Reader Profile - Jorge A. Santana

Name: Jorge A. Santana

Cameras: Canon GL2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Editing Platform:iMac 24″ and a MacBook Pro using Final Cut and iMovie

Support Gear: Slik Able 300 DX

YouTube Channel: armsantana

A year before retiring, after 37 years as a college Spanish professor at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), I decided to take a few video production classes to make this one of my post-retirement hobbies. During my academic career I took many student groups traveling to foreign countries and always carried my cameras with me. First, it was a still camera, than a heavy porta-pak VHS and lately a camcorder. During my years teaching I was asked to teach a distance-learning class that was televised throughout the region and I saw the potential that TV could have in the educational process. I always used visual aids in my teaching and saw the value that audio-visual materials had on my students.


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In 1972 I began showing 16mm films and with time these evolved to DVDs. Towards the end of my career at the university I used the internet and YouTube specifically, to supplement my Mexican Culture classes. Students were in awe when I talked, for example, of the Mexican Revolution, and was able to show YouTube clips of Emiliano Zapata’s funeral. History almost came to life!

The value of video as a teaching tool is evident and the goal of my new hobby is not to make money but to continue as an educator in the use of video as a teaching tool. In my Spanish for Professionals class I had students make their own videos in role-playing situations. The main difference now is that with the internet the classroom is the world! Once you’re an educator you’re always an educator. In the past two years I have been fortunate to win two SEVAs (Sacramento Educational Video Award). My video, “Mexican Crafts Corn Husk Dolls” won the college level award for 2009.

Creative videos are another type of video production that interests me and I have attempted to add humor to these productions (See Spooky the Rat on YouTube). My main interest is to produce a world culture series, not limited only to the Hispanic world but to include other countries as well. I have uploaded to YouTube a three-part series on the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as a result of a recent trip to these three countries. My interest in traveling goes hand in hand with videography and I have found that, as a rule, people are proud and more than willing to provide you with information about their culture. A Canon GL2 commands respect.

I am fully aware that I am still a novice in producing professional quality videos but as a 65-year old student of this field, one is never too old to acquire new skills and continue with old passions. I have just finished writing my first feature-length screenplay and so the dream continues!

Jorge A. Santana, Educating with Video

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