In the world of journalism, the concept of being a jack of all trades is becoming increasingly prevalent. This means a single person needs to be able to cover a story in numerous ways, such as a print and/or web story, photos, social media updates, and video.
It can be daunting to even think about. Obviously, concerns of quality have to come into play, but at least the technical aspects can be easily addressed. That’s where the JEA Curriculum comes into play.
Members of the Journalism Education Association (JEA) have access to a wide variety of lesson plans available to them. This is invaluable for journalism educators, especially those looking for a more impactful or inventive way to teach a given concept. I recommend becoming a member, if you aren’t already.
As a high school journalism adviser, I readily admit video isn’t my strongest attribute. However, thanks to JEA, I now have a plan to dive into the subject with my students.
Highlighted by the JEA Digital Media site, the curriculum has an excellent lesson on how to create an easy cellphone video using Adobe Premiere Clip.
Premiere Clip is a free app that is available on both Android and iOS. To use it, students simply need to download it to their phones and log in using either an existing Adobe account they have or creating a free account.
Then, it is all about using the phone’s camera to shoot video of interviews and B-roll. It is easy to import the video from the phone into the app, and then all you have to do is drag sliders back and forth to trim your clips. You can also easily rearrange clips to create the video you want.
Of course, if you start off with bad video or poor audio, Premiere Clip won’t be very useful. All the app can really do is trim and organize clips into a video sequence. We aren’t talking about a high-end video editor. The purpose of this is to get students to be able to easily produce a short video to accompany other coverage they are providing.
The lesson plan is simple. Send them out to make a video. The video should use all sorts of shots (wide angle, close ups, et cetera), and it should be about 1 minute long.
I took the app for a test drive so I would be able to help the students and have a product to show them. My video ended up being about 2.5 minutes. Oops. Here it is:
The only issue I have with this project is that my school’s Internet doesn’t want to play nice with Adobe. Even using Adobe Spark is a battle. Now, using Adobe Premiere Clip on my phone, it won’t even open. This isn’t a huge deal because the students’ phones shouldn’t be connected to the network here. It isn’t allowed. However, it is hugely annoying to me.
For iOS focused folks who don’t want to go down the hassle of downloading Premiere Clip and creating accounts, I have done similar work using iMovie on my iPhone. It works in nearly the same manner as what this lesson suggests. If anything, iMovie gives you a little more in the way of post production power. You can put in voiceovers and titles and whatnot. The idea behind want to use Premiere Clip, though, is that it works on any operating system. If I’m going to prepare my students to be able to do journalism anywhere, they need to be able to do it on any platform. Premiere Clip gives them at least one tool they can use regardless of the device they happen to have.