Running Head_ Audio_Video by hcj


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Running Head: AUDIO/VIDEO

                                 Audio/Video Media

                        (Sensory Imagery and Sequencing)

                                  Cynthia Douglas

                            Western Governor’s University
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        Lack of listening skills is a serious handicap for many high school students. Students hear

words, but fail to connect meaning to them—even when the vocabulary itself is within their

ability to grasp. They hear without listening. This deficiency in listening carries over to reading.

Students may read fluently—but do not understand what they read. They read without

comprehending. The central meaning of the passage is, therefore, obscure, and the richness of the

language lost, before the words are even uttered.

        Literary elements such as sensory imagery (carefully crafted by the author to augment

comprehension) are not appreciated. The vehicles of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch are, in

effect, road blocked by the reader’s inattentiveness. The sensory hooks upon which the reader

might build understanding are rendered ineffective.

        The accompanying audio exercise addresses these two factors. The lesson directs the

students to first listen for and then record (on the accompanying worksheet) examples of sensory

imagery drawn from a story which is part of the ninth grade curriculum.


        It should not be surprising, then, that students who possess poor listening and

comprehension skills, are also limited in their abilities to effectively organize their thoughts and

communicate ideas. Often, they are not able to identify sequential events even when the events

are clearly and logically laid out before them. It is difficult for them to see relationships between

and among events—difficult to make connections. This greatly hinders reading comprehension

as well as analytical and predictive reasoning. This deficiency also encumbers writing skills,

since students who are unable to see these connections are also unable to express them—or to
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even see a need to express them. The purpose of this video presentation is to support students in

developing the ability to identify and analyze sequence of events in a story. The video is

designed to reinforce concepts previously taught (and consistently reviewed) in class. It is hoped

that the informal (and gastronomic) nature of the video will provide students with simple, visual

reinforcement of the concept of sequencing.


             With the 1980’s demise of the local American steel industry, the mills that busily

lined the river banks of western Pennsylvania were torn down and the tax base of the river towns

was destroyed. One such town is the town of Aliquippa, officially classified as a “distressed

community.” The town’s population inadequately supports one elementary school, one middle

school, and one high school. Demographically, the high school population of approximately 400

students includes a minority subgroup of about 75% and a white subgroup of about 25%; 85% of

the student body qualifies for the free or reduced breakfast/lunch program. Unemployment has

moved in, and businesses (with the exception of local bars, which can be found on nearly every

corner) have scurried out. Crime, drugs, and sports serve as Aliquippa’s current claims to fame

and, all too often, current aspirations of its youth. Academics frequently take a backseat to drugs,

sports, gang violence, and pointless adolescent diversions and dramas. The immediate

gratification of fast money, power-launching violence, and reckless sex competes with the

comparatively ethereal world of ideas—where practical application seems distant and irrelevant,

and the art of critical thinking, painful as it often is, seems lost in a wispy sea of distant,

unattainable abstractions. It is difficult to get students to see the value of academics.

It is in this setting that English grammar, reading, writing, and literature must be taught to a

diverse group of ninth and tenth grade students. These students occupy the full spectrum of
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possibilities in terms of home environment, cultural background, family stability, value systems,

educational history, and academic ability and interest. Heterogeneous grouping of students

(along with the fact that there are no funds with which to hire classroom paraprofessionals for

assistance) makes teaching to individual differences an almost insurmountable objective for a

classroom teacher working with anywhere from 16-28 students in a single 45-minute

instructional period. Reading levels of these ninth and tenth graders typically range from third

grade level to college-age level, with approximately two-thirds of all students falling below

grade-level norms. Generally speaking, the frequency of behavioral problems is high, while

motivation for academic excellence—even among “better” students-- is low. Many students are

special needs students—some identified as such, some not officially identified, and some

