TE year1sourcebook/year1 unit2 Topics of Study in the Unit
In this unit, you will learn to create resources using different digital tools, in different formats - text, image and audio-video. You will also learn to create digital presentations. You should create resources on the same topic on which you accessed internet resources in Unit 1 and try to make your resource richer and more useful for your learning. We already saw that Open Educational Resources (OER) have an important role to play in education. You should, as a matter of principle, in this course, license all your creations as OER, using the Creative Commons license.
Each of these resource formats have their own advantages in communicating ideas. A picture can provide a clear representation of an idea or concept, a video can be even more powerful in enabling understanding. Text format can be used to communicate creative, subtle ideas. Combining text, animation, audio and video in well designed manner can make the resource useful and this can be tailored to the context, the learning need and the teaching method chosen. Combining different formats can help us create resources in the form of lessons or digital stories.
Think about the word 'plant'. Now think of all the words that that come into your mind when you think about the word plant. List these words in your notebook. Some of the common thoughts/words that may come into mind when thinking about plants are: water, photosynthesis, leaf, flower, root, stem, soil, sunlight, carbon dioxide etc. These words can represent concepts connected to 'plant'. Concept is an abstract representation of an idea formed in the mind. Concept maps can help in answering questions such as, "What is it? What is it like? What are some examples?"
Learning often consists of understanding the concepts that underlie an activity, or an event or an idea. The linking of related concepts enables the forming of a 'concept map' in our mind, which represents our understanding of the topic or theme.
There are software applications for creating digital concept maps. These concept maps can be an effective way of creating a text resource that can be organized in the form of a map or tree of ideas. It provides a pictorial overview of the concepts, related concepts / sub-concepts for a topic. In the map, you can link to additional resources, add annotations, graphically organize ideas through links etc.
Learning to use a digital concept map editor
20x20pxFreeplane is a FOSS application that can be used to create concept maps; in this unit you will learn how to use Freeplane and its key functionalities.You can view concept maps through Freeplane reader on Android mobile phones. The following gallery of images (Image 1-4) will introduce you to Freeplane.
- In the custom distribution of the Ubuntu operating system, all the required FOSS applications have been bundled. To open Freeplane, select Applications → Office → Freeplane, as shown in the first image in the Freeplane gallery (Image 1).
- Image 2 in the gallery shows you how a new concept map appears in Freeplane. When you open Freeplane, the application opens a window with a box containing the text "New mindmap". This node, also called the "root node" will contain 'topic name' or the core idea/ theme of the resource. Additional ideas are added by adding more nodes, called child nodes.
- The concept map gets built by adding further child nodes, for topics and sub-topics. Use the ‘insert’ key to create a ‘child node’ this is a sub-concept of your current concept. Use the ‘enter’ key to create a ‘sibling’ this is a parallel concept to your current concept. Thus you can create a concept map, as shown in the third image (Image 3), with just two functions – add child node (insert) and add sibling node (enter). The ideas you have about the topic, the sequencing of ideas and sub concepts, the specific points for each idea / sub-concept can be developed on the map. Image 4 shows a completed concept map.
Connecting concepts (nodes)
Connecting concepts supports meaning making and you can do this in Freeplane by graphically linking nodes, this is in addition to the parent-child links discussed earlier. You can link two nodes (which are not otherwise related as parent-child) by selecting the two nodes and clicking CTRL-L. This will provide a curved arrow to connect the two nodes, see image 5. You can use this to indicate a direct linkage between the concepts represented by the two nodes, as shown in the image. As mentioned in unit 1, while specific steps (such as using CTRL-L for creating graphic links between two nodes) are provided for quick learning, it is more important to learn/understand the concept / processes ("two concepts can be linked" in this case), than the specific implementation process ("CTRL-L"). This understanding can help us to more easily learn another tool in the same area, where the same concept/process may be implemented differently. Hence in the source book, the sections are intentionally labelled with the concept/process name, and not the technical implementation step. Memorising helps in speedy use of the tool, but there is no imperative to memorise all the short cuts, since these are usually easily available from the tool menu bar.
You can embed a hyper-link on a node, such that clicking that node will open a page on the Internet or a file on your computer, as shown in the image (Image 6). This connects a node on your map to related resources you may want the reader to access. You can also use the keyboard short cut CTRL-K to insert a web-link and SHIFT-CTRL-K to insert a link to a file on your computer. Freeplane will open an input bar, in which you can type in the address. The link is indicated by a red arrow inside the node.
You can also add a hyper-link to a local file on your computer. When you click on Edit-->Link-->Add Hyperlink (choose) allows you to link to a file on a folder on your computer. The image here (Image 7) shows how to choose a file from your folders to link. For instance, if you would like to display an image associated with a node, you can link the image file to the node and clicking the arrow, will open the image. You can link any file. You can even link a node to another concept map, this way you could link concept maps of topics related to a subject, to provide a connected perspective on these concepts.
Annotating a concept
The 'notes' feature allows you to provide detailed explanations, examples etc to any concept in the map. This can help you detail out your thinking on a concept. Freeplane displays a yellow label in the node, for which you have added a note.To add a note to a node, you can click on the node, go to View--->Notes--->Display note panel; this will open a window in which you can type your notes. See Image 8 for how to add notes to a concept. You can change the position and size of this note window using your mouse.
