All 3 entries tagged E-Squad

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February 02, 2009

Media Workshop Experience January 2009

On Wednesday January 21st we held the first Media Workshop Experience event for students.

This was a collaboration between the Careers Service (James Mears and Stephanie Redding), Arts E-learning, the Arts E-Squad (Nikesh Parmar, Catherine  and Pesala Bandara), and Tracy Playle of PickleJar Communications.

We had various aims. James and Stephanie are looking for new ways to give students simple but meaningful experiences that might help to seed an interest in media careers. I am looking to develop the idea that students, with relatively little training, can create good short movies that might be of use to their departments, the university, and as part of their own personal development. I am also establishing interest in an ambitious project that aims to get people at Warwick to create videos: the Warwick Media Workshop (join the Facebook group).

The event took place in the Teaching Grid. We began with a short talk and a demo movie (see below) illustrating what is possible in just a short time using the available equipment (iMacs, Screenflow, iMovie, Sanyo Xacti SD card based cameras). Tracy then gave 15 minutes of advice and tips (very good). The students split into four groups, each with a camera and iMac. Two of the groups had already formed from a shared interest (there was a group from the Arts Centre Stars programme). The other groups were mostly strangers, and hence faced the additional tasks of integrating into teams, and coming up with an IDEA. The groups then developed their IDEA, using techniques (including storyboarding in Powerpoint).

We noted that they spent much longer than expected in developing their ideas, and didn't really get a good sense of feasibility (must look into ways to get them to be more realistic). This meant that none of the teams completed within the three hours, and two of the teams carried on for an extra hour. All of the teams, however, had good movies in the edit stage, and we were able to watch and enjoy their draft edits. The level of creativity was quite surprising. Tracy had advised them, as a means to spark ideas, to find simple props - one team based their movie around a food tray (boxing ring), an apple (boxer representing healthy food) and a hamburger (boxer representing junk food). The teams have been invited to complete their movies in their own time.

As a venue, the Teaching Grid worked well. However, noise was a problem as each group performed scripted material. Having to move 4 iMacs into the Grid, and then return them to the office was far too difficult. This will be easier next time, as the Media Workshop project has based an additional iMac in the Grid.

Here's the demo video, illustrating some of the possibilities...

iMovie 09

We've just got the latest version of Apple's iLife09 creativity suite for the Media Workshop and Arts E-Squad iMacs. iMovie is particularly impressive.

Here's a movie I created to try out some of the new features. It was filmed using a Xacti HD camera.

The movie was edited using iMovie09, and features several of the new features including: animated titles, picture-in-picture (notice the drop-shadow), cut-aways (can use for multiple camera work), ripple transition. Other new features not used include: adjust the speed of a clip, separate the audio from a clip, overlay clips with transparency. The music is from the free iMovie09 stock.

January 10, 2008

Arts e–Squad team meeting – January

The Arts e-Squad is a team of students dedicated to supporting and encouraging the use of IT in teaching and learning in the Arts Faculty (funded by TQEF). Here is a brief report on our recent team meeting.

Here are the main points discussed:

  1. We have been given £5000 in additional funding, I am to use it to temporarily fund our activities and to write a report on the feasibility of continuing the e-Squad with funding directly from departments.
  2. Ideas for an e-Squad logo were discussed. Douglas suggested a clever e symbol rather like @. Lisa will co-ordinate this.
  3. The idea of e-Squad members wearing yoof-style hoodies with the e-squad logo WAS REJECTED in favour of more subtle and stylish badges.
  4. We will produce a set of business cards for e-squad members to use.
  5. Lisa Lavender (History IT person) will be taking over running the E-squad for a day a week.
  6. All reported that they are happy with the system currently used for advertising tasks (posted onto a forum).
  7. To make planning more straightforwards, each student nominated a set hour (or two) during the week during which they will come to our office (H409) to work. We will try to organise work for them to do in advance, but in some cases may not have any tasks – an email will be sent to the student the day before to confirm. THIS IS OPTIONAL FOR UNITEMPS STUDENTS.
  8. Training sessions and other dates will be added to the calendar at: Two sessions have been arranged, one on Sitebuilder (you may have done that already) and one on video. See the calendar here.
  9. Catherine has started to create a video of interviews with first years about their expectations and experiences of Warwick. Douglas will be filing more footage for this. If you want to get involved, talk to Catherine. There will be more videos to produce soon.
  10. I have an additional £5000 to run the Warwick Podcasts student competition again. Help will be needed for this. You may also want to enter a team. You can see info about last year’s competition.
  11. There will be a University-wide showcase event (with posters, stands, presentations and videos) in week 10. More info soon.