I am taking part in a MOOC called Teach the Web, which is part of an effort by the Mozilla Foundation and a group called HIVE to explore tools for creating and making on the web. The first task involved creating an introduction of sorts, using a tool that pulls you out of your comfort zone. I decided, as it seems many did, to use the Popcorn Video tool by Mozilla. Popcorn is a online video editor, with a handful of interesting little extras.
I mulled over where to begin and decided to take pieces of digital poems that I have posted over at YouTube and create a video collage of sorts, using pieces of media. I won’t say this effort was easy, and I won’t say I am completely happy with the final result. It feels jagged to me. In fact, I got frustrated many times with Popcorn, as it seemed slow to respond to my commands and didn’t always do what I wanted it to do. I had a vision, and the Popcorn tool often got in the way of the vision. I could have downloaded the videos and used iMovie, and gotten a more seamless production in half the time.
But this is about learning, and the experience did remind me of the frustration that some students and many teachers feel when confronted with new technology that you hope will go one way and doesn’t. I was cursing under my breath a few times, and literally had to walk away from the computer two or three times (odd for me, in the midst of a project, where my focus is pretty intense). It made me realize how we expect our technology to work without issue, without troubles, and for our own purposes. Sometimes, that is not the case.
Will I use Popcorn again? Yes. It has a lot of potential, but I will approach it warily, knowing its limitations (for now).
Peace (in the corn),