Friday, January 8, 2016

Green Screening Social Studies.

Its been a long time since I last blogged but my last venture into Greenscreening needs to be shared. It was inspiring, easier to do than I thought it would be and the results were very rewarding. I have wanted to try green screen videos but thought it might be too difficult. I am glad I took the plunge. My students are too.

Our project:
Students used Book Creator and started with
 Collections Canada
Collections Canada website 
Assignment  site

 to research and publish an ebook on their chosen explorer. They worked in pairs using iPads to research and publish and save the book as a video.

After creating the books they used Veescope Live and a green background to film what they learned.  I thought they would record a sentence or two but was surprised how much of their research many were able to present. If I had asked them to present their books or do an oral report I know they would have had difficulty presenting without reading. However, filming added a whole new dimension and they were eager and able to orally present their research. They enjoyed the project, and the results were impressive.

I was able to watch the process unfold and assess their learning along the way. I adapted the assignment for students that needed support by ensuring they had explorers that had enough information for them to readily find what they needed, but so much as they would be be bogged down. They were able to complete the project and ALL of my students are able to film and present with confidence. They were proud of their success and eager to work on the project.

My stronger students became the directors and filmers after they completed their own first and mentored those that needed help. We all watched and as we were filming students edited their books that were playing in the background and offered suggestions. We were not able to redo the filming after editing but I learned we can film over the green background and add the video after. Now that we know how to use a green screen we can make those adjustments. Watching students WANT to go back and edit their work was gratifying. Once again, having a purpose and and audience made all the difference. Knowing the films would be added to their YouTube channel and Blogs transformed their learning and truly made their learning visible.

We are moving on to use Minecraft to create trading forts and will use the green screen to present them as well. There have been times that I worried about how much content was retained by not having each child study each explorer, but the students not only remembered what they learned but by watching and helping each other film they also learned about other explorers along the way. They paid attention to the presentations and enjoyed watching them.

Beyond that, they emerged as better collaborators, they worked out problems with shadowing, timing, and other technical issues and are eager to move on to our next adventure in learning. They have already started at home and are discussing it at recess and lunch. They have taken  charge of their new project and have become artists, publishers, directors, builders and mentors.

It is very exciting time for us.
We are currently working on making student portfolios to share our work and have uploaded it to Youtube and to each student's blog.

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