Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Experimenting with Mozilla's Popcorn Maker (video-annotation toolset)
This is something that may be of particular interest to those of us who use lots of videos in the classroom (or the homeschooling environment): it's my first experiment using Mozilla's brand-spanking-new video annotation toolset, called Popcorn Maker. I took an educational documentary video that I'm currently putting together, and added a layer of pop-up annotations on top of it that lets a student click on a pop-up to dig deeper into whatever is then being shown in the video. The resulting "remix" of my original video is here:
I kept my usage of annotations here pretty sedate, because I didn't want to distract from the video content itself. But you could really go to town with Popcorn Maker's other types of annotations that let you embed text and images, and even live twitter feeds, on top of the video. The crucial point (which might be missed) is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE THE UNDERLYING VIDEO YOURSELF. In fact, the main point is to take other videos that are out there on the Internet (YouTube, Vimeo) and overlay your own annotations on top of them. It seems to me that the potentials for teachers to "add value" and customize educational videos (or assign their students to add annotations) could be considerable.
BUT -- if you use it NOW, realize that this current "release" is not very stable -- it crashed on me regularly. The good news is that it just runs in your browser -- nothing to install. JUST SAVE YOUR WORK EVERY 30 SECONDS OR SO, and you'll minimize the frustration!!