Our athletic director asked me if my middle school class could create a slide show of pictures for the fall sports banquet. Of course, I said yes and gladly got into gear.
First, I got a hold of the external hard drive our AD used to store pictures and loaded pics on the hard drives of four computers around the room. In theory, each computer had different pictures so no student would repeat a picture another student used.
I chose to use Google Presentation for two reasons. One, the students could collaborate and build the slide show at the same time from numerous machines. Two, it would be easy to share with our AD and on our Facebook page.
So, I started up a Google Presentation and gave the students sharing rights. Their job was to find 75 excellent pictures each from a variety of sports, including numerous athletes, and put them on the presentation. (That would be a total of 300 pics.)
Two days, tops. Right? Wrong.
It turns out that the photographers used some wicked high resolution cameras and the pics would not load to the presentation. That led to a bump in the road. We had to resize the pics using www.picresize.com then load them up. Another bump in the road was the sheer volume of pictures to sift through. Thousands of pictures! I didn't foresee my students taking a ton of time finding the best pictures, but they were slow.
In fact, it was so slow that after 5 days of sifting, resizing, and uploading, we had 140 usable pictures...and the banquet was the evening of Day 6. That's when I took over.
I had quite a bit of "planning time" on Day 6 and I used every available minute to blitz through all the pictures on all the computers to find more pictures. I was in constant-email mode with our AD and borrowed a CD from our Yearbook adviser. Finally, as the end of the day approached, I put my finishing touches on the 192-slide presentation. With 6 seconds per slide, that comes in at just over 19 minutes. Loop it thrice, and you almost have the hour-long event covered. Whew! I emailed it to the AD and breathed a sigh of relief.
Till... the faculty meeting.
I checked my email and saw a frantic message. "It crashes after slide 142!" Ugh!
I left the meeting, zipped to my computer, converted the presentation to a PowerPoint, burned it to a CD, and all was well.
Being a lover of Google, it made me sad that PowerPoint came to the rescue. I was hoping to solve the problem within the world of Google. Wouldn't it be great if I could convert my presentation to a YouTube video?
I know that failure goes hand in hand with learning new things. But sometimes I still get frustrated when I get to the end of a project and have a bigger list of cons than pros. One of these days I'll feel good about the process AND the product of a project. Till, then... Just keep swimming.
Should you want to watch the presentation, it's embedded below. I hope it doesn't crash on you after Slide 142.