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Interview with the teacher

posted Jul 1, 2009, 4:04 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 1:00 AM by Eddie Woo ]
Yesterday I was supposed to have an interview with Mr. Pronger during lunch time but I encountered problems because of conflicts with Chick Trials [10AGT and 10AG1 are currently doing the chick trial and Mr. Pronger is managing it]. To counteract this problem I have requested an interview today with Mr. Pronger during recess instead.

However at recess I encountered yet another problem: our science class was supposed to stay in for recess to complete the science practical experiment. However, quick negotiation with Mr. Khoury and a relay sprint towards the Agriculture staff room ensured that I was able to complete the interview in time.

In order to record the audio component of the interview, I had to use a video camera [the Sony Handycam DCR-TRV18E] to capture both video and audio and then split the components into the animation [which is discarded] and the audio [which I will be using].

Some questions I asked Mr. Pronger were:
  • How long have you been teaching?
  • At which schools have you taught at?
  • How do you feel about teaching Agriculture?
  • Describe your role in JRAHS and on the JRAHS farm.
  • Can you provide us some information on the peach orchard on the JRAHS farm?
  • What are some things you like and don't like about Agriculture as a subject and the position you have on the farm?
  • Do you have any suggestsions as to how the farm can be more well integrated into the Agriculture Curriculum?
The interview was extremely impromptu so there were mistakes here and there and we sort of went off topic at times but mostly it was a great success. I believe that it probably would have been better if I had given Mr. Pronger some more information about the purpose of the interview and possibly let him read over the questions so he has more time to think.

Obtaining the video and splitting the tracks

I used Pixela Imagemixer which is a program that came with the camcorder to stream video data directly onto the computer from the recording device. Unfortunately there was no way to simply stream the audio only so I was forced to stream both video and audio. However, I used a different technique for the streaming.

Capturing in progress

I used another program, Camtasia Recorder [which is part of the Camtasia Studio suite] to record a miniscule portion of my computer's screen while still recording the audio [the input device was set to my computer's speakers]. This allowed me to capture the audio in the highest quality possible while drastically reducing the video output requirements onto my PC. Normally when streaming a 8 minute video clip from my camcorder onto my PC through ImageMixer, it would take up over 4 GB of space. By using this technique of reducing the video resolution I was able to successfully reduce the file size for storing and retrieving. Due to the nature of streaming the program does not compress the video and this explains the large file size of the video files. This is mentioned in the multimedia component of the HSC syllabus, whewre playback and distribution problems with video files can be remedied by a number of ways, such as reducing video resolution and compression.

By using a multimedia conversion program, Super C, I then converted the .avi file into an .mp3 file, ready for distribution.

Tomorrow's plans

I plan to record specific locations of the farm with both video and image data, namely:
  • Student plot area
  • School orchards
  • Tool and machinery sheds
  • Animal sheds
  • School paddocks
  • The dam
  • The classrooms
These will be uploaded as part of the tour guide, which is accessible as a link under the main Agriculture Faculty page titled 'The farm'.

The Farm will be a component of the Agriculture page which achieves the goals of a tour guide, as outlined in the assignment sheet for the multimedia component:

Tour Guide. Describe and cultivate interest in people or places within the school that are associated
uniquely with your portfolio.

Blair also suggested an alternative to that complicated conversion process by using VLC instead of Super C as it is also capable to split the audio and animation tracks in video files.