(exercising their right to “opt out” of the special education program upon entering high school)

are included in general classrooms without additional support. Many students in need of special

services do not receive them. Often, parents refuse to have their children identified as needing

those services, particularly because they want them to be eligible (under NCAA regulations

which have tightened up to require that college athletes are academically qualified to attend

college) to play college-level sports. Those students who are identified as disabled make up

approximately twenty percent of the total high school population. In addition, there is a very

small population of ESL students (currently two students). Into this mix, the teacher must step—

attempting to remediate basic reading skills while introducing advanced literary analysis skills;

coaxing some with the barest of digestible morsels while attempting to supply a virtual buffet for

the intellectually hungry; recycling, reinforcing what has been learned while introducing what so

desperately needs to be taught. Meeting the diverse needs of this high school’s special

populations presents one of the teacher’s greatest challenges in this instructional setting. Prudent
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use of technology can help the educator to meet these disparate needs and empower learners with

varied backgrounds and abilities. The audio and video media utilized in this presentation may

offer novel ways by which to present literary concepts of sensory imagery and sequencing.

                                             Audio Process


         The first step in creating an audio recording is to plan the precise direction and purpose of

the audio presentation and write out a script for the recording—to keep the audio recorder on


         In this particular presentation, the first portion of the recording instructs students to attend

to sensory imagery in a story which is included in their ninth grade literature books. The students

are to listen to an excerpt from “The Birds,” by Daphne du Maurier, and specifically identify and

categorize (according to the five physical senses) instances of sensory imagery. A worksheet is

provided to facilitate identification of sensory elements. Students are also directed to begin, upon

completion of the audio lesson, a silent reading of the story in their own books.

         The second portion of the recording is a reading of the actual excerpt from “The Birds.”


         The recording process is a relatively simple one. First, find a quiet place. This is

important if you want to achieve a clear, audible recording. Once you have established your

location, you may begin.

         You must first open a recording program. (Audacity was utilized for this recording.) Go

to “Programs” on your computer and double-click the program to select and open it. You are

now ready to record.
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       The buttons across the control box should look like the buttons on a standard tape-

recorder. Click on the circular red button to begin recording. Record your audio presentation.

       Click on the square button to stop recording.

       You must now save your recording by clicking on “File” in the toolbar, and then on

“Save As.” There are three boxes of interest here. First, choose a location for your file in the

“save in” box. Next, give your file a title in the “File name” window. Third, note the “Save as

type” box. The file will most likely save, by default, in a format which may be exclusive to the

particular recording program you are using. For example, if you are using Audacity, the default-

save—“Audacity projects (*.aup)”—will only allow you to reopen the program using Audacity.

For this reason, it is a good idea to save the audio file a second time, using a format (such as

.wav) which is compatible with other programs. After clicking the “Save” button, reenter the

project you have completed by clicking on “File” and then “Open” and selecting the project.

Click on “File” a second time, click on “Save As” and give the file a location and title. Then,

from the appropriate drop-down menu, choose another save option (such as “.wav for windows”)

and click “Save” to complete the save.

                                               Video Process

Setting Up

       The first step in producing a video is to carefully plan the video. This video reinforces the

concept of sequencing in an informal, manner that brings with it a certain sensory appeal. You

must also choose an appropriate location for your video shoot—one that provides for adequate

space, auditory clarity, and appropriate setting. Next, you must be well-prepared, having all the

necessary props to complete the video. The best way to be certain of this is to stage a practice run

of the presentation.
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Recording the Video

       Readying the camera.

       To record the video, you need a video camera (in this case, a Panasonic mini digital video

camera). Make sure the battery is fully charged before you begin, or use the power cord to insure

a continuous supply of power during the recording process. Also, make sure you have a memory

card inserted into the camera for recording the video. (This can usually be accomplished by

opening the LCD monitor compartment and inserting the memory card into the small slot on the

side of the camera.

       Initial operation.

       Turn the power switch to “On” and then rotate the selector mode to the “Card recording

mode,” indicated by a camera icon for this particular model. (You may also use the joystick,

rather than the traditional buttons, to navigate through the menu, if you prefer.)

