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Friday, March 28, 2014

The Strength of Simple Videos

Over the last month I've facilitated a handful of workshops on the topic of video creation in the classroom. One of the points that I always try to stress in those workshops is that the focus of most student video projects should be on developing and delivering clear story lines. Yes, it is great if students use slick transitions and special effects, but those don't mean a thing if the video doesn't have a clear purpose (unless that purpose is to demonstrate editing skills).

Most of us are not teachers of video production, we're teaching some other subject and using the video project as a means to get students engaged in demonstrating their knowledge and skills. To that end, I always start video projects by outlining what it is I want students to demonstrate through their videos. Then I think about the video creation tools that will fit that purpose. You can see an outline of my process and the tools that I like here.

There two examples on Next Vista that I frequently share to illustrate the strength of simple videos that have clear story lines and purposes. First, is the Black Death In 90 Seconds in which a teacher uses still shots of Legos and other toys to explain the Black Death to students. This video packs in all the basics while entertaining at the same time. Second, is My Name is Michael in which a student named Michael explains what life is like living with Autism. Both videos are embedded below.



Both of the videos above were created with iMovie (now pre-installed on new iPads), but they could have just as easily been created with WeVideo or Windows Movie Maker.

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