>>> UPDATED OCTOBER 2018! <<<
In my classroom, video usually equals instant engagement.
Students like to record it — especially because many of them get to use their phones for school purposes.
But they like to watch them even more, and if those videos are produced by their peers, the interest skyrockets.
That power has huge potential to be harnessed for educational gain.
Integrating video projects into the classroom can be as simple or complex as you want. Just grab a phone, digital camera or tablet and your students are on their way.
Here are some video project ideas, divided into ideas for any classroom and ideas for specific subject areas:
10 ideas for (almost) any classroom:
1. Create a personal narrative — Everyone has a story, and when we share our own experiences, they can be a motivating factor for others — and help us reflect on our lives and choices. Narratives can be about students themselves, a fictional character or historical person. A few easy ways to record these include:
- a simple smartphone recording uploaded to the Google Drive mobile app
- add a video to a slide in a shared Google Slides presentation using the Alice Keeler Webcam Record extension for Google Chrome
- use the webcam option in the Screencastify Chrome extension
- record a video using the ClipChamp webcam utility (and upload to Drive, YouTube or others)
2. Record interviews (in person or virtually) — The people around us and around the world are living history. Their experiences, information, and advice is a treasure trove waiting to be mined. Use a video response tool like Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) or Recap (letsrecap.com) to record interviews. They could be in-person interviews where both parties sit next to each other in the camera’s frame. Or, they could be virtual interviews, where someone far away records responses to questions in a Flipgrid/Recap video (just share the link with them to record a video). They can be serious, silly … even fictional. The sky’s the limit!
3. Create a whiteboard animation — Set up something with a camera so it won’t move (on a tripod or otherwise). Aim it at a whiteboard or chalkboard. Record and start drawing. Use video editing tools to speed it up to four times its normal speed and add a voiceover (and music?). Here’s a great blog post with the basics on how to create these videos. Below is a whiteboard animation I created to illustrate a conference session I presented (my cropping was not the best!).
4. Present slides with a screencast recording — People communicate big, important ideas like this all the time using webinars. The slides let you present an idea step by step using uncluttered slides with a simple sentence (or single word!) or an image. Instead of presenting multiple bullet points on a single slide, break each point out into its own slide. Screencast recording tools like Screencastify, Screencast-o-Matic and others can handle these videos easily!
5. Record a stop-motion animation in Google Slides — If you’re recording your screen, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is to record presentation slides. (See the idea above.) Let’s go beyond that and think of other useful websites and apps that you could record instead. For instance, create a stop-motion animation using Google Slides (click here for a step-by-step tutorial). It’s easy: create a slide, duplicate it, move something, duplicate the new slide, move something, etc. Repeat over and over. When you’re done, record it using a tool like like Screencastify or Screencast-o-Matic. Record your voice with a microphone so you can narrate what’s happening!
6. Make a tour of a significant location — If students visit a place — on a field trip, on vacation or any time — they can share their learning experience with others by recording video of it and narrating as they go. (If they’re at a museum or other such place, asking permission first is probably a good idea!) If they can’t visit it, creating a video slideshow with Animoto or in a screencast would work, too.
A virtual walking tour is an option, too. Use Google Maps Street View to view one of these fantastic locations virtually (or anywhere else). Record it (including the microphone for your voice) while you play tour guide and read some facts about the location from a script or extemporaneously!
7. Take your videos anywhere with green screen — Green screen apps let students superimpose themselves over an image or video background. This makes it look like they’re almost anywhere in the world (or beyond!) in these videos. Inexpensive apps like Green Screen by Do Ink can make it happen. (Here’s a video that shows how it works.) You don’t need a fancy green screen to stand in front of, either. A green painted wall, a green fabric background or even a green disposable tablecloth can work!
8. Create GIF examples of classroom content — GIFs are the moving image files. They’re kind of like silent video that’s treated like a picture file. By using a free GIF maker, students can create videos of anything class related and place it on a class website or share simply. Teachers can also make short animations to use for demonstrations. Here’s a post by Kim Snodgrass on the Dave Burgess blog about creating GIFs and how they can be used in class.
