Video editing and (Windows) app smashing

I feel quite retro posting this: Windows (desktop) apps can be smashed too!

I’m putting the finishing touches to my third in a series of video editing lessons for my S2 classes. We started with video jigsaws on the topic of Internet Safety. The students had to watch the videos to work out the correct sequence of the 4,5 or 9 clips and then use a video editing package (we use Corel VideoStudio Pro) to put them together. This introduced the idea of sequencing (programming concept!) at the same time as letting students get comfortable with a small section of the video editing package without having to really get into the nitty gritty of actually editing video. The different “sized” jigsaws also allowed an element of choice and differentiation in the class. I was surprised at how well it worked (we’ve even used it with our S4 ICT classes this week to introduce the same topic.

Week two I revisited PowerPoint skills with the class but showed them how to export their presentations as videos. We then looked at the video editing package again and I showed the class how to split clips and add musical backing tracks. Again we used the Internet Safety theme to focus the presentations. The differentiation this time was around the video sequence each student constructed: from simple import of PowerPoint video through to more advanced remixing of existing video clips.

Tomorrow my lesson is going to start with the video they created in week two and use Adobe Photoshop to turn it into an animated GIF. This is (again) new territory for me and the students, but hopefully is a simple enough process for them to follow:

1. Open the video file (I’ve tested MP4 and AVI) in Adobe Photoshop

2. View the Animation timeline (Window menu -> Animation)

3. Click on the icon circled in red

4. Set the “start of work area” and “end of work area” (this translates as start and end of the animation sequence).

5. Save as an animated GIF (File menu -> Save for web & devices option)

Note the image size (a) and the looping options (b). I am going to ask the students to adjust these as appropriate before clicking on save (c) to create an image which can be uploaded to their Edmodo account or shared with me via email.

App smashing is the process of using an application to create new content which can be augmented or extended within another application (and then possibly another and another!). Creating video in PowerPoint, editing in Corel Video Studio and converting into an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop shows that this process isn’t confined to the tablets and, I think, reflects a more realistic use of computer applications by students outside of the classroom.

Fingers crossed I will have some examples to share in a future blog post.


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