Video file format purgatory

I had my 7th graders “translate” parts of the Declaration of Independence into raps this week. I was originally going to record with the Snowball mic and have audio files. However, it was “Clash Day”, and the visuals of the students were so colorful that I decided to film them with my Android phone. Worked great! Looked awesome!

Then I promised to publish them on our Moodle class site, thinking Youtube would be going a bit too far. OK… mail vid files to my Gmail account, download them to my PC. They’re in .3gp format. Never heard of that. Asked our resident film guru for best format; he suggested (among others) avi. Went to Zamzar, uploaded them, converted them to avi, got the email from Zamzar saying they were ready, downloaded them, uploaded them to a folder in Moodle.

So far, a lot of mailing and uploading and downloading, but still worth it. Kids were excited. Next day in class, my students with Macs said they couldn’t view them. Grr.

Next step: mov files. Stay tuned for further developments. One thing I do know is that mov files are way bigger than avi files (30Mb vs 4Mb). I uploaded one and will ask my Mac students to try it tonight and will go from there.

Perhaps I’m being punished for always having taught in PC (specifically Thinkpad) environments?

I’m open to suggestions.

UPDATE — Well, well. Who would have guessed that both Macs and PC’s, using Quicktime, could view 3gp files natively? Not me, obviously. No need to convert files at all. Just shows me what happen when I assume something….

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