Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An End of 2013 Video Project for Students

As the end of 2013 approaches we'll start to see most news organizations start to publish videos that review the biggest stories of the year. Some of these videos will feature serious news while others will be of a lighter nature. Instead of waiting for year-in-review videos to appear on the web, challenge your students to create their own year-in-review videos. Students' year-in-review videos could be about local news, national or global news, entertainment, sports, or a combination of all of these areas.

Four free tools students can use to create year-in-review videos:
1. The simplest of the options on this list is to use the YouTube photo slideshow tool. The YouTube photo slideshow creation tools allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. Directions for creating a YouTube photo slideshow are available here.

2. Pixorial is the online video creation tool bears the closest resemblance to iMovie. The thing that I like the most about Pixorial is that the video creation and editing tools are laid out in an intuitive user interface. Most users will never find themselves wondering what any of the editing tools do or what to click on next. To create a video in Pixorial you can upload pictures and raw video footage then organize that media into the sequence in which you want it to appear. You can insert transitions between elements by selecting them from the transitions gallery. If you would like to add a soundtrack to your production you can select one from the Pixorial gallery or upload your own audio files. Pixorial also makes it easy to add text to each picture or video that you upload. Just click on "overlay text" in the video editor when you're viewing the element that you want to add text to. Pixorial offers a free plan to educators. The educators' plan provides 30GB of free storage. Pixorial offers Android and iOS apps too.

3. WeVideo is a online video creation tool that has been featured many times on Free Technology for Teachers. In the WeVideo editor you can upload your own media clips or use stock media clips to produce your video. The video editor provides tools for trimming the length of display and or sound of each element you add to your video project. What makes WeVideo collaborative is that you can invite other people to create and edit with you. The WeVideo Google Drive app allows you to save all of your video projects in your Google Drive account. WeVideo also offers an Android app that students can use to capture images and video footage to add to their projects.

4. Weavly is a video creation tool that provides a simple drag and drop interface that allows you to search for, trim and combine tracks without ever leaving the Weavly site. You can mix together video and audio from YouTube, Vine, and SoundCloud. You can also add animated GIFs from Loopcam, Tumblr, and Imgur. To start creating your Weavly video perform a search for video content. When you find a video clip that you like drag it to the Weavly editor where you can adjust the start and end times of the clip. Then move on to adding sounds by search for sounds and draggin them to the Weavly editor where you can again trim the start and end times. Finally, you can add some animated GIFs by searching for them and dragging them into the editor. You can repeat all of these steps as many times as you like to create your video.