PEACE BE UPON US ALL,
For this first time ever in this Educational Technology course, we’re given lecture by a respectable instructor who’s doing his PhD in UKm. Our new sensei whose name Mr.Helmi is accompanied by his colleague Mr.Yusuf. Dr.Rosseni is there with us, but only to control the session as well as expedite our understanding and answer our countless questions. Mr.helmi is the one teaching us, while Mr.Yusuf functions as the photographer taking pictures of the class activities held on that day. Big welcome to both of our new teachers (^_^).
There are so many things occurring this week. Mr.helmi starts the class by introducing himself and his friend to us first, and then continues to his lecture by briefing out the topic of the lecture and other several things related to it. This week’s lecture is mainly themed about the video production; which is in line with our group project that requires us creating a video. The content of the lecture is actually based on the video production module published in Mr.Helmi’s mobile blog which encompasses everything regarding the processes of producing a video on our own. Before going any further on that video production part, I suppose it’s better for me explain a bit what “mobile blogging” is. What I understand from Mr.Helmi’s explanation, mobile blogging refers to the actions related to blogging be it narrating or writing on blogs, uploading pictures and videos, editing posts and any other blog-associated activities executed through mediums or machines that is mobile or in its easier word “moveable” and this includes gadgets like smartphones, iPads, iPhone, and other machines with internet access that may be moved; this justifies the term “mobile blogging” itself. The first time Mr.Helmi utter the term, it really sounds alien to me, not knowing that I’ve been “mobile-blogging” all this while. I mean, I’ve always been updating my blog through my portable notebook computer, isn’t it considered blogging via mobile equipment? People around the world have been mob-blogging since many years and it is no longer a new thing, it’s just the term that seems quite unfamiliar to users. I believe that due to this widely practiced mobile blogging also the communication gadgets manufacturers are currently producing more phones with ability to access the internet such as presently the most popular ones ; the androids. I also think that mobile blogging is an advantageous technology in the education sector especially as it allows educators or students interact online whenever they want through the mobile medium they have. It also lets the academicians update their works and writings on their blogs on the spot, without having to wait until they reach the computer. I happen to have these thoughts since i used to witness my sister sticking to an educational blog waiting for the teacher to update the latest popular topics each day when preparing for her exams.
Other than mobile blogging, Mr.Helmi also touches on the mobile augmented reality and mobile tagging, another two odd things for us all. Nonetheless, from what I’ve understood from Mr.Helmi’s explanation, the mobile augmented reality is some sort of virtual technology which is combined with the real world, while the mobile tag is the 2D tag displayed via barcodes which contain the information that are able to connect the real world objects to the related information available on the internet; and it is usually used for commercial purposes.
Regarding the video production part, we’re informed by Mr.Helmi that the processes contain of several stages comprising the pre-production, production, and post-production phases. The pre-production stage is the first phase one undergoes in making videos and it involves two important steps which is the script-writing and storyboard-production. Script-writing actually helps a lot especially in determining the objective and direction of the video, the message to be delivered, the target audience, and as well as the mood or genre of it. Also, the script-writing facilitates the video producer to plan and organizes the scenes which will be presented in the video according to the appropriate chronology and thus help avoid him from making errors during the incorporation of the materials into the video. Furthermore, this may aid evade any additional cost and mis-organization of scene sequence, as well as ease the resource management comprising the preparation of the required equipments and shooting site. I strongly feel that this pre-production part is the most essential part among all since in order to produce a good and quality item, we’ll definitely have to provide a plan, since further procedures will run smoothly according to the set plans compared to preceding any action in a sudden. Different from the scriptwriting, the storyboard construction is the visualization of the written script, meaning that we have to finish up the script or the whole ideas of the video content prior to this. Storyboard guides the video producer especially in the organization and association between scenes, ranging from the video shot composition to determining the chronology of the scenes. The production phase takes place when we start working on shooting pictures and videos as the items to be included in the video later. During this phase Mr.Helmi together with sensei Rosseni will teach and guide us in the aspects of the movement of the video camera which encompasses techniques like zoom, pan, tilt, dolly, and truck, the angles of video shot comprising three different ones (normal, high and low) , and finally the composition of video shot that consists of the close-up, middle and wide/long shots.What’s so good about this module is that we will also be given tips like the do’s and don’ts in order to produce good materials for the video. This production phase will require us to get on the move lots since we’ll have to capture outdoors views(especially for my group project). Since in the materials