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  • Anthony Cody
    Dec 2, 2000
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      >I am currently working on videotaping my classrooms. I am trying to
      >videotape a small group for Entry 4. Does anyone have any
      >suggestions as to how I can get this done on my own. I can't find
      >anyone willing to tape for me, so I am having to use a tripod only.
      >Thanks for any and all help. GOD BLESS!!!
      >MR. MIKELL

      Mr. Mikell,

      When I did my tapes, I asked for student volunteers to be the camera
      person. I was very lucky to get a volunteer who had been trained by her
      father in the basics of videography. She was a natural. Both of the tapes I
      used were done by her. I made it clear to the students that this was not a
      privilege I was bestowing on her that would rotate out of fairness. The
      stakes are too high for that.

      In the absence of a student who steps forward already knowing how to do a
      good video, I would ask for a volunteer who is willing to learn. I would
      then arrange a time to show that student the basics, after school, or at
      lunch time. Then have him shoot a practice tape, review it with him and
      look for ways to improve it.

      The big mistakes novices make are:

      1. Swooping the camera around quickly. This is very disorienting. Make
      sure they pan slowly.

      2. Not getting a sense of the whole room. Make sure that every 5 or 10
      minutes they pan the whole room slowly.

      3. Accidentally stopping the camera. Your tape MUST BE CONTINUOUS. I
      had one tape wrecked when a novice accidentally hit the record button when
      she moved the camera.

      4. Zooming in and out -- similar to swooping. The zoom should be used
      slowly and sparingly.

      Make sure you read over the advice the National Board provides regarding
      the video, and share that with your videographer.

      I found that using a student was ideal for me. When something messed up one
      day, I knew she would be there with me the next day, and I wouldn't have a
      lot of hassle rescheduling with an outsider.

      Anthony Cody, NBCT
      For Lesson Ideas and News from Oakland, visit
      Cody's Science Education Zone at
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