These are some basic functionalities of Freeplane. For more advanced functions, you should refer to the User Manual for the application. The Freeplane tutorial is available within Freeplane itself, which you can access any time by pressing the F1 function key. The tutorial itself is a concept map, and you should browse this concept map, not only to get help that you may require, but also as a lesson on how a concept map can communicate so much information in such a simple and coherent manner!
Typing in your own language (Kannada)
By default you can type in English. To type in Kannada, you will need to change font family in Freeplane following these steps:
- Go to Tools -> Preferences -> Appearance
- In the font family option select Kannada fonts and click 'Ok'.
- Freeplane may ask you to restart, after which you can type in Kannada.
Saving your concept map
The images below (Image 9,10) show you how to save and export concept maps in Freeplane. While saving the file, Freeplane will display the file browser, to allow you to select the folder in which you can save your file. By default your concept map is saved by Freeplane as a '.mm' format file, as shown in Image 9. However, the concept map can be saved in many other formats. You can export the map to a text document file (in .odt or .doc formats). You can also export the map as an image (in .png or .jpeg formats) or as a web page (in .html format), as shown in the Image 10. By default, the file is saved in your home folder.
Saving a file enables you to store it and to share a copy with others. Digital format of the resource enables us to use it resource easily across space and time!
Student activity time (3 hours)
Create a concept map for your chosen topic. Identify related concepts. Insert child nodes and sibling nodes to connect related concepts and sub concepts. Insert notes where you would like to provide a more detailed description or annotation for a concept. Insert a web link to Wikipedia for the main concept (root node). Note that simply saving the file will save it with the name you have given in the root node. Like with any editor, you can both create new maps and edit existing concept maps using Freeplane.
You should save the concept map in your personal digital library, you could save in a sub folder called 'concept map'. You should also save/ export the map in different formats in this folder. Each format has its own purpose(s), try and identify the purposes for the formats and chose the formats you export your map to.
References: Learn Freeplane
Textual representation has often been limited to writing in a linear text document, often forcing the writer to express their thoughts in a fully structured way. Ability to think laterally, making connections are all important for learning and can read to richness in expression. Often, a concept map can help in the laying out of the ideas, with all their connections and this can be structured further in a linear text document. Once you have completed your concept map you can share it with your classmates for feedback with which you can refine the concept map still further. The power of the digital concept map, further, is that you can keep revising the nodes, adding and deleting, moving and copying nodes as you want. This makes the process quite dynamic, unlike a concept map drawn on paper. The digital allows modification of the concept map and can be a very useful way to capture ideas in a group discussion or brainstorming. The ability to keep re-using as well as editing/refining your digital resource any number of times, opens up new possibilities for sharing thoughts and understanding, and this has implications for both content and pedagogy, supporting both individual and group learning processes.
Text is a familiar resource format, the most common resource with a teacher, is the 'text book'. You will learn to use a text editor application to create digital text resources and combine text with other formats. You will use the FOSS Office Suite application called LibreOffice Writer (LibreOffice Writer) to create a text document. Open LibreOffice Writer on your computer, through Applications → Office – LibreOffice Writer. In Android Mobiles you can view text documents through "OpenDocumentReader" App or WPS Office App. Image 11 below shows how to open LibreOffice Writer.
Entering and formatting text
You can enter text by simply typing into this document, using your keyboard. To become familiar with the keyboard, you can learn Tux Typing, a software that will guide you to typing all characters on the keyboard using the correct fingers.
UNICODE font (text editing in Indian languages)
You can also type in multiple languages in the same document. To change the language click on "EN" button in top panel, and select the language you want to type in.
In the case of languages which use a script other than Latin, you must choose only UNICODE font for the text entry. Non-UNICODE fonts are likely to not render correctly on a web page. For Kannada typing, you can chose Lohit Kannada font.
Creating and saving a text resource
The following image gallery (Images 12,13) show you how to save a text file using LibreOffice Writer.
- Saving a file - When you start entering text into the document, save your document by using SAVE option. The first image (Image 12) shows you to save a file after entering text. Documents can be saved using the FILE – SAVE option or by using short-cut key CTRL+S. Always give a meaningful file name for your documents. To save a file with another file name, you can use the Save-as option from the File menu. See the images in the 'Creating and saving a text file' gallery
- Saving a file - After selecting file name and folder click on "SAVE" (Image 13).
- The file will be saved with a .odt extension. ODT is the short form of Open Document Text.
The LibreOffice menu bar shown in the above image (Image 14) has multiple options for file operations (including saving discussed above), editing, viewing the document, inserting images, links, tables, etc in the document and formatting and defining styles in the document. There is also a tools option with functionalities for spell check, grammar, defining frequently used words, etc. You can either click on the menu bar on each item or click on the symbols shown for each. The commonly used options are discussed below.
Editing and formatting text
To copy text from one place to another, or from one document to another, you can select the text, go to Edit --→ Copy and go to a different place in the document to paste it; Edit → Paste. The editing menu also has an important feature for searching selected words. You can use the Edit--> Find option for searching selected words.
