By Jim Olsen
The Big Picture of Creating and Using Videos for Teaching & Learning - (Jan. 2010) how to create, prepare, and post videos -- pretty easy!
Windows Media Encoder is a powerful tool for teachers (or anyone producing content) who wishes to capture audio and video content from a computer screen, or screens, for later playback using Windows Media Player. Windows Media Encoder is a free download from Microsoft.com (once installed it may be found in Start|Programs|Windows Media). For playback, Windows Media Player is pre-installed with windows (or a free download).
Handout from my talk at the ICTCM Conference (Boston, 2/17/07) titled Using Windows Media Encoder to Enhance Mathematics Teaching and Learning: This May be the Missing Link
The following are .wmv (windows media videos) which, upon clicking, should open up in Windows Media Player.
Function Flyer - Great applet for investigating functions. From Shodor Interactivate. File size: 1.19 MB. Length: 2:24.
Find Digit Game - Interactive game from the Cyberchase games from PBS. File size: 4.08 MB. Length: 2:19.
Airline Builder Game - Interactive game from the Cyberchase games from PBS. File size: 7.81 MB. Length: 6:20.
Find Grampy Strict - From visualfractions.com. File size: 2.98 MB. Length: 2:41
Exponential Function Value Half-way Through - This is a video of a Geometer's Sketchpad sketch which demonstrates a characterization of the geometric mean using exponential functions. File size: 1.62 MB. Length: 2:34
How to Submit an Assignment in Western Online - For online students. This shows how to submit an assignment in an online course (using WebCT Vista). File size: 1.99 MB. Length: 2:36.
Graphing with the TI-84 Calculator - Quick introduction to graphing on the graphics calculator. This is a video of TI-Smartview program (calculator emulator). File size: 717 KB. Length: 1:01.
How to Use Windows Media Encoder to Make Videos - Step-by-Step instructions (one page Word file).
How to Make a Video - This is a video of Windows Media Encoder itself so that you can see the steps for making a video. File size: 5.84 MB. Length: 3:37.
With Media Encoder you have two choices which effect file size and video quality: (a) how much of the computer screen to record (one window, section, entire screen) (b) quality of the video (low, medium, high). I was curious as to how much difference there was (in file size and video quality). I made seven one-minute (approximately) videos. For each video the file size, length (min:sec), and KB/second are shown. Click to view the video quality.
A few things I noticed:
- To go from low to medium quality more than doubles the file size and significantly improves the video quality.
- To go from medium to high quality the file size less the doubles and the video quality only improves a little bit.
- Low quality videos are often very poor. They may not even keep up with your mouse or other movements.
- One window videos have file sizes less than a similar "section of the screen." However, if multiple windows are going to be used, this may, or may not, work using the one window option.
Note: I have found that the quality of the video playback does vary from computer to computer. What may look very good on one machine, may not look as good on another. This may be due to the quality (and age) of the computer's video card or other factors.