Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Multimedia products of interviews
Learning through inquiry involves going to the source, whether to an author, a scientist, a farmer, an artist or a grandmother. Audio and video recordings let students use the results of their inquiry to make dynamic multimedia products to demonstrate what they have learned, and to share it with others. It’s really all about the planning. Scaffolding is necessary for students to ask the right questions, and learn how to really listen to the answers to guide their inquiry. While the questions will vary by grade level & content area, the premise is the same across the board. Hand-held audio recorders, point and shoot cameras that take video, flip video, and the built in mic and camera on the MLTI laptops are just some of the tools available for recording. Projects can focus on just audio, or audio with stills, or video – student's choice – and apply the process to any multimedia product.

Authentic product, authentic purpose.

Content is key: What are the learning objectives? Overarching questions? What understanding do you want students to demonstrate? The project IS the assessment.

Blooms Digital Taxonomy : Wiki page from edorigami - Breaks down each level of the new Blooms with verbs, rubrics, links, ideas, etc.

Checklist for Project Planning and Interview Process

Question & Interview Technnique Resources

Media College : Interview Questions Open Ended Questions Leading Questions
Journalism Studies : Asking the Right Questions
DocStock: Journalism Techniques

Good interview questions:
  • require more than a yes or no answer
  • allow the subject to expand on the idea based on their experience
  • are not easily answered by using google (ie: fact based)
ie: Not: How many books have you written? but rather : Of the books you have written, which was your (favorite, most challenging, most disappointing) and why?

  • be specific enough to give the subject some direction but allow for them to meander with their answer if they see fit
ie: not so good : Tell me about your experiences in the 1960's. better: Tell me about your experience as a student in a newly integrated school in the 1960's

  • LISTEN to what your subject says in reply to any of your questions. Ask followup questions, for clarification or to explore something they mentioned that you hadn't anticipated.

  • Remember that their answers may go in a different direction than you think, so phrase the question so they can have a positive, negative or other response to it, rather than implying the direction in the question. You can practice this in the classroom with your students too:
ie: Nobody knows how to make a movie, do they? or Who here knows how to make a movie? Instead try: What do we know about making a movie?

What do I use to make the product?
Type of Product
Tool or Software options
Publication options
Podcast (audio only)
Garage Band,Audacity
List of 20 Audio Editors to pick from
Audio file embedded in wiki or website, iTunes,
Enhanced Podcast (with still images)
Garage Band
iTunes, Flickr,
Video / movie
iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Jaycut
Vimeo, YouTube, SchoolTube, embedded .mov in wiki or website, Flickr *Length and file size constraints vary
Slide Show (stills, audio, plays through)
Export as .mov and treat as a video
Presentations (embed audio, images and/or video
PowerPoint, Keynote
Storytelling tools
*so many to mention! Check out 50 ways to tell a story for a starting point.
Many of these tools are web based, so require a login from the student. The product is then hosted on that site, usually with an embed code so you can put it in another site, such as a class wiki or Moodle, etc. Sometimes you can't download the format after it's completed.
Voicethread allows images, video and audio uploads, allows for stopping frames to comment on particualr parts of a video, and also allows comments (moderated!) from others. There is a VoiceThread for Education and is free.

Hardware suggestions & link
Hardware Functionality
My Suggested tool
Small Video; internal memory
Flip Video cameras (30 minutes, 60 min, 120 min, HD, non-HD, Ultra, Mino - take your pick!)
These cameras are small, easy to use, have ok audio and the HD versions shoot HD video despite their tiny size. There are no cords - the usb pops out of the side for easy download. Each start/stop is a separate file. Files can be used in iMovie as clips and edited from there. Simple editing can be done with the Flip Video in software that comes with the camera. Takes AA batteries so you don't have to have pre-charged a proprietary battery (ie: the one that came with it) to be ready to go.
Audio Recorders
Olympus WS-110 or WS-210 audio recorders
(I've found them for $65, but they seem higher now)
While you will need to convert the file from a wav to an mp3 file if you are on a mac, there is free software (Flip for Mac and Switch) that you can download and use to do so quickly and easily. Takes one AAA battery; stores hours of audio. Has low and high mic sensitivity - works well on low for one on one interviews. No cord - the recorder pulls apart to reveal a USB connection.
External Mic for a laptop
Snowball Mic
Great microphone if you are going to use your laptop and want a better mic than comes built into the laptop. Has three settings; records in great quality for music as well as verbal audio.
Digital point and shoot camera with video capability
*whatever the kids have to use

OR a Canon Powershot
Honestly, kids can use whatever digital point and shoot they have if it has video capability. I have purchased Canon Powershots over the years - the A-580, A-590 series have been great. Video is not time limited - only limited by your memory - and I suggest a 4GB or 8GB card if you are doing video. However, the style has changed with the PowerShot 1000, and I haven't explored the capabilities on that yet.

How To Resources
Garage Band

Wikiveristy Intro to Garage Band
Sharing songs with iTunes Library

Garage band audio settings



iMovie 9 using precision editor tools

Muting a section of audio in iMovie9

Amazing wiki by Marco Torres of suggestions and ideas to consider when making a movie. How to make it look good!

Copyright and Fair Use resources
This is the official page of The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education with a short video and the policy document in a downloadable PDF
Wiki with examples and actions and presentation materials

Here's the basic outline:
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education outlines five principles, each with limitations:
Educators can, under some circumstances:

1. Make copies of newspaper articles, TV shows, and other copyrighted works, and use them and keep them for educational use.
2. Create curriculum materials and scholarship with copyrighted materials embedded.
3. Share, sell and distribute curriculum materials with copyrighted materials embedded.
Learners can, under some circumstances:
4. Use copyrighted works in creating new material.
5. Distribute their works digitally if they meet the transformativeness standard.

For more resources, this is my wiki page on Copyright