Documentation Methods: Photos and Video

Objectives and Overview

There are two main methods of documentation that you’ll be using in Maker Foundations: media and written reflection. This lesson introduces documenting with photos and videos, as well as best practices for naming your files.

Lesson Objectives

  • Identify the different methods of media documentation you’ll use in Maker Foundations
  • Document your work with each method: photo and video
  • Recognize the importance of properly naming your project media

Media: Photos and Video

One great way to document your project is by taking screenshots while you’re working. There are a few different types of screenshots that you can take on a Mac, and here is an article from Apple that provides the keyboard shortcuts and explanations for each: How to take a screenshot on your Mac.

Once you take a screenshot on a Mac, it goes directly to your desktop. All you need to do is find the screenshot, rename it according to the naming scheme, and then upload it to your drive!

Another effective documentation method is to take a picture or video of your project with your phone or one of the iPads in the Tech Closet. Once you take a picture you can email it to yourself, download and rename it, and then upload it to your drive. You don’t need to worry about staging the best looking photos. It’s much more important to capture your process than not take a photo for fear of it not being perfect!

For the mini-projects that are mostly digital, screenshots may be your best method for documenting. One of the most effective things that you can do is to take a series of screenshots throughout your making process. Just make sure that you’re labeling your screenshots in a way that is clear for you so that you can keep them organized!

Activity: Take Some Pictures!

The goal of this activity is to take some photos of your ArtBot. Your documentation should focus on capturing the making process. One way to accomplish this is to take photos at different stages throughout the project.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Take photos of the project materials and components
  • Take photos of each step in the project, or one photo for every few steps. This is a solid way to create visuals that show progress and changes.
  • Take photos of the finished project!

Keep those suggestions in mind while you’re doing the ArtBot activity. At a minimum take the following three pictures:

  • The materials at the start
  • One picture of your process – sometime before start and finish
  • The finished project

Activity: Take a Video!

For this activity, you should take a video of your ArtBot in action! The video shouldn’t be too long- the longer the video the more time it will take to upload to Google Drive.

If you want to video multiple steps of the process but you’re worried about the video becoming too long, you could always take multiple short videos!

Videos could also be used as an “interview” where you record your process or reflect on the project. For example, you could always record yourself answering questions such as “what worked well” or “what would I do differently next time.”

  • Take at least one video of the Artbot activity! Try to capture your bot in action!
  • Take at least one video of a reflection. You can answer one of the prompts above if you need a starting point.

Naming Scheme for Media

Here is a recommended format for naming your media: “first initial-lastname-module-project-name” such as “jprozzi-graphicdesign-character-1.jpg” or something similar.

You should try to keep all your media consistently and clearly named. It may seem like more work at first, but it’s much better in the long run if you know exactly what your files are named and how to locate them in the drive.