In a recent planning meeting, my second grade team was contemplating what they should use as a final assessment or product at the end of their Unit of Study about how Earth changes over time. There was some discussion and an ultimate acknowledgment that sure, we could have them make yet another report using Google Slides… but that perhaps it was time to go a little further. I tossed out the idea of reporting the information in the style of a newscast.
Often, when I start talking to my teachers about video projects, they get flashbacks of digital video cameras, firewire cords, and splicing together clips in Windows Movie Maker... crossing their fingers and hoping they can get their current draft to save before the computer freezes crashes again. That’s what making a video was like in 2005, and it left such a bad taste in the mouths of most of my teachers that they haven't really gone back.
Current technologies have made video projects so much more realistic for the classroom. iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices simplify the video-creation process. Recording and editing isn't just a task for the teachers, but also something we can hand to students, as well!
The second grade team at one of my sites are absolute rockstars. These two gals are always willing to try new things, get crazy outside the box, and push themselves for the purpose of continuously growing and changing their practice to best meet the needs of their students in an ever-changing world. They are my best guinea pigs for any new ideas. For our scheduled PD day this week, I decided to offer them the idea of using green screen to make a newscast. And they BOUGHT IT! (Tech Coach WIN!!!)
I acknowledged to them that I wasn’t an expert by any means. I’d made one green screen project before - a quickie silly video at a Cue Rockstar camp using the DoInk app. I wasn’t very good at it that first time, so I prematurely accepted the idea that green screening was something that was for a certain type of nerd, and that I wasn’t that nerd.But Ann Kozma, one of my pals from my #tosachat Voxer group, goes on and on about this app! I decided to give it another shot.
We had some trial and error in the beginning… but we giggled and learned as we went!
And then ultimately we found ourselves watching a DoInk tutorial on YouTube, because that’s what folks do these days when they can’t figure something out. Even with our initial struggles, within an hour we managed to create this video to be used as a model for the upcoming student product:
Because the green screen was so much fun, I was inspired to share it again with my next scheduled PD at another site. Today, my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers also made their own videos, too!
We planned student products that will have them reporting on planets, interviewing immigrants, and telling stories about famous women of the American Revolution.
These activities will use classroom technology to redesign tasks to make them exciting, meaningful, and relevant! I am so excited to work with passionate educators who are willing to evolve "how it's always been done," because our kids deserve it!