I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to be somewhat repulsed by the way they sound when their voices are recorded.  Even after racking up years of experience doing public address announcing and making gobs of money with my voice, I can’t stand to hear myself on playback.

On top of that, I’m not very comfortable videoing myself either.  It’s not stage fright, really, but I’m simply not good at speaking on camera.  When I’m announcing a game I’m in a press box high above the stadium, usually reading from a script, with no one looking at me.  I can improv a little bit, but only if I have a little bit of time to think about it.

My new best friend.

But I better get over all that, because it’s part of my job description now.

If you’ve kept up with this blog, you know what the Flipped Classroom model is, but in case you’re new to my words, it’s a system in which lectures are delivered for “homework” via video, and students do assignments, projects, etc. during class time.  It’s a very interesting system, and I think it’ll pay dividends by liberating us to do more online- and project-based learning, but all of us at RTHS are having to drastically alter the way we deliver content, learning as we go what the best method is for making digital lectures.

I’ve been using Adobe Presenter, which is a nifty add-on to PowerPoint that I had to learn to use for a couple of projects in grad school.  You can provide voice-overs for your PowerPoints that you may have already created, and the students can click through between slides to go back to things they may not have grasped the first time.  If you’ve never seen this in action before, you can view a sample from the Adobe website here.

I like Adobe Presenter for one of the reasons to which I alluded above – I can go off a rough script and no one is looking at me.  But I want my students to come out of their comfort zones in my classes, so it’d be hypocritical of me to not endeavor to do the same.  Furthermore, just like the same type of lecture day after day gets redundant and dull in a class, the same goes for using the same type of videos.

Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.  Without further ado, here’s a video put together by me and my department mate, Mamie Hall, to give our students a brief orientation to how our course is going to go.  I used to hate going over this on the first day of class every semester; the beauty of the Flipped model is that I don’t have to anymore.

I really need to work on my facial expressions at the midpoint of videos.

Mamie and I had a lot of fun making this video.  It probably isn’t the peak of our potential – all the filming, splicing, voiceovers, and audio tweaking was done in one afternoon – but it gets the job done.  We also got a few funny outtakes; I’m hoping that the faculty can save some of the goofs and put them together at the end of the year for our enjoyment.

The biggest thing I got out of today, however, is that maybe I’m not so bad on video (of course, you might disagree after seeing it).  Maybe I can talk a little history on camera and not feel completely embarrassed about it.  Who knows – maybe I’ll get to the point where I hate giving lectures in class and can’t imagine not doing it this way.

As long as I don’t have to listen to it afterwards.