When I’m designing digital math tasks, I feel the most ridiculous when I fire up Adobe AfterEffects — a special-effects juggernaut — to lay a simple timer over some footage for the second act.
Here’s a neat hack if all you have is Keynote or PowerPoint.
- Download this video. It’s just a timer that runs to sixty seconds. (Sixty seconds, of course, is the constraint on #anyqs video.)
- Drag the video you want to time into Keynote or PowerPoint.
- Drag the timer video on top of that video. Resize and reposition it as you like.
- Set its animation to start with a click and stop with the next click..
Now when you play your slideshow you just click and the timer starts. Click it again and it stops. One caveat: this timer won’t do you any good if your video is slow or fast. It’s calibrated for 29.97 frames per second, which is what comes off most consumer cameras. Here’s an example of the effect in Keynote:
Drop me a line in the comments if you wind up using this.
BTW: Alternately, you could have your students get their own measurements using their phones for timers. That one’s nice because the answers spread across the measurement error a little bit. Everyone owns a slightly different answer.
BTW: I’ll be traveling over the next three weeks. My intern, Giuseppe, will be posting material for me throughout my absence and I’ll check in with the comments when I’m back.