Teaching using digital video in secondary schools
Teaching using digital video in secondary schools

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Teaching using digital video in secondary schools

4 Cameras – what resources do I need?

The key to success of any lesson is good preparation – and this is never truer than when incorporating a new technology.

Incorporating DV into your lessons can be a simple and enjoyable experience, but it requires a clear understanding of all the technological requirements. There are a number of areas to consider in the first instance:

  • Hardware, software and other equipment, such as peripherals.

  • Your classroom – what space do you have for filming and editing, and where will the filming happen?

  • Knowledge base – how experienced are you or colleagues in using DV equipment or discussing DV/film terminology?

On a practical note, consider how much computer storage space is available to you to download the movie and then edit it. Storing and editing movies are very ‘memory hungry’ processes, so it is important to ensure that you have access to a high specification computer. The BECTA advice sheet ‘digital video technologies’ provides some helpful guidance.

There are several video editing software programs, each with different capabilities to allow you to sequence events (via the use of a timeline), add effects such as title, transitions between clips, colours, sounds etc.

Once you have edited the movie on the timeline, the software enables you to render it – create a new file with all the effects superimposed on the original clips – and this stage can take upwards of ten minutes, depending on the complexity of editing. The faster the computer, the faster the rendering time. The new rendered file will be large, so a computer with a bare minimum of ten gigabytes of hard disk space would be needed for a project (a larger hard disk would be desirable).

Now look at Activity 3.

Click on the link below to open the hardware checklist used in Activity 3.

Hardware checklist [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Click on the link below to open the software review used in Activity 3.

Software review

Activity 3

Read the two BECTA reports available via the link here then use the hardware checklist and software review (under the ‘view document’ links above) to draw up your own requirements. Compare your wish list with an audit of your school's DV resources to ascertain what equipment you will need to buy.

Make sure you give yourself time to master the new equipment and software. If you are a novice, consider investigating what local technology training opportunities exist, or whether there are colleagues, for example in your media department, with expertise you can draw on to help you get started.

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