The 'format' option is for changing the format of the text, changing the text font, text size, page format and text wrapping options. For many of these options, we can use short cut icons from formatting text tool bar - for example, the letter “B” and “I” can be used to make the text bold and italics. See the images in the 'Formatting options' gallery. You can format your text in many ways either through Format--->Text, as shown in the first image, (Image 15) or Format--->Character as shown in the second image (Image 16) or by changing the parameters on the tool bar. Click on the Format menu option of LibreOffice Writer to see the options. Commonly used formatting includes selecting text to highlight it through the ‘bold’ ‘italic’ or ‘underline’ functions, are shown in the third image (Image 17), changing the font colour or size and adding text highlighting.
Inserting a numbered list
You may be making a list of items in your document. Instead of manually entering the numbers, you could use automatic numbering.
You can select Format → Bullets and Numbering and select the numbering type you want, as shown in the images below.
- The first image (Image 18) in the gallery shows the selection of text and numbering type.
- In the second image (Image 19), you will see the numbered list under 'Objectives'. Hit the ‘enter’ key to go to the next line with the next number.
It is also possible to create sub-numbering. For indenting and sub numbering, you can use the ‘Tab’ and 'shift Tab' keys. Hitting the tab key while at the beginning of a line, will move the cursor further and create a sub-number. Hitting Shift-Tab will move the cursor to the next higher level numbering. Using these keys, you can create any number of levels of numbering and sub-numbering. See Image 20 for a list with numbers and sub-numbers. These steps can also be followed for creating 'bullet' lists
Adding a table / box item
You may want to put a specific information inside a box to highlight it separately. You can also use box to provide additional information. You can do this by entering a table. You can select Table. Select number of rows and number of columns as ‘1’. You will get a box (which is nothing but a table with one row and one column). Enter your text in this box. In our document, we have created a box for providing the license information for the document. You should create a numbered list for a relevant section of your OER. You can create a box for providing similar license information for your document (Image 21). You can insert this box at the beginning of the document.
Adding images and other annotations in a text document
The insert menu option is for inserting images, hyper links, charts, page numbers, page breaks, formulas. Page numbers can be inserted in the footer of the page. The following images (Images 22-24) show how to insert images, hyper-links and page numbers.
- For inserting an image - Go to Insert → Image; as shown in the first image (Image 22) in the 'Inserting images' gallery.
- In the second image (Image 23), you will see a folder from which images are to be inserted
- The third image shows a triangle inserted (Image 24).
Linking to other resources
As you work on your text document, it may sometimes be useful to give additional information as a reference. The images below show how to insert hyperlinks. This can be done by providing a hyper link in your text document to a web page (Image 25). Clicking this link in the text document will open the web page (Image 26). This requires internet connectivity. Inserting hyper links in relevant places in your text document, allows you to lead the reader to additional web resources, as needed. This way you need not provide information that is already publicly available, and instead focus on sharing information or a perspective that is not already available, in your document. This can be make your communication more succinct and effective.
It is useful to have the page number and name of your document on every page, this is specially useful if the reader wants to read a print copy. The steps for doing this are shown below.
- LibreOffice Writer allows you to easily insert this information at the bottom or top of each page. This can be done using Insert--->Footer, as shown in the first image in the gallery (Image 27).
- Once a footer has been inserted, you can go to the bottom of the page and insert multiple fields of information using Insert--->Fields, as shown in the second image (Image 28). You can type any text in this footer, it will come on all pages. Other than page number, other dynamic information you can provide is the date/time stamp of the document. A similar method can also be adopted for inserting a header as well. Page numbers can also be inserted directly using Insert--->Page Number.
Continuing editing your text document
You can re-open this file any time to continue editing your text document using LibreOffice Writer. You can add, move, modify and remove text. You can format your text in different ways, insert images, web links and other annotations like footnotes etc. In this way, you can keep enhancing your text resource on your topic regularly.
'''Digital text is powerful.''' You have already seen that text is another form of data and text can be organized in different ways using different tools. Digitally created outputs also make sharing (making copies) and storing for posterity simpler. Watch this video with your class and the faculty and discuss how digital has made it easier to create.
A text editor allows you to combine images and text, format text in multiple ways (table, lists, etc.), allows you to add external references (either from your computer or from the internet), adding footnotes, endnotes or bibliography. Images can be formatted with text and documents can be designed for printing. It is the most advanced tool available for creating textual outputs. Text can be copied, pasted and formatted differently. All these features are not merely technical skills but they allow for richness and comprehensiveness in a written document. Writing, as we know, is not a mere mechanical activity using a script; it is the organizing of thoughts to communicate.
We also saw that when text is entered digitally, it can be edited easily. Digital 'writing' adds many possibilities to the creative process, allowing iterative editing for refining and allowing collaborative editing. For example, there is a feature in a text editor like LibreOffice Writer that allows you to comment or revise another person's output. This is useful while giving feedback or when a writing is jointly authored by two or more people. , adding different kinds of annotations for communicating meaning.
