1.3 Low-tech, low-complexity video recording

Described image
Figure 3 Creating resources doesn’t have to be complicated

Whilst it can be valuable in some circumstances to utilise high quality video recording equipment and to create polished videos, often in online learning this degree of complexity is unnecessary and can even be detrimental to the learning process.

Activity 2 The potential for low-complexity uses of video

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

This video highlights the benefits of a low-tech, low-complexity approach to producing video content in online teaching:

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Watch the video at YouTube.com [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and make notes about how achievable and effective this method could be in delivering your own teaching online.

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We really want to get across the idea that video does not need to be an expensive, high-tech venture. This activity is designed to demonstrate how achievable it can be for many teachers, and to help you to think about how it might be useful in your own online teaching.

To demonstrate how uncomplicated, low-tech videos made at home with just regular webcams or phone cameras can be effective in online teaching, an example teaching video was made by one of the TIDE team, Yin Tun. The content of the video is not important here - what is important is that Yin just prepared a few notes of points she wanted to talk about, she set up her visual aid on the wall, and set up her phone at an appropriate height and distance. There was no greater expertise involved than that, and yet the video she produced is a great example of how home-made video (or audio) clips can help to deliver online teaching effectively. (Note, however, that the volume is a little low, so if Yin were to make another video for her students she would need to try to speak more loudly or perhaps even use a microphone of some kind - with each attempt at creating such videos you can improve upon the previous attempt).

Download this video clip.Video player: yin-homemade-video-lesson-example-june-2020.mp4
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Even with low-tech approaches to video, certain techniques can make a big difference to the quality and effectiveness of your clips. Keep the camera stable (by placing on a firm surface or using a tripod, for example) and be aware of distracting elements in the background (such as screens, people or pets moving around, or even personal items such as family photographs).

1.4 Image manipulation