Monthly Archives: January 2010

DIY Podcast Adds Robots Topic Module

Posted on by .

NASA uses robots for tasks that range from exploring the solar system to building new rockets. And now your students can build their own podcast about robots using audio and video clips, images and information bundled in NASA Education’s newest DIY Podcast topic module.

The Robots module we added this week features NASA robotic systems engineer Fernando Zumbado discussing robots and how NASA uses them. The module’s 22 video clips include Mars rover animation and B-roll footage of several NASA robots. The Robots module also has 11 audio clips. Your students are free to download these NASA multimedia materials and edit them with their own recordings and narration to create a podcast.

DIY Podcast Home

DIY Podcast: Robots

Production Ideas for Using Still Images in Video Podcasts

Posted on by .


We’re wrapping up our blog series on using still images in video projects with a few production ideas for developing classroom projects with DIY Podcast materials. In the Sports Demo topic module, astronaut Clayton Anderson demonstrates sports in microgravity. He shows how it’s different to play ball or do gymnastics without the full force of Earth’s gravity. Your students could show the earthbound perspective by taking pictures with their digital cameras.

 It might be fun for your class to participate in the same sporting events that Anderson demonstrates on the space station. You could designate a few students to take action shots of their classmates playing baseball. Some of the students who play in the baseball game could serve as photographers for the next sporting event. By the end of your sports demo, all the students will get to shoot photos and play sports.

With the use of transitions and special effects, your class could create a video product exclusively using still images. If you take that approach, you could grab still images from the Sports Demo video clips to draw a contrast between sports in space and on Earth. You could mix in some of the stills on the DIY Podcast: Sports Demo Images page. Or your class may prefer to capture video and just drop in still images for titles, transitions or special effects.

DIY Podcast Home

DIY Podcast: Sports Demo

Benefits of Using Still Images in Video Products

Posted on by .

Video should usually be created with moving video, but still images are well suited for some video production situations. In our last blog post we discussed how a lack of moving video prompted Ken Burns to rely on the pan and scan effect to bring Civil War photos to life. When video you need isn’t available, you may choose to incorporate still images into your video project. An occasional still image may help to smoothly transition from one scene to another.

Using still images to make a video is sometimes faster, cheaper and easier than using live motion video. For example, it’s faster and easier to download an online image of Sir Isaac Newton than to have a student dress in costume to perform a vignette for a video podcast about Newton’s Laws.

If you don’t have access to a video camera, your students can still build a video podcast or digital slideshow by creatively blending still images with text. The DIY Podcast activity provides images related to the topic modules. Once you find images suitable for your project, insert them into the timeline in the order you want and then add transitions, graphics and music. You could spice up the project by dropping in a few of the DIY Podcast video clips.

Still images also make great backgrounds for project titles and are more visually interesting than a solid color background. You may want to manipulate the image in your photo editing software to give it a soft blur or some other effect before importing it into video editing software for inclusion in your project.

In our next blog post, we’ll share some production ideas for using still images in video products your class creates with DIY Podcast materials.

DIY Podcast Home