Possibility of typing in multiple languages is another great advantage that digital tools give to allow for creation of local resources. With the existing infrastructure (keyboard) it is now possible to produce documents in multiple languages. Multilingual documents can also be produced; combined with images these can be very useful for building language skills of writing and expression.
Student activity time (3 hours)
You should create a text document for your topic. Add sections for different ideas related to the topic. Insert hyper links to web resources, as you think will make your document richer and more useful. Insert a footer and provide name of your document and page number. Try to present your complex set of thoughts on the topic in rich and meaningful ways in your text document, using the different functionalities of the editor.
You are also likely to 'want' to do something on your document, which is not discussed here. Use the 'help' function to learn more about the editor yourself - lot of learning on digital tools can happen by a purposive exploration of these tools, when you are looking for a specific function to implement.
Save the text document in your personal digital library, you could save in a sub folder called 'text resources'
References: Learn LibreOffice Writer
Preparing a presentation
You may want to bring in your text, images and web links to present your ideas in a crisp manner. This can be done by making 'slides' of information using a slide making software such as LibreOffice Impress. Each slide can be considered as a ‘page’ which will contain a coherent set of information, often presented as bullet points. A slide presentation is a useful method of sharing information, or in training or teaching. While a text document is useful as a descriptive resource, a presentation can be more useful as a summarized view, which can support your talk.
Open LibreOffice Writer on your computer, through Applications → Office → LibreOffice Impress, as shown in Image 29 below.
You will learn the following basic functions in LibreOffice Impress which you need to use in creating a slide presentation OER.
- Managing slides
- Entering and formatting text
- Inserting a numbered list
- Inserting a text box
You can create a slide presentation with as many slides (Slide → Create New slide) as you want using LibreOffice Impress, as shown in the image (Image 30). You can duplicate a slide (Slide → Duplicate Slide) if you want to create a slide using the contents (or the format) of another slide. You can move slides across using drag-drop in the slide sorter view (View → Slide Sorter).
Writing, formatting, inserting a numbered list and inserting a text box
A useful feature of the LibreOffice suite is that the Writer and Impress products are fully integrated and have the same interface. When you select File → Open, you get to chose if you will create a text file or a presentation file. Hence most functions explained for LibreOffice Writer can be used in the same manner in LibreOffice Impress, including entering text, formatting text, inserting a numbered list and inserting a text box. These are shown in the images below (Images 31-33).
- The first image in the 'LibreOffice Impress' gallery shows how to enter and format text in an Impress presentation document (Image 31).
- You can change the background and line colours in the text boxes in your slides. To change the background colour, select Format → Style → Edit Style → Area. Select the colour you want (white is a good background). This is shown in the second image, Image 32.
- Similarly, if you do not want a border for the text box, you can remove it. Select Format → Style → Edit Style → Line → Style → None. This is shown in the third image (Image 33) in the gallery.
Student activity time (3 hours)
You should create a slide presentation for your topic. Add slides for different ideas related to the topic. Insert text boxes in the presentation document. Insert hyper links to web resources, as you think will make your slide presentation richer and more useful. Save the slide presentation in your personal digital library, you could save in a sub folder called 'slide presentation'. You should open the file again and see the slides in the 'slide show' mode (Slide Show -> Start from the first slide).
In the past, 'making a ppt' (preparing a slide presentation) was often thought of as the high point of use of ICT. However, you should learn a variety of methods of organizing your ideas digitally, using different tools, so that at every stage, you can choose a tool-set which will be most effective for your learning contexts and teaching-learning aims. Sometimes a ppt can be 'powerless' and 'pointless' for a given context!
References: Learn LibreOffice Impress
Creating an image resource
Images can be used standalone, or in a sequence as an animation, or in combination with text to create picture stories for communication and teaching. A picture can speak as much as a thousand words! With increasing use of ICT, creating and editing image resources is becoming more common. You should be familiar with the free and open source tools available for creation and editing of image resources.
A simple and easy way to create an image resource is to take a photo of the object you want an image of, using your camera or a mobile phone. Of course this will apply only where the topic is such that you have objects you can take a photo of. Sometimes an image can also be a digitization of hand-drawn images or paintings. Digitized representations of student drawings or paintings can be a useful collection of image resources and this can be used to help students develop communication skills.
Creating a digital drawing
You can also use a drawing software application such as Tux Paint to draw an image.
Open Tux Paint on your computer, through Applications → Education → Tux Paint, as shown in the image here (Image 34).
The screen contains two tool bars on either side of the drawing canvas. The left side tool bar contains drawing and editing controls. The right side tool bar provides the various options for the specific tool that you select on the left side tool bar, as shown in the image here. For e.g., when the "Paint brush" tool is selected on the left tool bar, it shows the various brushes available on the right tool bar. When the "Rubber Stamp" tool is selected on the left tool bar, it shows the different stamps you can use, on the right tool bar. At the bottom, you can see a palette of colours. Below this, at the bottom of the screen, Tux, the Linux Penguin, provides tips and other information while you draw.
You can use the ‘brush’ tool, select the brush and the colour you want and paint on the drawing canvas. You can use the stamps for drawing / inserting predefined shapes into the canvas. The left tool bar also has an eraser in case you want to erase any part of your drawing.
