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Digital Video

John Simkin

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If you would like to spark your pupils' imaginations and improve their creativity and communication skills, Becta's free information sheet on how to get started using digital video should give you some ideas. It includes ideas on choosing equipment, planning, filming and editing. To receive a copy, send an email to dvawards@becta.org.uk. You can also get a free copy of a report based on an analysis of current research about the use of digital video (DV) in teaching and learning. It summarises the key findings and suggests resources for further reading.


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I work as a member of the MELTEC team, Kingston University, which offers courses in multimedia: http://www.meltec.org.uk

We use the following devices on our introductory courses. They have proved ideal for novices, most of whom are extremely nervous about entering into the world of multimedia.


A useful product is Digital Blue's Computer Sound Morpher (also known as the Animation Station), a microphone with a built-in storage facility, i.e. you can make a recording on the move and then upload it to a PC via the USB port at a later time. It is accompanied by software embodying a range of editing and of animation facilities. You can record up to four minutes of sound away from the computer. This does not sound like a great deal, but in practice you will find that it is more than adequate for capturing dialogues, and of course they can be pieced together and edited in other ways using the Sound Morpher's own software or software such as AudioSurgeon (above). Available from Tag Learning: http://www.taglearning.com - search under "D" for "Digital Blue".


A companion device to the Sound Morpher mentioned above is the Digital Blue Digital Movie Creator. It records up to four minutes of video or a number of still photos and includes editing software. Stop-frame animation is a feature of the editing software - i.e. you can produce stop-frame movies along the lines of Nick Park's Wallis and Grommit. The camera and editing software are very easy to use and ideal as an introduction to digital video both for teachers and students. The camera connects to the USB port for uploading videos and still photos. Available from Tag Learning: http://www.taglearning.com - search under "D" for "Digital Blue".

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