Thursday, November 30, 2017

Clips in live presentations about using Clips in and out of the classroom


I've written before about using Apple's Clips app to create a variety of types of videos (including trailers and jigsaw microlectures) to drive student interaction and to help them understand the importance (or relevance) of material. Some relevant posts are:

Today, I gave a presentation about the use of videos in (and out of) class to engage students. My audience was the Directors of Educational Technology in California Higher Education (DET/CHE) 2017 conference. I took advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate a new (to me, at least) use of Clips in live presentations.

Why Clips?


Although I wanted lots of platform time to give my presentation, I was only afforded a ten-minute lightning talk (but thanks to DET/CHE for accepting my application and offering even that much time!) Now, I assume I'm not alone in feeling a bit of stress and nervousness before I give any sort of presentation, especially to this many people with such a wide background (a relative handful of faculty; mostly administrators, technical staff, and instructional designers). However, my nervousness is not about speaking in front of large groups (which I actually really enjoy…) - the only real source of concern I have is that I keep to my allotted time! I have a tendency to let my remarks run long…
Panorama of the audience in the ballroom

Another challenge (which I didn't know about beforehand, but should have learned to expect at conferences, by now) is that the ballroom projects to two screens. I always find this awkward for presentation, because I have a tendency to want to use a LASER pointer to point out specific items on my slides. However, in the "dual screen" conundrum, one has to favor pointing on one screen (and thus only to half of your audience). Talk about the "digital divide!"

Panorama of the audience view of the front of the ballroom

Why Clips?

Yes, and…

My feeling was that Clips could help me address both obstacles.
  • I would create my presentation media in Clips, by recording all of my pre-prepared slides into a single Clip, and then export it as a movie file that I would play as a projected video during my live presentation. Because of the ability to control the lengths of individual component videos of a Clip, I would have control over how much time I could spend on each topic (slide) I wanted to cover, and thus be able to fine-tune the total length of my presentation to fit within my ten minutes.
  • As my presentation is on the use of videos in the classroom, I also wanted to demonstrate the abilities of Clips itself. So, not only did building the original video in Clips make sense, but it also allowed me to demonstrate Clips features that are difficult to incorporate into one, seamless, presentation: like adding posters and stickers. So, by pre-recording my Clip to be my projected presentation material, I was able to add in those elements. Critically, this helps with the "dual screen" conundrum, because all of those graphic elements added in Clips to help provide contextual information and to highlight specific parts of slides are projected along with the video itself - so both sides of the room get the same animated presentation.
  • Another benefit is that, if you are nervous and shaky with a LASER pointer when you give presentations, this approach avoids the need to use such a pointer, even if you are only projecting to a single screen. Also, if you are presenting on flatscreen TVs (for example), on which LASERs don't show, this is the perfect solution: do all of your "pointing" within Clips!


Before the Presentation

  1. Create slides in PPT (static graphics); export each slide as its own image
  2. Locate any existing video material (like Clips!) that you want to incorporate into your presentation
  3. Move those graphics into your Photos library to access from Clips
  4. Record (and voiceover) each slide image and movie within Clips - this ensures that you record the appropriate length of time for each slide or movie for you to be able to provide live oral remarks when you replay the Clip to your audience and provide your live comments at the time.
  5. Export the completed Clip as a video to your Photos library

During the Presentation

  1. Connect your iOS device to projection
  2. Launch Clips
  3. Access the exported video of your Clip in your Photos Library
  4. Make sure live captioning is enabled but doesn't display in real time as you speak (mis-translation during your live presentation might be distracting, I've found…)
  5. Start recording (using the recording lock is a good idea, so you don't have to hold the "Record" button with your finger during your entire presentation!)
  6. Speak as the movie imports into Clips - deliver your remarks as the movie runs


When you export your Clip as a movie, make sure that your live titles are hidden, so that they don't appear on the video while you're speaking. That way, when you say something different than you did when you originally recorded the clip, it isn't obvious to the audience!

Drawbacks to Clips for live presentation

You must download your Clip movie to your Photos Library in advance - do a dry run of using Clips for presentation before you go live - that way you won't have to wait for the video to download and load before you can begin!
If you think you won't have internet access on your iOS device for live presentation, then you can't live caption. In that case, one workaround is to use a different device to record your audio while you present, and then use that audio track, played into the speaker of the iOS device running clips, to "live caption" the presentation later.
The visual format of the Clips app does not have a "presentation view" (nor should it, as this isn't its function), so the audience sees all of your Clips screen in a live presentation/recording approach. A related issue can be that the square format of a Clips video might project in too small a format for audience viewing, depending on the set-up of your presentation space. This issue with format is currently compounded by relative little user control over font size in Clips-generation banners, stickers, and the like.

Alternative solutions that don't involve Clips:

  • Keynote and Powerpoint can do timed slides and embedded video
  • Instead of using Clips for the actual presentation, one can simply play the exported movie in full-screen mode (this is a "cleaner" look, as it doesn't involve projecting the Clips user interface along with your content).

Is using Clips efficient for live presentation?

After I created my slides (in PowerPoint), it didn't take me long (maybe an hour) to create the ten-minute clip, and perhaps another half-hour to edit the live captions - mostly adding punctuation, which doesn't automatically happen.

A side benefit of preparing the presentation in advance is that you can export the live-titled (captioned) video to your favorite social media site to share with the world before you even give your presentation! I even opted to share the YouTube URL for the presentation at the end of my talk! (

As a final aside, I also used Clips to create trailers to promote attending my presentation:

Since my presentation this morning, I've been receiving feedback from colleagues about the apparent power of Clips and the multiple ways I use videos (especially those made with Clips) in higher ed to engage students. With the help of Clips, my lightning talk turned out to be enlightening to my peers!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have an insightful comment, best practice, or concern to share? Please do!