Tech Tools: Using video to capture lived experiencePosted: Sat 02.25.2012
As budding scholars, we gravitate to the evidence: robust lines of research, rigorous studies, and statistics. As human beings we gravitate to stories: the power of the individual experience to illuminate general trends. Growing evidence supports the notion that one of the features of exemplary principal preparation programs is an emphasis on high quality mentoring relationships. Last week, I was sent out into the field to gather individual perspectives or stories of why and how mentoring works. Practicing and aspiring principals are busy people. Their work days are usually long and often fragmented. Getting in to see them is the first hurdle. Making excellent use of the time they have so generously allotted is the second. I needed a tech tool that would be simple to use and that would enable me to get enough video to capture their experiences as mentors and proteges. One of the other professors needed the office Flip video that day. What to do? Enter the video feature on a tech tool I carry in my purse everyday – the iPhone. Ease of use meant being able to explain the purpose of the conversation while I was turning on the video feature. The size of the phone meant being able to hold it and make eye contact and encouraging facial responses to the interviewees as they talked. Familiarity with the features meant being able to concentrate on the content of the conversation, rather than fussing about the tech tool.
Back home, editing was the next step. Fortunately a number of apps allow video editing right on the phone. Splice had three advantages: relatively low cost, a limited number of powerful features, and the possibility to email the edited video. For the modest investment of $1.99 and 10 minutes to learn the app’s features, it was quick work to make multiple sound bites on the participants experiences mentoring and being mentored. (Overwhelmingly positive, by the way.) Adding music seemed overkill, but inserting titles and transitions added polish. The finished file was in .mov format which meant it would work perfectly on my professor’s MAC. He could insert it into his ppt presentation with relative ease. The only drawback? The email option really only worked with short clips – 35 seconds or so. Still figuring out the work around for that one. Stay tuned.