The Murder of Student Privacy
My process for making this 360 video was very in-depth and involved. I began by pondering digital issues that affect me personally. That is when I remembered the two Google accounts created for me when I was in high school. I have since forgotten the login for both of these accounts, so they are just out there floating around. I have always wanted to delete these accounts since I know there is probably a lot of data involved with them. Consequently, I decided to look at the ethics of Google’s data collection on students using Google Classroom and Chromebooks. After deciding my topic, I conducted thorough research on this digital issue. I read everything from New York Times articles to mommy bloggers’ take on the issue. While I was doing my research I was able to flush out my idea for a 360 video. I wanted it to be almost like the Hall of Presidents in Disney World, where certain characters would be frozen until it was their turn to talk. Following the finalization of the script, I reached out to my friends and asked them to star in my video. We then filmed with the 360 camera and I stitched it all together on Final Cut Pro. I had another coworker of mine watch the video and they were able to give me some advice on how to make my video more interesting for my audience. I had issues exporting my video, so I had to troubleshoot in order to make my final product.
I decided to use a 360 video to convey my digital issue as I have not worked with it before and I wanted to challenge myself. About a year ago DTLT acquired a 360 camera and ever since then I have wanted to play with it. I decided that this project was the perfect opportunity to dive in and learn all about 360 video making and editing. Despite my lofty goals, I always expect my first time working with a new piece of software to be a disaster. In fact, it is this disastrous result that makes the next attempt better. I always have, and most likely always will learn through trial and error.
My project turned out differently as the video editing and quality was not what I wanted. Because Final Cut Pro X can be a tricky program and very temperamental, I was not able to export my video from the software. I ended up using Quicktime to screen record my video and then Google’s 360 metadata injector to make it a spherical projection. Despite these challenges, I am still proud of my work and my ability to tackle a challenge and get close to a perfect result. I am also most impressed with the amount of research and analysis I was able to do on this digital issue. I now feel that I am a pseudo-expert on this subject and feel more passionate about protecting student data.
If I attempt to make another 360 video in the future, after my ego has healed, of course, I will keep in mind the following. First, have the actors memorize their words so that I will not have to do strange cropping to get the laptop out of the way. Second, have the camera placed higher instead of lower. Because I placed the camera so low, some of my actors had unflattering angles and are also hard to see. Lastly, never trust Final Cut Pro X to work in any circumstance. I think that this project has shown me that Final Cut Pro X can be a great tool, but that it cannot handle large video files with lots of data. Although this project was very difficult, I think that I will make another 360 video in the near future. I think that it is healthy and vital to place yourself in challenging academic experiences, like this one, as it helps you think more outside of the box and be more innovative in future endeavors.