Keep those video files organized

I honestly try not to take too much technology knowledge for granted with my students. But yesterday, as we moved deeper into our figurative language stopmotion animation project, I realized that a very small percentage of my students knew how to create a very basis  element of Windows: a folder.

Each day, as they shoot raw footage (later to be edited in Moviemaker), they have just been randomly saving it to wherever the computer has defaulted a folder. Which means I had a lot of: “Mr. H, our video from yesterday is gone,” and me replying, “Where did you save it?” and them responding, “I don’t know.”

This happened once too often so I set aside some precious time to go through the process of creating a folder for their work, moving video files into their folder, and reminding them that three other groups are sharing the same computer, so folders are key to organization.Then, I walked around to make sure every group (I have four classes, with about five to seven movie groups going on right now) understood the concept of their folder and how to save their videos in there.

My own lesson here is to remember not to assume anything. My students may look proficient with basic technology but it is unlikely anyone has shown them what to do.  They stumble and discover, just like we do. There is something to be said of learning by doing, but in this case, keeping video files organized in project folders will save a lot of headaches later on.

Or so I hope.

Peace (in the folder),

  1. Hey Kevin,

    Great point here. File management is an important issue, and one that isn’t mentioned that often. For any teachers looking to experiment with having students create films, they have to first figure out how they want students to save and file away the work. This is especially important when lots of different production groups are using the same computers. I have six classes and that amounts to around 35 different groups. They all use the same 8 computers. There has to be a clear file management system in place or it will be come a big mess fast.

    Organized file management also makes it easier for the teacher to easily access the work.

    Thanks for the ongoing reflections from your classroom as you take your students on this stop-motion journey. Can’t wait to see the films.

  2. Because I’ve had to help so many teachers and students back track to find missing media for their MM2 productions, I keep hoping that Windows will come out with a way to right up front let MM2 know that EVERY saved media piece needs to go in the same folder. I know the “dreaded RED X’s” are a user error – but just wish the Windows folks would help make the process a little easier.

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