Are you seeking new ways to engage your students? Adding audio and video elements to the traditional classroom (and to the online one) can improve learning and make things more interesting. The Academic Technology and Innovation (ATI) Media Studio, housed in the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, contains high-tech resources that you can use to create a multimedia experience for your students. Read on to improve your classroom setting with this state-of-the-art technology.

1. Generate grins with the green screen

The primary use of the ATI Media Studio is to create videos. According to Wesley Best, who supervises the studio's daily operations, “we provide video studio space along with video production and post-production services to support and enhance teaching and learning.”

Using a green screen in these videos is a creative way bring concepts to life for students. While you can’t take the entire class across the country to show them the Grand Canyon or a species of animal that only exists in Australia, you can film a video using a green screen and put yourself in the setting for students to visualize. In this video by CADARN Learning Portal, they use the green screen as a resource for teachers to go through slides and review information at more depth. This could be helpful for exam review or certain topics that there wasn’t time for.

You could even use a green screen to make a news report of upcoming assignments (“the weather forecast for your grades on exam one looks stormy…”) or use the process to teach students in a film class how to work a green screen on their own. The possibilities are endless.

Worried about setup and how to use the screen in the first place? No worries! The studio’s multimedia team can help.

2. Bring learning to life with animation

Maybe you’d like to add videos to your teaching, but don’t want to physically be in the video yourself. Using animation to further explain a topic is a fun and visually appealing way to grab your students’ attention, and the multimedia team can work with you to make it happen.

Virtually any topic can be made into an animated video, from something as abstract as the Bible, to world history, or our favorite, information technology! As long as you have a vision in mind of what information you want to cover and how you want to portray it, animated video would be a great option for you.

Animations also work great in courses when there is a heavy focus on memorization and understanding of vocabulary terms to pass the class. Creating graphics to go along with terms students are required to learn could aid in their memory process.

Keep in mind that this could be a more time consuming or expensive option depending on how complex or long you want the video to be and whether you want the multimedia team to help you edit your videos.

If you have questions about how to animate or are wondering about what type of animation video to create, Animaker offers a guide for newbies.

3. Visualize a new vantage point with voice-overs

Voice-overs are an excellent compliment to an animated video, and the ATI Media Studio also offers audio recording resources.

Beyond giving voice to animation, voice-over videos of PowerPoint slides can be a helpful resource. Particularly useful in classes that only meet once or twice a week, voice-over videos allow students to go back and refresh their memory of the lessons.

While posting PowerPoint slides online is helpful, creating a voice-over allows you to go in depth on points that were most likely just bullets on the slides. This works well in flipped classes or massive open online courses where students’ primary resource of study is the computer.

4. Create the next hit podcast with audio recording

Maybe you’re not up for filming a video of yourself or putting in the extra time it takes to prepare an animated video or voice over PowerPoint slides. In fact, you would rather not create a video at all. Or maybe 50-minute class periods don’t cut it when you have a whole chapter to cover. If you’re passionate about a topic, and want to be able to go into detail about it, chances are that your students are on the same page. Using the media studio’s audio recording resources might be the answer. Not only are studio recorded podcasts easier to record than videos, they’re also a great option for students.

While typically longer than an animated video, students can easily listen to a podcast on the way to class or while driving in the car or working out. Not sure where to start? Check out some of the best educational podcasts of 2018 or search your favorite topics on the Apple podcast app or Google Play store.

5. Feature fresh photos with photography services

Videos and audio aren’t the only things you can produce in the ATI Media Studio. The studio’s multimedia team offers professional photography services, and you can also use your own equipment in the studio space.

A professional set of photos can improve student comprehension of a topic. You could create professional examples for a photography course or even to illustrate scientific concepts. You could also utilize this photography resource beyond the classroom for any professional photos you need for promotion or outreach.

Photography has an associated fee of $50/hour, although lighting, editing, and backgrounds are provided. Your photos can also be edited for an additional $35/hour fee. The multimedia staff will collaborate with you about your specific project to make a plan for production and editing. Find out more about media studio service pricing.

6. Make your content lit by using the brand new studio lightboard

Not familiar with lightboards? Think Khan Academy--but instead of screen recording a demonstration, you can be filmed directly writing or drawing as you explain concepts.

The ATI Media Studio's lightboard, according to Best, is a “pane of ultra clear, illuminated glass that allows for dramatic presentation of hand-drawn text, diagrams, and other illustrations to enhance instruction.” This can add a personal but in-depth touch to courses that are taught online, allowing students who are visual learners the ability to get a better understanding of topics.

Still confused?? StartupBros on YouTube have put together a demonstration of a lightboard and how it works.

Get started with the ATI Media Studio today

The ATI Media Studio is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. In order to use the space, you’ll need to submit a request.

Remember to plan ahead! For a Level 1 (studio orientation) or Level 2 (production assistant support) request, you should put in your form 1 to 2 weeks in advance. For a Level 3 request (production specialist support) or full use of the production services, it is recommended to put in your form 3 to 6 weeks in advance. Studio orientation (which is free) is required before use of the studio, so keep that in mind when planning to use the studio for the first time.

If you have any questions or want to run through your production idea before you submit a request, email itsc@umd.edu with questions and/or for scheduling.

Published On: 
Monday, February 25, 2019