The files created by you, are stored in the home/.tuxpaint/saved folder, in the 'png' format. To open the .tuxpaint folder, you may need to select the 'view hidden' files in the /home folder on Ubuntu. The file name will begin with 'year+month+date' in YYYYDDMM format, followed by a serial number. While the drawings created by you are stored in the 'tuxpaint' folder, you can also add images that you access from other resources into the 'tuxpaint' folder and edit them using Tuxpaint application. However, before doing this, you need to check the copyright and license information on the images to be sure that you can reuse and modify them.
Creating image resources using a screen capture tool Screenshot
You can use the tool Screenshot for this. Open Screenshot on your computer, through Applications → Accessories → Screenshot, shown here in Image 35.
You have an option of capturing the entire display on your screen or selecting a smaller area. For the latter option, chose ‘select area to grab’ as shown in the image. Then use your mouse to drag drop the (rectangular) area you want to capture. (Move your cursor to the left top of the area, keep your left mouse click pressed, move the cursor to the right bottom point and release it).
Student activity time
You should create a drawing on an issue connected to your topic. Another possibility is you could use any image you found as a reference, and draw it using Tux Paint. A third possibility is to copy the image you have created by taking a photo to the Tux Paint folder (mentioned above) and open it in Tux Paint and edit it to create the image resource you want. A fourth possibility is to open the image you want (from an existing resource) and take a screen shot of the entire or part image using Screenshot tool. You can take this image, created from a screen shot to Tux Paint and continue editing the image!
You need to ensure that any source image you are using for the above activities has a copyright clause that allows you to reuse and edit it.
Creating and editing image resources using an advanced image editor - GIMP
GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is an image editing software. GIMP can be opened from Applications--->Graphics---> GIMP Image Editor , as shown in the first image (Image 36).
GIMP is very powerful with many sophisticated features. We will learn a few commonly used functions in image editing:
- Cropping an image
- Adding text to an image
Once you have opened the GIMP application, open the image you would like to edit, as shown in the second image in the gallery. You can see the menu bar providing different options for editing the image (Image 37).
Cropping an image
Often, you want some part of a larger image to re-use in a different resource. GIMP allows you to select parts of an image - in different shapes or even using a freehand selection to select parts of an image. This is different from a screen shot where you can only grab an area that is in the shape of a rectangle.
You can select parts of an image from Select Tools → Selection Tools → Free Select. You can move your cursor on the image to outline the area you want to crop, this is free hand, not necessarily in the form of a rectangle. Then crop the image to your selection through Image → Crop to Selection, as shown in the image. We have cropped the image to free select only the teacher and the student (see the dotted line in Image 38). You can export this cropped image using File → Export as and export to an image format like .png or .jpeg.
Adding text to an image
A text description of an image may be useful while creating a resource. For this, you may want to add a caption to an image and make that caption a part of the image itself. You can do this using GIMP.
Select Tools → Text. A text tool box appears.
Place your cursor where you want to type your text. You can format the text (change font size, colour) through the Text tool box.
In our image (Image 39), we have added the text ‘Digital Storytelling, Health centre’ and selected the yellow colour for the text, since it will display better against a dark background. (Tip - the text should be in a colour contrasting with the background, for easier visibility).
Student activity time (2 hours)
You should use GIMP to work on your image OER that you have created. You should use the text input option to enter captions on your image resource. You can crop a part of an image which contains the message you want to convey.
While an picture may be able to tell a story more powerfully than a 1000 word text document could, combining an image with a short text message can often enhance its communicative value even further!
GIMP is a very advanced and sophisticated image editor and students who have an interest in drawing / painting/ visual art can explore many more features in GIMP to edit image resources. As in other tools, you can use the 'help' feature to learn specific functions you want to use, or simply browse the menu and review all the features available in the tool.
References: Learn GIMP
One of the significant advantages of ICT is in terms of the possibilities for creation that it has opened up. For students struggling with text literacy, pictures could be a useful way to build comprehension and communication skills. Picture essays can be very powerful fr creating communications - with text and without text - in powerful and engaging ways. Making the textual communication less dominant can also help in increasing access to people with different levels of text literacy. These possibilities are discussed in detail in the section below on digital stories.
Digital painting can awaken the artist in you. You can iterate your digital drawings, access existing open content images to improvise than start from scratch. The digital canvas does not tear, the paints in your digital weasel do not dry up!. Digital editors can encourage more learners to experiment with the creation of artefacts, this is another potential of the 'techno-pedagogical' .
Creating an audio-visual resource
One of the most exciting things about ICT is being able to make and share videos - and this section is about that. While human beings have been writing text and drawing pictures for thousands of years, videos are a relatively recent development. There are three ways of creating simple videos.
Creating audio resources using your audio recorder on your mobile phone
You can record an audio clip using your mobile phone itself, using any audio recording app, such as ‘Audio Recorder’. You can copy the audio file from your phone to your computer for editing to create a resource. While recording, make sure that no copyright music or sound is playing in the background.
