Sheila Sybrant

If you could see it, you would probably laugh.

Technically, you could see it because I could give you a link to it. But I won’t — because you would probably laugh.

I’m talking about a video that I made for the class that I’m taking online.

I mentioned the class in a column a couple of weeks ago. In case you’re not hanging on my every word, I’ll recap: It’s a graduate class in journalism about ethics in digital media, which I’m taking to keep my teaching certificate current.

The first assignment was to create a five-minute video that gave an overview of who I am and discussed the first ethical decision I can remember making.

Fortunately, the professor posted the first few weeks’ worth of assignments before the class even officially began.

I say “fortunately” because if she hadn’t, I doubt that I would have met the deadline.

The professor said we could use any program to create the video, but she did give us a link to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s video system. Initially, I checked out that program but found it confusing (to be fair, I find any new technology confusing).

So I decided to use PowerPoint to create a narrated slideshow. Although I knew how to make a PowerPoint, figuring out how to add narration was a little harder for me, and the whole venture took more time than I care to admit (although I will tell you that the time was measured in hours, not minutes), but I did finally have a finished product.

Next up: Exporting that product into a video. That appeared as though it would be the easy part. However, appearances, as the expression goes, can be deceiving — I just could not find the “export to video” option.

I tried Googling it because my daughter told me to Google any questions I had before contacting her in a panic.

Google gave me lots of sites with lots of instructions, and I followed all of them — to no avail. So I emailed my daughter in a panic.

She valiantly tried to help me, but it turned out that my version of PowerPoint does not have an “export to video” feature. To export to video, you need a paid subscription. Ridiculous!

At about this time, the professor asked everyone to add closed captioning to their videos. I didn’t know how to do this in PowerPoint anyway, so, clearly, it was time to scrap my PowerPoint and start over.

It took more time than I care to admit (although I will tell you that the time again was measured in hours, not minutes) to figure out UNL’s program, but even then I could only figure out how to make a video with me on the screen instead of a slideshow.

I wasn’t keen on staring at the little “camera-on” light on my computer for five minutes straight, so, being the resourceful person that I am, I gathered a selection of visual aids and proceeded to make a video with me on camera — but holding up a visual in front of my face for each point I made.

Part of the requirement for this assignment was to comment on two other people’s videos. One guy who commented on mine said, “Great video. Very funny.”

As I did add humorous comments into my video script for entertainment value, I am not sure whether the comment was referring to my humorous asides or to the fact that I spent most of the video hiding behind visuals. I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt and go with the former.

Readers may contact Sheila at or 45092 859th Road, Bassett, NE 68714.

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