My so-called digital life: making split-screen video OER

It has been a while since I have written a blog post. I got busy; I got out of the habit. And yet I know how useful it is to write a blog post on what I’ve been learning lately, what I’ve been musing on, problems I’ve been trying to solve, conferences or events I have attended and learnt from. And so I am back, trying to get back into a good habit of digitally reflecting, as part of my so-called digital life. On Tuesday, I will be describing the benefits of blogging to a group of PhD students here at University of Leicester. And so, it’s time to start practicing what I preach.

Since I last wrote a blog post, I helped carry off Follow the Sun 2012, our very successful third online-only conference on the future of learning. I also earned my CMALT. Thank you, Association for Learning Technology! These are good to note. But what else have I been doing? Mainly, I have been building open educational resources (OER). I have done some for the history-focussed Manufacturing Pasts project. I will link to these and share them out when the website is ready, which should be in the next few weeks.

Intro to Final Cut Express by Techcast Focus

I have also been learning to use Final Cut Express, because I have to build OER out of a film of a presenter, combined with a film of what she is demonstrating on the computer. The best way I can think of do this, with the resources available to me, is to make a split-screen video comprised of the two films.  I am pretty good with iMovie, and decent with MovieMaker, but have never touched Final Cut Express. And so I went to YouTube for tutorials. I link above the first of a series of 5 very useful tutorials posted by Techcast Focus — I highly recommend these if you are just getting started in Final Cut Express.  I learnt how to do the split-screen process from this tutorial by oneironaut420. I plan to make the video of whatever is being demonstrated on the computer by a simple screencast — probably using Quicktime Pro if it can be done on a Mac, or on Camstudio or Debut if it must be Windows.

One main reason I decided to blog about this is that if I don’t, I will forget this technique. Blogging is my open research notebook.

Please comment on what you blog about, how you keep yourself going with blogging — or your own cool tips for building video OER!

Terese Bird, CMALT

Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, University of Leicester

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