Creating video resources using your video recorder
You can record a video clip using your mobile phone itself, using the camera on the phone. While recording the video, take care to ensure that you are not shooting copyright materials or private spaces. You can copy the video file from your phone to your computer for editing and re-mixing to create resources.
Creating a video resource using a screen-casting tool - RecordMyDesktop
Screen casting is also a simple yet powerful way of creating a video resource. The RecordMyDesktop software records the computer output display as a video with audio, as shown in the image. This can be used to record the functioning of a software or any educational application. In addition to the audio played on the computer as part of the running of the application, additional audio spoken and provided as an input to the computer can also be recorded as a part of the video.
Getting started with Record my Desktop
The images in the gallery below (Images 40,41) show how to work with the "Record my Desktop" application.
- The first image (Image 40) shows how to open the application, from Applications-->Sound and video
- The second image (Image 41) shows how the view of the application window
Configuring record my desktop application
There are different settings that you can choose for recording on screen cast software based on the kind of content you are capturing on the content as well as method of sharing and publishing. Here are some pointers for changing the settings.
- The first image (Image 42) shows how to define the audio and video quality of your recording by moving the slider. A higher quality video means a larger file, as shown in the image. Therefore, you would need to decide based on the content as well as the intended use (if the video is to be published, it may be better to have a smaller output file size). A video quality of 50% is good enough for most purposes and will keep file size lower). You can also click on Advanced--->Performance to adjust the frame per second to adjust video quality.
- You can also select the window of the screen which you want to record. Click on Select window, as shown in the second image (Image 43), and you will be asked to grab the area to select. You can select only that part of the screen that you want to record. This is useful if you are opening photos or playing a video on only part of your screen and want to record that part only.
Recording and exporting
The following images will describe how to record and export the recording in the form of a video file.
- When you click on Record button, desktop recording will start, as you can see in the first image (Image 44). The recording can be paused and resumed at any time, by right clicking on the RecordMyDesktop icon in the top panel and selecting Pause (and later Resume when you want to continue recording). Clicking on ‘Stop’ will stop the recording and initiate the export of the video output.
- You need to wait till the export is completed, to get the output file as shown in the second image (Image 45). If we close the process before, we will lose the output file. The output file will be saved in your "Home" folder by default, with .ogv format. The file will usually have a name like ‘out.ogv’, however you can use the ‘save as’ button on the RecordMyDesktop screen to give a file name of your choice.
Suggestions for creating video resources using a screen cast recorder
There are some powerful ways of using this tool for creating video resources:
- You could "slide show" your presentations or play your images and add a narration to it to explain further. This can be shared as supplementary materials for your class and can be used by students who need reinforcement, additional reviews of your lessons.
- You may have used a particular software or educational application to demonstrate a concept in class. You could use the screen cast application to re-create the lesson by recording your description of the activity and sharing with students.
- Dubbing a video can create a resource in another language. In a teaching setting, you may want to use an existing video, and voice over it to add explanations to reflect the language and learning context of your class; this can be done quite effectively using this application. To dub a video using record my desktop , you need to set the sound settings on your computer to ‘mute’ (no output). Then start record my desktop application and play the video. As the video plays, read out your script. The audio read out by you will be combined with the video being shown on the screen to create the video in your language. Make sure you are not displaying copyright material on the screen when recording the video. If you record any copyright material in the video, it will be a copyright violation.
Audio is a form of communication - both verbal and non-verbal - and this can be used to supplement, reinforce expression. Allowing learners to express their understanding in multiple ways, using different skills, can have a great potential for inclusion. For a teacher, being able to create resources in multiple formats, to address different learning needs is essential. These possibilities are discussed in detail in the section below on digital stories.
Combining audio, visuals and text to produce a communication is an important skill in terms of resource creation and this process will develop digital literacy skills in multiple areas as well.
Student activity time (4 hours)
Take any OER video you like, which is in accented English spoken in the USA or UK and dub it with your own voice, in English (with an 'local' accent) or Kannada. Save the video files in your personal digital library, you could save in a sub folder called 'Video documents'.
The effectiveness of this editing will depend on how well you have prepared the script to match the original video. Also to make the recording more effective, you should use a microphone connected to the computer. You should record a couple of times and listen to it, to get feedback on what to do to improve, such as raising the audio volume, providing gaps and voice modulations etc. After you practice a few times, you are bound to get a good video!
References: Learn RecordMyDesktop
Creating a digital story using multiple resources
One of the most important advantages of ICT is the possibility of creating resources in multiple formats - images being one of them. Images can be used standalone, or in a sequence as an animation, or in combination with text to create picture stories for communication. You can also combine these with audio. With increasing use of ICT, creating, editing and remixing image, text and audio visual resources is becoming more and more prevalent. Availability of free and open source tools for creation and re-purposing of image resources can help the greater creation, re-purposing and publishing of image and animation OER.
Digital stories can be of many kinds - creating a photo essay for documenting an event or a place, comic strips to tell a story, an audio recording for sharing understanding. The focus on all of these activities is to demonstrate possibilities of using digital stories to express understanding and learning without focusing exclusively on text based methods.
