Multimedia final: Creating a Camtasia lesson

For my final project in “Teaching Multimedia,” I had to put all of my new skills together and create a lesson, with a Camtasia tutorial to accompany it. I actually looked forward to this project, because I had heard of Camtasia before but never took the time to learn it.

I just used the free trial, which has a watermark, but it’s definitely enough of an asset that I would consider investing in the full version.

Initially, I struggled with using the timeline and editing features – they’re *just* different enough from iMovie that it threw me. But, I re-watched the tutorials (which had seemed “so easy” the first time I watched them – ha!) and eventually caught on.

Here is my full lesson, with the Camtasia video and linked resources. For my lesson, I have students watching the video at home and then using the skills in an in-classroom activity and assignment. I’ve liked the idea of a “flipped classroom” for a couple of years now, but was never able to make it happen… mostly because I didn’t know how to use Camtasia!

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Title: Creating COB’s (Cut-Out Backgrounds) for your Yearbook

Overview and Rationale:
Yearbook students often want photos with cut-out backgrounds to add to their traditional yearbook coverage. This lesson gives students the steps and reasoning for how to quickly and efficiently create a photo with a cut-out background to place on a yearbook spread.

Goals for Understanding
Essential Questions:
• What is the best way to take a photo that will be used as a COB?
• What is one tool that can be used to create a COB?
• What is a feather?
• What is transparency?
• How should a COB be saved before placing in your yearbook project?

Overviews and Timeline:
Activity 1 (One 50-minute class)
Teacher will introduce examples of yearbook spreads with COBs to students, and discuss the visual characteristics of each. Students will be asked what makes them look nice, what added graphics they have, etc. to understand the importance of full-body photos, or graphic anchors, and placement within the module or spread.

Examples can be found here: Examples of COBs Slideshow

Students will then plan and shoot at least five photos to be turned into COBs for a yearbook sidebar module.

For homework: Students will watch the Camtasia lesson on how to execute a cut-out background photo. They will use this information to take notes on the steps, and be prepared to create COBs tomorrow in class.

Activity 2 (One 50-minute class)
Students will remove the background from each of the five photos, concentrating on eliminating all unnecessary background components, while maintaining the integrity of the photograph. Students should save the new COBs as identifiable file names, ready to place into their yearbook spread.

Assessment (One 50-minute class)
Students will place their COB photos into their otherwise complete yearbook spread, and submit for evaluation by their section editors. Students should turn in their original 5 photos, as well as their 5 edited photos, and their completed spread. Students will be graded according to the attached rubric.

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