With YouTube Editor sadly due to sunset, I needed a reliable and efficient replace for my classroom videos. I was struggling to find anything that I could transfer files from Google Photos/Drive to an editor like the former YouTube product. Then I remembered listening to All About Android 292 last November. They highlighted PowerDirector Android App, speaking highly of its ease of use and solid video editing tools. It was time to test it!
I downloaded the app on a Nexus 7 running Marshmallow, that I use in my classroom mostly for photos and videos. For an older, inexpensive device purchase in 2014, it's still extremely reliable. The app loaded as planned and linked to my GAFE school account with ease. I found my Google Photos content in Drive right away and I was ready to make my first video production attempt.
Moving the media files from Drive to my device was very easy, with the preview icons large enough to see, but not overwhelming. The editing choices were simple, yet supplied me with the basic options I was looking for, much like YouTube Editor. From auto transitions to titles and even the basic elevator music, all tools were very intuitive. The only part that took my mind longer to get used to was sliding the video location for modifying instead of moving the cursor.
From start to finish I spent just under 30 minutes to produce and publish my beginning of the year 4 ½ minute video to my channel. I thought that was reasonable for the very first time. I know the next attempt will easily be half of that, getting down to my 10 minute production time. I love how seamless the upload went to YouTube, then to my students and families.
Other than the water mark in the lower right corner, the video turned out very well. Granted, my productions are extremely basic in editing needs. Of course the PowerDirector app is FREE. The full version is only $5.99, which I will probably invest in. Best of all, it’s easier than iMovie, but only available in the Play Store. I love when a tool hits a home-run on the first attempt.
Seems like June 1st, the last day of school, was yesterday. With major remodeling in our building I changed classrooms for the first time since 1999. The move made me more than a bit uncomfortable and anxious. What was isn’t anymore, though the remodel is needed and will be pretty amazing when completed. I left school back in June, not to return for nearly 3 months. This was a also a first for me.
Fast forward to last week’s return. Like any construction project, most went as planned and other things didn’t. I had 2 days to prepare my different classroom, dodging an army of hard hat worker that were attempting to wrap this remodel phase up. By the end of the week my classroom looked ready, but I knew what was missing to my normal beginning of the school year comfort. Student arrived despite my feeling less than completely prepared.
What happen on the 1st day was pure beauty. The student flowed down the hallway and into their advisory classrooms. Their excitement was much the same as past years, not noticing what I didn’t prepare. The focus was on the students, not the construction, empty walls or things not being just right. Huge smiles everywhere.
The internet was down and it was time for “Plan B” as I met my students for the first impressions. Those that know me know I like my technology, as my plan changed. From there the detour was bumpy, but perfect. All of my energy was solely on my classes and meeting each child. I was initially disappointed in myself, as this should always be the teacher’s path. My self disappointment shifted to a huge smile.
There was much change everywhere I looked and moved. I had a classroom of eyes observing how I would maneuver my self imposed troubled waters. I was living the change, with the focus on my class and building our foundation for the school year. The students fed off me staying calm and being genuinely excited for our 9 month journey.
I have said how change is happening and it's mostly good, especially in education. This talk is much easier than the walk. However, this year’s unusual school start up shed light back on what’s really important and our students are watching how the adults in their lives deal with change. So I intend to “Be the Change” and model it everyday, with whatever that change is.