Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Monthly Archives: June 2008

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UDL Guidelines Released by CAST

The Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST), the number one resource on Universal Design for Learning, has released version 1.0 of UDL Guidelines. According to cast:

As the UDL field has grown, so has the demand from stakeholders for Guidelines to help make applications of these principles and practices more concrete.

These UDL Guidelines will assist curriculum developers (these may include teachers, publishers, and others) in designing flexible curricula that reduce barriers to learning and provide robust learning supports to meet the needs of all learners. They will also help educators evaluate both new and existing curricula goals, media and materials, methods and assessments.

You can pick up your own copy of the guidelines from CAST’s website at

Video Self Modeling Part 2 – The techy stuff – Updated June 2008

This post is part 2 to my introduction to video self modeling (VSM). Part 1 is only a few paragraphs long so I recommend you read it first to gain a better understanding of what video self modeling is. You can access the post BY CLICKING HERE.

So now the fun part… What do you need in order to successfully use video self modeling? Well, first you will need a video camera. This is typically the most expensive part of the process. Go into any electronics store and you will likely find several different models of video cameras all saying they are the best. First, know that the price doesn’t always equal the best. It all depends on what you are wanting to use the camera for. For example, a popular video camera might allow you to burn your footage directly onto a DVD. This allows you to immediately take the DVD out of the camera, pop it in your DVD player and watch it. Sounds great right? Maybe, but probably not if you are wanting to use the camera for video self modeling because you need to be able to edit the video before you burn it on a DVD. Most other video cameras will work fine for VSM, but you need to be cautious and make sure it will work with whatever editing software you choose to use. I take the easy route and use a FLIP Video Camera that runs about $100. See it at You can get a 30 minute or 60 minute camera that runs off AA batteries and plugs directly into your computer via usb just like a flash drive. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Now that you have your camera you are ready to start recording. I’m not a professional video person by any means so I only have a couple of pointers on this part. First, remember that you can get creative with your video when you get to the editing process. Many times I see a person go in and follow a student around for two days trying to catch them doing something for the tape. Instead, maybe you can piece a few things together later that gives the appearance of the student performing the behavior you are looking for. Second, don’t worry about getting the perfect shot. Some people try and shoot the whole thing over because they got someone or something in the video for a few seconds. You can just edit those kind of things out. Also remember that these videos do not need to be high quality. You are not making a major motion picture here, just a self modeling clip.

Once you have your video, it’s time to get to work on editing. This part is going to require you to do a little self learning, but I can give you information on the basic software you may want to look into using. If you are a PC user, Microsoft Movie Maker is free and comes installed on your computer by default. Just got to Start – All Programs – Accessories – and choose Windows Movie Maker. It will take you through the process of capturing and editing your video.  I use QuickTime Pro ($29.99) for most situations. It allows me to make quick edits and save them in different formats including an ipod format. QuickTime Pro will also work with a MAC, but MACs usually come with iMovie, which is also an excellent choice. Finally, I should mention that if you use an older video camera that takes VCR tapes, you can create most of your video editing either on the fly while you are filming (by rewinding and recording over bad parts) or by using two VCRs (one to play the original and the other to record only the parts you want to keep).

Once you have your video filmed and edited you will want to put it in whatever format you need for final viewing. This really just depends on how you plan on viewing it. If you have a DVD player, you will need to use your video editing software to put it in a DVD format (you will also need a DVD burner on your computer). If you’re editing software doesn’t allow for this, you may find that whatever software came on your computer for burning DVDs will convert to the proper format for you. If you are going to watch it on a computer you can put it in a .avi or a .mov (QuickTime) format. I occasionally like to use a .wmv or .avi format and imbed the video segments into a PowerPoint. Then I can set it up to where students click on a picture and the video will automatically start playing.

Hopefully this will give you enough information to get started with Video Self Modeling. I’ll try to put some specific tutorials up in the future on how to use some of the editing software.