Reflections on EdTech
I remember quite vividly the first time I got my feet wet with digital video editing. I was working for NCSY and was preparing a curriculum for a shabbaton/convention. I was looking for a little extra ‘oomph’ at the Saturday night “Kumsitz” program. I borrowed my sister’s lime green iBook, and put together a slide show/video that incorporated the Wu Tang Clan rap about the Holocaust “Never Again.” Here is a YouTube clip with the rap and scenes from Schindler’s List (NOT my video). Alas, this was in the days before YouTube (what? such a time existed?), and I did not publish the video. I’ll have to look around and see if I still have the tape.
In any event, the response to the program was powerful. People had not seen this sort of thing before. And I was hooked. I started putting together more videos and learning more tricks of the trade. One of my early videos was about Shabbos, and I recorded responses of people in the street that I stopped to ask about the day of rest. Here was the result.
I also had the opportunity to watch some true masters of the medium of videos in informal education, first among those being our own Dr. Eliezer Jones, who was simply a game changer in the field of Jewish multimedia presentations.
Alas, as time went on, I got busier in my formal teaching career, I had to start paying tuition bills and went for a cheaper Windows machine instead of a replacement for my aging Mac, and I largely became an observer. But today, as I was putting together a short video on iMovie for my YU Edtech 102 course assignment on visual tools, it all came back to me.
Videos are incredibly powerful. They can call attention to themes, open up people’s thoughts and emotions, in ways that other mediums simply cannot. The incredible thing about the times we live in is that tools for creating powerful videos are plentiful, often easy to use, and not very costly.