9. Make video with an app — Lots of apps (on the web or for mobile devices) are built to create fun videos that can demonstrate learning! Here are some examples:
- Create book reports, step-by-step videos and more using Adobe Spark Video. Check out this guest post by Claudio Zavala showing how it works and what you can do with it.
- Telestory is a mobile app that helps you create flashy videos with fun overlays. Create and record a TV show, make music videos, use night vision effects and more in your videos. Then save the video to your camera roll.
- Chatterpix is a mobile app that brings an inanimate object or photo to life! Show the app where the mouth is in the photo and record some audio. It’ll make the mouth move along with your voice!
- Triller is a mobile app that lets you record fun music videos. Find a song that fits with what you’re learning and record several video takes that show what you’ve learned. Triller splices a music video together that looks pretty slick! (Note: There’s no language filter for songs, so you might want to make these videos with students instead of turning them loose on the app.)
10. Get creative — Take cues from the things we LOVE to watch on video and find ways to adapt them to class. Record them with any of the apps or platforms mentioned above. Here are some examples:
- Create a reality TV show and insert characters or content you’ve been studying.
- Create a March Madness-style bracket with people or ideas you’ve been studying in the bracket. Have a SportsCenter-style show talking about your picks.
- Create a TV commercial for a product or service that goes along with what you’re learning.
- Create a how-to video segment. (These are SUPER popular on YouTube already!)
- Create something that appears to be recorded live, like a live TV news report or a Blair Witch Project-style recording.
- Create a game show or fun game like Cash Cab or Carpool Karaoke that brings in content from class. Script it all out OR record it off the cuff!
- Create an OK Go-inspired video. They share lots of information, ideas and inspiration from their music videos at OK Go Sandbox. There’s plenty of math, physics and more in these videos!
- Create a TV news program, complete with news anchors, reporters on the scene and more.
10 ideas for specific subject areas:
11. Recreate a historic speech or moment in history for a social studies class.
12. Display the work and results of a science lab project from beginning to end, from hypothesis to conclusion. Add images of lab data in the project to show specifics of the results.
13. Write and record poetry or short stories that illustrate literary elements learned in an English class. Include Creative Commons or public domain music that matches the mood of the written work.
14. Bring story problems to life or record a whiteboard explanation of a math problem. Use subtitles to further explain concepts in the problem. A mobile app like Educreations or Explain Everything is perfect for this.
15. Create a conversation, explanation or skit in another language for a foreign language class.
16. Show off skills learned in a physical education lesson or impart wisdom for a healthy lifestyle for a health class.
17. Give cooking demonstrations or child development presentations for family and consumer science classes.
18. Record video presentations to take agriculture classes outside the school’s walls, giving demonstrations of live animals, crops or anything ag-related on a family farm.
19. Display the great service projects or school spirit events that extra-curricular activities are engaging in.
20. Send parent and student reminders from the guidance office and make connections from the principal’s office in regular video messages.
How else can video be used for gains in the classroom? What other tools should others know about? Share your thoughts in a comment below!
For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:
- like Ditch That Textbook on Facebook
- follow @jmattmiller on Twitter
- check out the #DitchBook community on Twitter
- follow Ditch That Textbook on Pinterest
- subscribe to the Ditch That Textbook YouTube channel!
Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!
Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:
|Date||Event / Event Details||City / More Info|
07/22/2019||GRITC Conference||Southern Alabama|
08/05/2019||Oklahoma Schools Advisory Council||Muskogee, OK|
08/07/2019||Rams Techapalooza||Fort Worth, TX|
08/14/2019||St. Pauls Lutheran Schools||Orange, CA|
08/19/2019||Ditch That Textbook Workshop||Belmond, IA|
08/20/2019||Summer Tech Camp||Olean, NY|
08/27/2019||North Ranch ES||Scottsdale, AZ|
09/18/2019||CTE Conference||Fresno, CA|
09/27/2019||Vianney Speaker||St. Louis, Mo|
10/11/2019||DBC Delaware||Delaware, MD|
11/01/2019||Minidoka Schools||Rupert, ID|
01/20/2020||Osage County ILC||Hominy, OK|
12/03/2020||TETA Conference||Murfreesboro, TN|