I so appreciate the many in my professional learning network who share their journey and experiences. The blogs, articles, and videos have assisted me in so many ways. I just don’t enjoy blogging and it doesn’t spark joy as I create each written entry. This is my inner struggle for most if not all of my blog posts. It’s time to do a better job.
What better way than to share my experience on a high school trip to Peru. We traveled with 31 students who were going into 9th and 10th grade, as well as 5 chaperones and one guide in Peru. The trip was through EF Education First Tours. I was in charge of the digital documentary for photos and videos. The learning experience was amazing, with postcard views from almost every vantage point.
I enjoy what tech does for me and as a thrifty person, I'm always looking for ways to stretch my funds with the tech tools I have. Here are the tools I brought with me in my backpack to Peru: Nikon 5000 DSLR Camera, Samsung Note 9, Snapchat Spectacles, Mini Tripod, USB Type C Adapter & Sony Headphones. Through coupons, deals, discounts and other means, I have less than $900 invested in my tech bag. I wanted share how I used these devices on our trip.
The Note 9 was at the center of my travel system. Capturing daily reflection videos, importing photos and videos. I uploaded all content to Google Photos in a shared chaperone album. One for photos and one for videos. It is always nice to have the peace of mind knowing the digital memories are backed up, just in case something happens to the device. I did use a type c dongle to upload photos from the Nikon 5000.
Video quality was very good with the Note 9. Autofocus was fast and student reflections were very easy to capture. The only downside was the internal microphone on the phone. It was fine in a quiet environment, but hard to hear if there was much background noise. I will get an external microphone for next time.
I used the Nikon 5000 for candid still photos. This has been a great camera for me, turning 10 in December. It does have a video capture option, but autofocus doesn’t work once recording has begun, thus videos often lose quality unless shooting distance stays the same. I found it interesting how a DSLR camera sometimes seems less intrusive than a smartphone. Over 500 photos later and the battery was still nearly full.
Snapchat Spectacles are nothing short of fun. The quality is very good and getting those in the moment shots are priceless. The captured images and videos upload seamlessly to my Snapchat app on the phone, then backed up to my Google Photos account. The case is the battery pack, which I never had to recharge in 8 days. The glasses would last 3-4 hours of use before needing a charge.
The mini tripod worked so well as a selfie stick, or for more stability while getting video reflections from the students. I used with both my phone or the Nikon. It was easy to pack for travel and sturdy as a tripod or selfie stick. The video stability feature on the Note 9 acted more as a gimbal, for smoother video.
Creating the final reflection video of our trip was surprisingly easy. I used the android app PowerDirector. Since it’s an android app, I could edit video on the Note 9 or my Chromebook. Before starting I used the Google Photos Movie Maker feature in the Google Photos app assistant. Easily taking up to 50 photos or videos, to create a short movie. This movie is automatically saved to my Google Photos account.
It was time to download video clips and created movies from Google Photos. PowerDirector made it easy to drag, drop and produce each movie. In all, I created 7 movies, totally 87 minutes in length. Finally upload each video to my G Suite YouTube account, in a Peru Playlist of our trip, to share with students and families. I’m a little low on creative juices, so these tools all helped me to be more efficient.
Feel free to contact me if you have question or comments on my tools or process. I'm so impressed with what we can do with the tools we have today. I'm very lucky to live in this exciting time of learning and sharing.