are to be gathered during the production phase, the next phase which is the post-production is meant for combining the items and transform them into a video. These processes will definitely involve lots of editorial activities such as cropping pictures, adding in texts and captions, choosing appropriate transitions and colours, organizing scenes according to the produced storyboard and also selecting suitable audio. Regarding the visual items, I believe that skills of using image editor softwares such as the Picasa, Photoscape and Photoshop are highly needed. As for the selection of audio, creativity in choosing and mixing multiple tunes are crucial as audio crucially functions in generating the mood of the video as well as attracting the audience to watch it. Though most of the above mentioned knowledge and expertise are very unfamiliar to most of us and hence may cause a bit insecure and worried feelings yet I believe that with Mr.Helmi’s and Dr.Rosseni’s guidance we’ll be able to master all the techniques and finish this project being excellent photographer and video-makers at the same time. In the later session, we are separated into groups and assigned to create a company blog and come up with the company name, organizational members, company profile, and the rough ideas on the video to be produced. For this task we’re given iPads. Since there are not sufficient iPads to be distributed to each group, we have to share them. However this is not a problem since we may discuss about the other aspects while waiting for our turn to use the iPad. We managed to complete the given task and provide all of the items listed above on our company blog as you may observe in the “print screen” images below;
COMPANY BLOG PAGE:
SUMMARY OF VIDEO PRODUCTION:
VIDEO PRODUCTION THEMES:
As you may see, in our “company” i function as the secretary and scriptwriter, a perfect job for me as i do love writing much more than anything else!!! We name our company blog “Our Million Steps” as the video we’ll be producing places from all over Malaysia, which requires us to do lots of travelling and visiting to gather the materials. Kindly click on the following links to check out our blog and take a closer look to its content.
VIDEO PRODUCTION SUMMARY AND THEMES:
I like that Mr.Helmi has presented interesting new topics for us during the lecture; yet unfortunately I’m gonna have to admit that the delivery of the instruction this time is fairly unsatisfying. This may be observed when all of us get apparently confused and unclear about the lesson for the first one hour. It’s not that we don’t understand whatever Mr.Helmi teaches; it’s just that we can’t really associate one thing to another and simplify into a cohesive conclusion since we can’t see the connection between one point and the others. For example, when Mr.helmi first talks on the mobile blogging, I can completely understand it, but when he jumps to that mobile augmented reality thing, I just can’t figure out what this latter thing has to do with the former one. Anyways, seeing our tense and obscurity, Dr.Rosseni comes forward rephrasing and re-explaining the gist of the lecture. She even uses the whiteboard to elaborate on each point. I feel relieved that I eventually got something from the lecture. I wonder why Dr.Rosseni may comprehend the lecture and even simplify it for our understanding, but we ourselves can’t although we are all in the same classroom. It amuses me sometimes thinking about this. It seems that it’s not Mr.Helmi’s instruction that is lacking, maybe I myself should start to learn and think like an adult in lessons, just like Dr.Rosseni did. However, I’m impressed by Mr.Helmi’s and Mr.Yusuf’s patience and professionalism in handling our fussy behaviours. I believe that our unstoppable frowns and repeated questions are quite disturbing yet they both still receive them calmly.
Despite the lacking aspects, it is a very exciting class especially to see the class getting uproarious while exploring the iPad. It’s funny to see our excitement and awed faces everytime a sophisticated application is demonstrated by Mr.Helmi. We even take pictures of us holding the “sacred” iPad.
Overall, the lecture is satisfying. I’m on the opinion that the confusion is not due to the instruction alone, yet also the way we learn or our thinking level itself. Since we (particularly me myself) are moderate learners, there are several ways that I believe may be executed to facilitate our comprehension. The most important one is for the instructor to plan or organize the contents such as the main topic and its subtopics in an appropriate sequence so that we may relate one previous given point to another new point. Other than that instructor should also emphasize on the main parts, and simplify the gist of the content into mind maps, charts or any suitable visuals. Plus, just like since we’re in the kindergarten, the use of the whiteboard is always relevant. The writing of the main points, arrows used to connect between items and such to accelerate our learning processes. The last crucial thing is for the instructor to ensure students’ understanding before proceeding with further topic in a lesson. These suggestions come out when I think about the teachers and kind of instructions that always manage to give me maximum input and compare it to this week’s lecture; and i come to realize that such lessons do possess the criteria mentioned above.
As always, what I love the most about the lecture of this Educational Technology course as is that the lessons always occur in the relaxed manner, it’s neither too serious like the theoretical TESL courses nor too playful like the Literary Play for the Literature courses we have. The fun group discussions, the free question and answer between Dr.Rosseni, Mr.Helmi and us, the photoshooting by Mr.Yusuf and such stuff make the class alive and cheerful. Therefore, in spite of any flaw (if it has), I do enjoy this week’s lecture very much.