'll be able to film things some mornings, get more than one pledge at a time in the can, work ahead and use various fun locations.  I can edit at my leisure, load them up in the morning and just press play when the bell rings.  Plus the kids will get training in script-writing, video, editing and anything else related to the broadcast.  Cool, huh?