For every chapter (Frankfurt through Zürich) each student prepares a “videoblog” for the city. Below are a description, guidelines, and hints.
As a way to summarize the vocabular, grammar, and culture we’ve learned; as well as to allow us to talk about topics (not just facts, etc.); and in order that students get more oral practice in the language, for every chapter a videoblog is created and submitted. They tend to be at least two minutes long but can be up to four, they usually consist of just one student, though “guests” are welcome from time to time (and “guest-starring” in your peers’ videoblogs is welcomed/encouraged). While you are welcome to include just about any content you want (while speaking German), the videoblogs are modeled upon the videoblogs for each city that are provided by the textbook (Stationen), and the topics (as well as vocabulary and grammar) handled by them will serve as models for our own. Videoblogs will be posted to a site like YouTube or Vimeo; you are encouraged to embed them in your regular blog.
1. Each videoblog is due the Friday or Saturday that a chapter ends, roughly every two weeks beginning February 10th.
2. Each videoblog needs to be 2 or more minutes in length; this does not require “constant” speaking; a conversational pace with pauses, digressions and the like is allowed.
3. They need to be posted to a site like YouTube or Vimeo. They can be embedded in your regular blog, if you wish. They cannot be set to “private,” buf if you send me the URL, you can set them (on YouTube) to “unlisted” rather than “public.” Why YouTube or Vimeo, etc.? Because if they work there, they work everywhere … this helps to avoid “technical difficulties.”
4. You are graded on your [a] German (grammar and pronunciation, not “accent”) and [b] on content; you are not graded on your technical prowess at shooting or editing videos. My only technical concern—more or less—are that [a] audio and video are basically synchronized and [b] that the audio is easily understood (proper volume, not a great deal of static).
5. Following up on this: you can use whatever you want to shoot your video, be it a laptop or desktop with a webcam, a cell phone with a camera, a stand-alone digital camera, or even a stand-alone video camera. Fancy credits, cuts, sound effects and the like are not required. That having been said: on all major computer platforms free basic video-editing software is available (and generally comes installed with the operating system).
6. Do not read from a script. Note cards with topics are allowed (encouraged). You can do multiple takes.
7. The videoblogs are not completely determined in terms of the material/content you must do; you are always free to talk at length about whatever interests you. However, for each videoblog there will be at least one topic or question assigned that you need to cover; it will come from the model/sample videoblog for a given chapter.
1. Be creative.
2. While you need to cover certain material (a given topic or question), mainly on your own, feel free to something like a “podcast,” perhaps on your own or with a classmate. That classmate “guest-stars” in your videoblog; it does not count as his/her videoblog for the chapter.
3. If you receive comments/questions in response to your videoblog on YouTube, for example, feel free to incorporate answer to thos questions in your next videoblog …
4. If you want a basic format to follow, the use the sample videoblog for the given chapter/city as a model/outline that you follow: deal with the same topics as applied to your city (e.g. Tuscaloosa, or Birmingham, Atlanta, Knoxville, etc.)