       Now, keeping the LCD screen open, point the camera in the direction of the subjects of

your video and adjust the screen angle (by gently rotating it forward and/or backward) to give

you the optimum recording view.

       If your lighting conditions are adequate, you may set the focus button, located on the side

of the camera, to “Auto.” In this mode, the camera will automatically adjust the focus and white

balance of your video.


       When you are ready to begin recording your video, press the “Record” button (located

near the “Mode” dial with your thumb. This same button is used to pause or stop the recording

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       While recording, you may use the zoom feature to move closer to or further from your

subjects. Simply slide the zoom button (doubles as the volume button) to achieve this effect.

       Reviewing the recording.

       To review your video, set the dial to “Playback mode.” Use the joystick to select the file

you wish to see, and watch the video on the LCD screen.

Transferring Files

       In order to transfer your recorded files to your computer, you may need a DV interface

cable. Check your manufacturer instructions to see if you need to purchase this item. Insert the

jack end of the cable into the appropriate opening on the camera and insert the USB-like end into

the DV cable opening on your PC.

       Set the camera to “PC mode” and begin. Open “My Computer” and click on “Removable

disk” then on “Open files” to view camera contents. You may drag and drop or cut and paste to

move your video to the appropriate place on your computer. (My Videos is a good place to start.)

Removing the Camera Connection

       In order to safely remove the camera connection, go to the toolbar located at the bottom

right of your screen. Roll over the icons until you locate the icon that reads “Safely remove

hardware.” Click on it. In a few seconds a window will pop up, stating that it is now safe to

remove hardware. Unplug the USB end from the PC. The download is complete.

Editing Video

       You may now wish to edit your video. The editing process varies greatly, depending

upon the software program you choose. A relatively basic program is Windows Movie Maker.

Go to the movie maker program and select “Import Video” under “Capture Video.” In the “Look
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in” box, select “My Videos,” select the video you wish to import, and click “Import.” The video

is now copied to your software program and is ready to be edited.

       Your movie will display in two areas at a time. First, your video can be viewed on the

video screen by clicking the play/pause button, stop button, and forward and backward buttons.

This screen gives you an idea what your video project looks like at any point during its

development. The video will also display across the bottom of the screen in either “Storyboard”

or “Timeline” form. These two formats are used for actually performing clip editing. It is

important to edit the movie in the correct format, or editing will not be applied.

       Trimming clips.

       You may not desire to keep every bit of your recorded video. You may trim a video clip

by going to the “Timeline” format and playing one of the clips to determine if you would like to

trim some of it out. (Note that the trimming may be undone at anytime by clicking on the

trimmed clip, then going to the “Clip” menu in the toolbar, and then clicking on “Clear Trim

Points.” You may accomplish trimming by clicking and dragging the trim handles (two sideways

arrowheads placed in the side borders of each clip) to the desired destinations—dragging the left

handle to mark the beginning of the desired clip and dragging the right handle to mark the end of

the desired clip. A more precise way to accomplish this same goal is to play the clip, watching it

on the screen, and to pause the clip on the beginning frame of the desired clip. Next, go to the

“Clip” button on the toolbar and select “Set Start Trim Point”—the beginning of the clip, up to

that point, is now deleted. Resume playing the clip and hit the pause button at the chosen

stopping point. Again, go to the “Clip “button and click on “Set End Trim Point” to remove any

portions of the video which follow that particular point.
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       If you wish to keep several portions of the same clip, right click on the clip before editing

it. Click “Copy” and then go to another storyboard cell and click “Paste.” You may trim the

original clip, retaining a portion of it for your movie and then trim the copy of the original clip to

retain a different portion. These two trimmed clips may be linked together later.

       Adding video effects.

