What we learn from youngsters…

Some time ago I wrote about using PowerPoint to edit videos.

This week I got a lesson in another use for PowerPoint – creating animations. I was wandering through the school library, looking for a computer so I could print some tests (problems with our school server, computers, and printers is another story) when I saw a young man looking at an animation. As a staff member I had to call him on it – school computers are not to be used to watch videos or listen to music – it slows the server down.

It was a surprise when he showed me he wasn’t on the Internet – but had created the animation using PowerPoint. He had hundreds of slides and had painstakingly drawn characters and had moved them/animated them frame by frame and then made it go fast enough to appear real.

Wish I’d gotten his name – he was a freshman and on his way with family, moving to the East coast.

But I experimented on my own and the above is the result – and trust me, it is nowhere near the level of my teacher.

Something new to spring on your students.

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Yeah, let’s include THIS…

Bob Helmes was my first chief photog – 1974, KXTV in Sacramento (aka Sacra-tomato), California. He gave me (more than) a word of advice: “It doesn’t matter how pretty it is or how much time you spend on it if it doesn’t make air.”

Deadlines. They can kill ya. I recall missing two in 28 years. One I can be excused for – stuck in bumper to bumper traffic trying to get back from the high Sierra. Took us two hours to move a couple of miles in a snowstorm (the us was me and a VERY pregnant Rita Holman). Second time I was just plain stupid. Estimated drive time from the Stockton bureau to the live location in Modesto and didn’t check to see if there was any road construction on the way. There was. We could see the light on the live truck as the clock hit ten and we were three or four blocks from making it.

So I gotta include something about deadlines in the book. What brought this home is the fact a few of my students DID NOT LISTEN over the past few months when I said I do not accept completed assignments as iMovie files. All files must be “shared” or converted to full quality QuickTime files. So on the last day of school as I was downloading and grading, I left at least two files in computers and gave the offenders a “Z” for zero on the assignment. They didn’t take the final step.

Ouch for them – but a good reality check too. Do the work AND get it in properly. It don’t count if you didn’t make air.

Mrs. G’s Summer Plans (for my students only)….

Mrs. G

If you found this blog, you obviously followed instructions on the handout you got last week. I will be mailing out more information about planned trips and events for the summer. If you want to be included, YOU MUST RESPOND. Seating is limited in the van (six students per trip)…if there is enough interest and you have a parent who can drive we may be able to take more.

I also welcome ideas for events and places to visit – the main requirement is that we can discuss the event/location beforehand, brainstorm story ideas, and plan the trip around the story ideas.

These are not shopping or lookie-loo trips. Each trip will involve discussion either beforehand or while on the road, plus a little paperwork showing planning, and a post-mortum discussion and paperwork about what you learned and what went right/wrong. You will most likely work in teams to shoot, write and edit. You WILL talk to strangers (yeah, I know your folks have always told you not to – but journalists do this every day) – and I will always be nearby keeping an eye out for you.

I guarantee you will have fun and you won’t know you’re learning (most of the time).

Just a heads-up: email me immediately if you are interested in the Relay for Life this coming weekend. We’ll be out about an hour before sunset to get interviews and the best possible light as the sun sets with walkers and candelabras (small candles in paper bags lit in memory of those who died from cancer).

Look forward to seeing you!
Mrs. G aka Cyndy Green

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