Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Video creation via Android

Recently a professor asked if her students could record video on their phone and upload it to D2L.  The short answer is not directly unless they upload it to their computer and then upload it to the dropbox.  My solution was to take video on their phone and share it to YouTube and then share the URL in D2L.

I decided to try this out on my Motorola Droid X and took a minute long video of my dog playing in a kiddie pool in the backyard.  It was 65 MB.  I went to Gallery, clicked the video, and then chose "Share" and the YouTube option.  Unfortunately, it said I needed WIFI to upload a file of this size.  This may sound strange, but I don't have internet at home (my phone does 95% of what I need) so I was unable to do anything with it at the time. 

I thought I had connected my Droid X to the wireless at the university, but it turned out that I wasn't actually connected because I hadn't opened a browser window and registered the device.  Once I registered the phone, it uploaded in about a minute or so.

Then I decided to use the YouTube editor to snip out a few seconds at the end.  It was amazingly easily to use and actually walked me through the process with prompts that came up after each step.  I easily made my edit and added a fun banjo tune (I think banjo music always makes dog videos more fun).  There is an incredible amount of music available right in the editor that is free to use, but advertisements might be displayed on videos that use content in the editor.  For my use, that was fine but I didn't see any ads when I viewed it later.  If you are curious, here is the result.

YouTube also now allows for users to mark their videos with a Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed) which means others can use the content with automatic attribution to the creator.  I went into edit mode and found I could not check that radio button; I assume due to the fact that I added music via the YouTube editor so it was not completely my original work.

Here are my conclusions from this experience:
  • Students could be told that taking video on their phone is an option, but they should try it out with a short, insignificant video before collecting something important in case they are unable to get it off of the phone or lose it.  
  • The LTS Help Desk staff are familiar with the university-owned video cameras that students can check out from the library and would more likely be able to provide assistance with them than they would a phone, since there are so many different types of phones. The quality of the university video cameras will almost certainly be better than the quality of a phone, but the quality of the video I took was fine.
  • Regardless of the way the video is collected, the YouTube editor was very intuitive and worked well for the simple video I created. 
  • I certainly could have gone "old school" and connected my phone to a computer and downloaded the video onto the hard drive and then edited it in iMovie or another editing program.  However, I have never connected this phone to a computer and I don't actually know where the cord is :)
Let me know if you have comments!


  1. Awesome post. I liked the thoughtfulness of mentioning the problems encountered. It's also comforting to know you aren't a "techy" person. It gives me hope and adds humor to your post. Looking forward to more post.

    Judy H

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