Understanding digital stories
The first step is in understanding the effectiveness of different kinds of communication. Take a given multimedia communication and discuss with the your fellow students and faculty, the overall message and the role and effectiveness of each of the pieces of the digital story in communicating the idea. For example, take a sample of resources - sequence story of pictures, an animation, a poster, an audio clip or a video - and compile a story.
Some of the key parameters for evaluating digital stories are listed below.
- What pictures/ images/ sounds/ videos have been captured? How are they important?
- How different media (audio, video, image) are different?
- Why has a video been used for a particular message or could it have been captured (better) by a photograph?
- How have text, images and audio/ video been combined?
- When to use what?
Making a digital story with images and text
1. Telling a story with pictures
Digital story with photographs
This could be a photo / image essay which could be either be a documentation of an event or a set of images that can be tied to tell a story or an explanation of a process. These images can be created through taking photographs of actual events or taking photographs of hand drawn illustrations. The photographs can be stitched using a slide show.
Making a story with digital art images
In addition to taking photographs, images can be digitally created using paint/ drawing applications. Images can also be created using digital art creation tools like Tux Paint or MyPaint. Screen shots of a digital art creation or snapshots of a video are also methods of generating digital images. Such creations can be combined with photographs in a slide show.
Pedagogical possibilities from picture essays
There are multiple pedagogical possibilities from picture stories. Picture stories can be used as ways for building communication and expression in students. The choice of what to photograph or illustrate will determine the effectiveness of the photo essay.
Another skill to be built here is the ability to tell stories using photo or image essays. Unlike text, images can give rise to multiple interpretations and hence, multiple stories. This can be used effectively in a classroom to create an inclusive environment for all students to participate.
By asking students to illustrate a given story or a song or a poem, it is possible to assess their comprehension. Students can also be encouraged to make collaborative stories from pictures shared in a classroom.
2. Editing Images and Adding text
Once a picture story has been created, we may now find it useful to add text. For example, when we work for language lessons, we have to help create the story line using related pictures – related to a lesson/ idea/ author that we want to explore. It can be linked to the textbook chapter/ lesson; it need not be. Images can be added to text using a text editor or even a concept map; a concept map can also be presented with images and notes as a story.
There are different levels of combining text and images:
- Editing the image for size, format, scaling and cropping, inserting into a document.
- Editing images to improve image quality.
- Adding a caption to an image
- Inserting text into images.
- Adding descriptive texts and labels to an image; sequencing and telling a story.
Together, the images and text can tell a story. Examples will include a picture story book, a comic strip, or even a poster or brochure. This method of communication can be useful to combine art with other subject areas.
Inserting images in a text document (LibreOffice Writer)
Images can be embedded / inserted into a text document. The image and the related text enhance the value of the other in the document. select Insert → Image. LibreOffice Writer will open the file browser. Use file browser to select the image file. The image will be inserted in your text document as shown here. (Image 46).
Pedagogical possibilities from picture stories
Picture stories can be effective in allowing students to express their understanding in text, based on their language ability. Pictures can support the narration. The teacher can assess how the students are able to tell a story and their coherence of expression for a given idea. Picture essays and picture stories can also help teachers determine students' levels of documenting and their practices of documenting knowledge (their sources of information, permissions, etc), their skills of combining text and non-textual methods for communicating.
Other examples of picture stories
- Create a process flow (science) diagram and label it. (Using draw tools, scan from hand drawn process charts and take a screen shot from an existing image of a diagram/ process chart.
- Even a Geogebra file is one such image / text story.
- Explaining an experiment using screenshots from simulations is an example.
Audio and video stories
While we may not be using this very often, even simple audio clips can be used to tell stories. Using sounds and narrations to tell stories as well as adding sounds to embellish a story are possible. Determining when to add an audio or a video is a function of the story telling ability. There are multiple ways of creating audio and video files:
- Audio recording using a voice recorder or mobile
- Video recording using a camera or a mobile
- Screen cast video recording of any application or process being done on the computer
- Using a voice recorder, narrate the explanation, description or commentary of the process or event to create an audio clip.
- Combining the audio clip with videos and/or images to create video stories
Pedagogical possibilities from audio visual stories
Audio visual methods can add to the effectiveness of a message. Like in the case of picture stories, deciding on a story line, and correct choice of image or other media will determine effectiveness. Audio visual stories allow for different forms of expression including narration and music to be added and allow for more possibilities for creating an inclusive environment in a classroom.
Other outcomes will depend on the specific objectives of the digital story, whether of supporting deeper understanding of community/social institutions (in case of social science), of nature and natural processes/events (in case of science) and of expression/production (in case of language). Elements of art and music can also be blended into the digital story by the students. The style of presentation and quality of the output can also give the teachers an indication of the student's engagement with the idea/ concept as well as their technical skills.
Connecting audio-visual resources to a text resource
It is also possible to provide links and references to an audio / video file in a text document to provide a multimedia experience to the reader. There is an important difference between images and audio/video when integrating with a text document. While an image is embedded within the text document, an audio or video file resides out of the text document in a file folder and is separately accessed to play. This is done by inserting a hyper-link to the audio file or video file in your computer, to the document. Clicking on this link will access the audio/ video and play it, using the audio/video player. While publishing on a web page, it is possible for different formats to be displayed on a single page.