       You may further modify your clips by adding various video effects. While in

“Storyboard” mode, go to the “Edit Movie” menu and click on “View video effects.” Choose a

video effect from the options which appear by clicking and dragging it to the appropriate video

clip. Click play to view the effect. You may click and drag several effects on a clip. If you wish

to remove an effect(s), right click on the clip, select “Video Effects” and add or remove

“Available” and “Displayed” effects by transferring them to the appropriate box, using the

“Add” and/or “Remove” buttons. (Some video effects chosen for this project were the “Slow

Down” and “Zoom” options on the three last video clips.)

       Adding audio effects.

       Audio effects can be added by going to the “Timeline” mode and clicking, in the “audio”

row, under the clip you wish to modify. Then go to the “Clip” option on the toolbar and select an

audio effect from the menu which appears. (The mute option was chosen for the credit-clips at

the end of the attached movie.)

       Linking clips/ transitions.

       Go to the “Storyboard” at the bottom of your screen. The clip or clips you placed into the

software program will be displayed here. These clips will play sequentially if you click on the

play button in the viewing screen. If you desire, you may link the clips with additional

transitional elements.
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         Under “Edit Movie,” click on “View transitional elements.” A screen filled with icons

appears--you may click on any icon and drag it to one of the small square transition boxes

located between each video clip. Click the play button on the large screen to observe the effect of

the transitional element. To remove a transitional element, right click on it and then click on

“Delete” or “Cut” in the pop up menu or go to “Edit” and click “Undo.”

                                            Graphic Process

         You may expand your video to include additional media by using the same software

program. Graphic images can, through the Movie Maker program, be imported into the movie.

Click on “Import pictures” from the menu on the left side of the screen, and browse through your

computer for the desired picture. Select the file by clicking on it and then click “Import” to add it

to your movie. In storyboard view, click and drag the image to its desired location to complete

the graphic placement. Remember to cite the source of the graphic by adding a citation at the

graphic location or by citing it at the end of your movie.


         Text can be added to your presentation is several ways. In movie-making, text is

generally utilized on titles, special effects, and credits.


         You may work in either timeline or storyboard views for all text additions except title

overlay. Click on the clip or slide the selector bar to select the area of the movie where you wish

to add text.


         To add the text, go to the “Edit” menu on the left of the screen and click on “Make titles

and credits.” Choose from the available options which appear on the screen (When using
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Windows Movie Maker, all added text is referred to as “title”). Options include adding title at the

beginning of the movie (conventional title); before, after, or on a selected clip (any special text

you wish to add); or at the end of the movie (credits).

Additional Options

       Following the directions on the window, enter text in the box, as directed. If you desire,

you may change title animation by selecting that option and choosing animation from the drop

down menu that appears. (In this presentation, fade in/out and scrolling options were used in the

title and credit sections. “Video, In Text” was used in the sections where the video shows

through the open text of the boys’ names—this is an overlay and must be done in the timeline

view.) You may also adjust the font and color of your text by selecting that option. In the new

window, make your changes using the font and color tools on that page. (For example, in this

video, a blue background was chosen by clicking on the color square and selecting a color from

the pop-up palette. White lettering was chosen by clicking on the “A” for font color options and

selecting from that palette. Click “Done” to add your title to the movie.

Saving Your Movie

       Once you have edited your video to your satisfaction, you must save the video project.

Go to “File” in the toolbar, click “Save Project As,” and not the three boxes of interest here.

First, choose a location (such as My Videos) for your file in the “Save in” box. Next, give your

file a title in the “File name” window. Third, in the “Save as type” box, the default setting—

Windows Movie Maker Projects (*MSWMM) is an appropriate setting to use. If you need a

different setting, choose from the drop-down menu. (This video was saved in a .wmv, Windows

Media Video file.)Click “Save” to complete the process.

       You have completed your video project.
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Du Maurier, Daphne. (1952). The birds. Elements of Literature, Fourth Course. (2000). Austin:

       Holt, Rinehart, Winston.

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