Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two Weeks, 30 Seconds, 10 A's

I shared bits and pieces of this story at MOREnet MITC on Monday. Here's the rest of the story.

A few weeks ago I introduced my special education students to Animoto. The assignment was for them to create short videos about the causes of the Revolutionary War. Each student picked an act or event (i.e. Quartering Act, Boston Massacre) which he or she would research and produce a video about. Based on having done this in previous years, I thought that this would take a week. It turned out that it took every student at least two weeks and one student is actually still working on his project.

In creating each video the students had to include a brief background (what happened to cause their chosen event or act), some details of the act or event, and the consequences of the act or event. As many readers know, Animoto is based on the use of images so my students had to find Public Domain or Creative Commons images that demonstrated the ideas they wanted to convey. This is where the process slowed.

Finding appropriate images took my students a bit longer than students previous classes took. I also slowed the process as I required each student to explain to me (or to one of ed techs/ classroom aids) what each of their chosen images represented. I also required my students to explain the display sequence they had chosen. In the end, this process proved to be very beneficial for my students.

Last Friday my students took a short quiz on the causes of the Revolutionary War. Not every student got an "A" on the quiz, but ten did. For some of my students it was the first "A" they had gotten in a long time. And every one of them made some type of comment about the videos helping them remember the causes of the Revolutionary War.

The point of this story is that when conducting video creation projects in your classroom, the research and development of the script may be more important than what the final video looks like.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Making Videos on the Web - A Free Guide
11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year