Combining text, image, audio and video resources can help you to communicate your message effectively. The key requirement is to be clear why you are selecting a particular resource in a particular format, this is a skill you will develop with experience.
Student activity time ( 2 hours)
Work on your text document and slide presentation. The text document can be a detailed and rich explanation for the topic you have chosen, while the slide presentation can be a crisp outline of the main points you want to communicate about.
Insert, as relevant, images as well as hyper links to web pages, audio and video files on your computer, to make an interesting narrative on the topic. Read the documents multiple times, to review and refine. Request your classmates to read, review and offer feedback. The 'review-revise' loop is an important and iterative one that makes for a good quality resource! 'Review-revise-review-revise...' can be an iterative process which can be intensely academic in nature. It can help in understanding different perspectives and approaches to content and pedagogy. It can also help unearth assumptions that we make implicitly and hold them up for deliberation and debate.
Take a printout of your main document and file it for your record.
References: Learn LibreOffice Writer
Storing, sharing and printing a resource
Any file (digital resource) can be stored on your computer (through the File -> Save option in the application), shared with others through email. Any file can also be printed to create a 'hard copy'. The applications discussed in this section have a File -> Print feature which will print the file. Before printing you can select the 'Print Preview' option to 'see' how the print will look. Based on the preview, you could adjust the formatting to get the printout as desired.
Techno-pedagogical possibilities: more ideas
The digital methods learnt in this unit, can be integrated into teaching-learning processes to enrich both the content and pedagogy aspects. Some of such possibilities have been provided in each of the sub sections in this chapter.
- Concepts acquire power and meaning when they are connected to other concepts. Hence, organizing the concepts relevant to your topic is an important first step of generic resource creation. Concept mapping can be used to build skills in students for ideating and organizing ideas; you could also use it in your class to help students brain storm or capture prior knowledge in an area. Concept maps can also be useful in helping organize your thought processes when writing, it is a good idea to prepare a concept map before writing any document and use the map as the basis for the writing. A concept map is also a useful teaching tool, it is easy to show the 'macro-view' of any topic by showing the map in full (with sub nodes hidden if required) and then expanding each node and sub-nodes to elaborate on a sub topic. Sharing images and web pages (from embedded links in a node) can enrich the presentation. You can represent any paper or book in a concept map. For instance, ' Prof Krishna Kumar's book 'The Child's Language and the Teacher' has been represented as a concept map.
- Audio books can be easy to create, these can support early language learning. Learners can follow the text from a book, while hearing the audio of the same, for reinforcement. Existing folk songs, or locally sung poems or songs can be recorded to support language learning in this manner. This can also add to the audio learning resources in native languages.
- Video resources can also support language learning by providing text-audio-visual (image) representations of any concept or item. Creating simple video documents of the singing of local songs, narration of local stories / folk literature can not only support learning, but also preserve these important cultural resources for posterity. This can also help in reducing the huge disparities we see between English and Indian languages in terms of resources on the web. Digitisation of local cultural resources by teachers and students can connect the school with the local community, engage the learner with their own culture and support local resource creation.
- Learning on a digital tool can happen from purposive exploration, but also from 'aimless' explorations, when you are simply 'browsing' the different options available in the tool, as provided in its 'menu'. The processes of purposive and aimless exploration by themselves can constitute useful educative experiences and encourage curiosity and self-exploration inclinations in a learner.
- You can use a text editor to enhance your writing skills. 'Wordsmithing' can become an art every learner can learn. Combining text and other resource formats can provide opportunities for every learner to engage in 'digital resource smithy' to hone their communication and resource making skills.
- Each digital tool can be seen as offering a set of processes. You can chose different processes from different tools and combine these to get the outputs that you want. Thinking of the digital environment in this 'open' manner can be liberating and encourage your imagination of the possibilities of learning.
Integrating with other courses in the program
There is good scope for integrating activities planned in the other courses in the first year of the D.El.Ed. program, with the learning in this unit.
- Submissions of assignments, notes can be prepared using a text editor to communicate in a rich and effective manner. This would apply to all courses.
- Action research conducted can be tabulated using a spread sheet to capture the data and perform the required analyses, using the data pivot feature to prepare multi-variate tables. Charts can be prepared from the analysed data for pictorial representation
- Concept map can be prepared for every assignment, this in fact can and should be the first activity for any assignment. Using a digital concept map can enable the arranging and re-arranging of ideas, concepts which connect together to record the assignment. Notes, links can be used for elaborating any specific concepts.
- Presentation software can be used by student teachers to make presentations. Images, audio and video resources can also be accessed, created or modified to suit the requirements of any submission or communication.
- The use of ICT, wherever relevant and meaningful, in other courses, is perhaps a good way to assess the learning in this course!
In this unit, the focus was on understanding that data can be represented as numbers, text, pictures, using concept maps, text documents and audio-visual materials to make meaning. The outputs from your activities in this unit constitute your digital portfolio, which will include
- your text, image, audio, video resources on your topic
- the combining of these resources as a digital story to explain a topic / teach a lesson / tell a story