Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s my first attempt at making a movie with jumpcut.  I wanted to see how I could use this Web 2.0 tool in the regular classroom so I decided to make a movie about a topic our grade 7 science students are currently studying – habitats and their protection.  I wanted to know how easy and fun it would be for students to create their own movies, how easy it would be to share a movie and whether the entire process was a valuable learning experience.

I found that the Web 2.0 application was the easy and definitely fun part of the entire process.  It didn’t take me any time at all to figure out that I could upload pictures from my own files, the files of others from Jumpcut or Flickr (I chose Flickr because there were lots of choices and they’re mostly copyright-free)  to create my presentation.   I used Audacity to record my audio and then easily uploaded my audio file and merge it with my pictures.  I had to work with the timing of the various frames a little but that was actually a lot of fun.  Adding a title was simple and sharing it was even easier.  I could email the link to whomever I liked or embed it in my blog or wiki.  WordPress has a tool that allows you to do this in just one click.  I also like the fact that the movie is stored on someone else’s server so my computer space is not compromised. 

I think students would take to this application in a heartbeat.  They see movies all the time and I think they would be very motivated to learn how to create movies themselves.  With the increasing use of multimedia in today’s society, making movies for themselves and understanding how they are made can only help to increase their awareness of media in their own lives.

As a learning tool, making a movie was powerful learning experience for me.  I had to know my material well before I could even begin to think about creating my storyboard, writing a concise script, choosing pictures and creating the audio.  I was careful to avoid copyright issues by choosing pictures from Flickr Creative Commons.  Just knowing that others would be watching my movie made me try all that harder to make a quality project.  I was motivated to do well and I’m sure students would feel the same way.

I enjoyed the creative aspect of it, deciding on title fonts and types of transitions between slides. My goal was to create an artful mix of the technical elements of the medium while at the same time displaying my knowledge on the subject.  Now that I have created this video on “Protecting Habitats” I can attach it to my library wiki to display to others of how multimedia presentations can be used to display learning and to learn from.  If any student wants to review the concepts of protecting habitats, they can now just watch my video!

The only problem with Jumpcut is that I had to get the site unblocked before I could use it at school.  This might be a problem for others, as well.

Overall, I highly recommend Jumpcut as a valuable Web 2.0 tool.    I bet my science teachers are going to jump at the chance to try making a habitat movie with their students! 

And this is just the beginning. I’ve already discussed with my grade 7 social studies team the possibility of creating a multimedia presentation as the students’ final exam.  Currently, the exam consists of information presented in a Word or PowerPoint document.  They are very keen to try my idea of a multimedia presentation to display student learning in their course.  How exciting!