Saturday, August 11, 2018

Beyond the Video Project

Post was also published on FTIS EdTech

Chances are if you asked your students how they learned how to do something outside of school, they would reply, "I just YouTube-d it".

We live in a highly visual and media rich world, and our digital natives are certainly adept at creating their own content.

In a world, where according to Ian Junes and Ryan Schaaf, authors of Reinventing Learning for the Always On Generation: Strategies and Apps That Work “Every minute of every day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 100 hours of new video are uploaded,” you might wonder: is video becoming the new "old standby" project for when we can't think of anything else to assign our students?

With endless tools and app smashing techniques, it is true, that even our youngest students can produce quality, engaging videos that demonstrate their learning in creative ways; however, what could we add to the list of choices that would challenge their critical thinking skills and model different avenues of communication?

Below, you will find some ideas and resources to get you thinking beyond the video project.


Create Books

Encourage your students to create epublications that they can share beyond a folder. With access to tools like Book Creator through Google Chrome, the Book Creator App, templates in Apple's Pages, and even Google Slides. Students can create media rich content to tell a story, report on a topic or even teach a lesson. 

Resources to get you started

  • Apple Teacher - Pages for iPad - download the iBook to learn how to create beautiful publications - set up a free account and become Apple Teacher certified

Create Websites

Students of all different ages can use Google Sites on a computer or Adobe Spark Pages on the computer or through the iPad app. Adobe Spark also consists of Posts and Videos, so some of the resources will reference those tools. Log into all the Adobe applications with your school email. For Spark Pages, we have Adobe Enterprise, so you'll need to choose sign in, then select "Sign in with Adobe Enterprise" and use your school email and password after.

Resources to get you started

Create Podcasts

One medium that maybe doesn't get enough airtime in our schools is the podcast. Prior to having students create a podcast, you would want to introduce them to the idea of a podcast using some suggestions from Common Sense Media "20 Best Podcasts for Kids". In this list, you'll even find a few podcasts that feature kids. A cool thing about podcasts is that they appeal to the auditory learner, but many of them often include a blog post with "show notes" that act as either a transcription or an extension of the discussion. One of my favorites is  format used by Cult of Pedagogy - check out this example.

Resources to get you started

When you create a podcast in Garageband the important thing is to choose the correct settings.

Once you open a new project, and select microphone, you will turn off the Metronome (upper right side - looks like a triangle), then tap the (+) - or it may say 4.0 on the top right corner, and switch it to Automatic. 

You should then be able to record uninterrupted.

Many of our 3-5 grade students have experience with Garageband thanks to our wonderful Music teachers, and they could be a tremendous asset when you are developing your own lessons.

Create Video Games

There are so many amazing things that can be done with Bloxels. I have seen amazing projects that feature Civil War re-enactments, lessons about the digestive system, and original fairy tales. The key to using Bloxels for projects is to require that students create a storyboard as part of the development and then include written explanations throughout on story blocks.

Resources to get you started

What else can you get kids creating this year?