Friday, January 21, 2022

Roles in Group Video Projects

This is an excerpt from the most recent issue of my weekly Practical Ed Tech Newsletter

Video projects provide a great opportunity for students to work together to create something all team members can be proud of. But for any good project to come together, students need to have a plan and need to have roles within the group. This is true whether students are making an animated video made with Canva, a book trailer video made with Adobe Express, a documentary with WeVideo, or just about any other type of video project beyond a basic Flipgrid response video.

My hope is that this gives you some ideas for developing your own planning guide for your students based on their ages, skills, and interests.

Roles in the Group Project
It’s important to recognize that all of our students have different interests, strengths, and personalities. Some love to be on camera and love to hear their own voices. Others don’t want any part of being on camera and hate hearing their own voices played back to them (here’s an explanation of why that’s common). That’s okay because there can be a role that plays to the strengths and interests of every person in the group.

Here are some of the roles that I’ve given to or had students choose when working on group video projects.
  • Script writer
  • Voiceover artist
  • On-camera performer
  • Editor
  • Fact-checker
  • Researcher
  • Materials gatherer
  • Cartoonist
  • Reviewer
Some of these roles can be and probably should be done by all group members. In my U.S. History classes if students were working in groups to make videos about an element of the American Revolution, all of the students would be involved in planning, researching, and script writing.

Artifacts of U.S. History for Teaching and Learning

Earlier this week I was catching up on some RSS feeds in Feedly when I came across this drawing from the patent application for the board game that became Monopoly. That drawing was the featured artifact of the day on the Today's Document website published by the U.S. National Archives. It's a resource that I frequently used when I taught U.S. History. Every morning Today's Document features a new image or document from the archives. The documents are usually accompanied by some additional research links and lesson plan resources. 

The Library of Congress offers a daily artifact feed similar to the one offered by the National Archives. Today in History from The Library of Congress offers a new image or document along with the story of the notable event or person connected to it. The LOC generally includes more information about the featured artifact than what the National Archives includes about their daily documents. 

Applications for Education
When I was teaching U.S. History I used both of the resources on a regular basis. Sometimes I'd use, with modification, the lesson plans associated with the artifacts. Most of the time I just used the featured artifacts to spark little discussions about moments in history.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of helping students recognize the differences between primary and secondary sources. If you missed that post, you can read it here