Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Three Audio Slideshow Video Projects for Students of All Ages

Tools like Adobe Express, Canva, and good ol' Animoto make it easy for students to quickly create videos. I often use these tools when introducing video production projects to teachers who have never attempted to have their students make videos. Here are three types of assignments that you can build around audio slideshow video tools.

Biographical/ Autobiographical Stories
Have students arrange a short audio slideshow about historical figures they're learning about in your classroom. Canva and Adobe Express offer built-in image search tools that makes it easy for students to find public domain or Creative Common-licensed pictures.

Have students tell short stories about themselves to introduce themselves to their classmates. Students can pull pictures from their personal cell phones or social media accounts to complete this project. (If social media is blocked in your school, ask students to download pictures at home and place them in a Google Drive or OneDrive folder to use in school).

Book Trailer Videos
In place of or in addition to a traditional book report have students create an audio slideshow video about books they've recently read. Students can use images they made or grab images from sites like Photos for Class and Pixabay to use in their videos. 

Video Timeline
Whether they're studying current events or historical events students can create video timelines by arranging images into a sequence that demonstrates the development of a significant event. Ask students to layer text onto their images to include dates and descriptions.

But it's too easy!

The knock against tools like these is that they make it "too easy" for students to make a video and that they don't learn anything by making videos through these tools. As with most things in the world of edtech it's not so much the complexity of the tool that matters, it's the assignment that you give to students that matters.

Moose Tracks and a Lesson on Eyes vs. Cameras

A couple of days ago I was walking down a trail to one of my favorite fishing spots in all of Maine. Along the trail I saw a bunch of moose tracks. I did my best to get a good picture of them. Unfortunately, like all pictures of moose tracks that I've taken over the years, the pictures I took didn't capture the size and detail of the tracks as I well as I would have liked. That frustration reminded me of a TED-Ed lesson that explains why our eyes see things differently than our cameras capture them. 

Eye vs. Camera is a fascinating TED-Ed lesson. In the lesson we learn why our eyes don't always see things the same way that they're captured with a camera. Through the lesson we learn how our eyes perceive and focus on colors compared to a camera. We also learn fun facts like why we can't watch our own eyes shift from side to side in a mirror. The full lesson can be seen here. The video is embedded below.

TED-Ed offers some resources to extend the lesson. Optical Illusions and Phenomena will show students more examples of how eyes perceive light and color differently than is captured by a camera. 

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