Integrating Video into the Classroom
I love film. I love watching them, making them, and talking about them. I made my first video when I was in Mrs. Hansen's 3rd grade class. We had to create our own pizza company and try to sell the idea to others. I hated being in front of the class so I decided I would make a short commercial for my company and that way I didn't have to stand in front of the class. I continued making videos for a lot of my classes and currently create videos for companys as a fun hobby. My favorite thing about making a video is the ability to explore and be creative. For the last 4 years I've been directing a video club after school. Kids voluntarily come in for a couple of hours every week and learn how to make videos. I just started with my new group of 5th graders this year and it's so rewarding to see them interact with their peers and with me on a different level. There is a lot of discussion, a lot of tinkering, and definitely a lot of laughs as they show their final products. If you want to integrate video into your classroom I'd suggest a few things.
1. Start with an iPad – You can film, edit, and export everything from one device using an iPad and iMovie. The controls are easy enough to use that students can usually figure out how to use it without your help.
2. Apps – Other than iMovie, which comes free with newer Apple devices, I would suggest some other kid friendly apps. MyCreate is a stop motion app that is really easy to use. Toontastic is a great animation app that allows students to move animated characters and do voice-overs. Animoto is a fun app that makes videos look very professional with very little effort. I use it to create an end of the year yearbook video for students. WeVideo allows users to edit online and across other platforms, but is the more expensive app out of the bunch.
3. Build it into your curriculum – One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to create educational videos that aren't boring where I'm just standing in front of the camera. Put the students in front of the camera and tell a story. Have them recreate a scene from their favorite book. Let them film a trailer for a book they want other kids to read. Explain a math concept in a fun way using a song. Students will retain the information better and have fun doing it. Below is an example of a vocabulary video I've made with former students.
4. Share their work – It's important to share these videos with others. That gives the students something to work towards. There are different contests available to students as well. My favorite is NextVista.org. Not only do people from around the world get to watch their videos, but they can also win some really cool prizes.