Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fun Classroom Learning With Video

Student Learning Is Easy When You Make A Video

Do you have students who have difficulty learning something? Memorizing is an option, but how about putting students in a video to help them reflect on the standard they are trying to master. This month my first grader had to do just that. He had to memorize a poem for his grade level's poetry recital. He chose Jaberwocky, by Lewis Carroll. You might have also seen him tweeting his lines to practice on Twitter. The poem's rhetoric is difficult for any age group since the words in the poem do not exist. Needless to say it was a challenge to remember and learn it. So I decided to create a video to give him the opportunity to hear himself pronounce the words. With his video, he was able to see where he needed to work on his inflection and where he needed additional practice. The result, thanks to all his hard work, was he was one of three finalists from his class. We were very proud of him. I don't know about you, but I also see how this type of learning through video creation can have application to help ESOL or ESE students.

Jabberwocky In The Tulgey Woods

This is my son reciting his video and yes he's in the Tulgey Woods from Alice in Wonderland. We created the effect using Photo Booth 2.03 on a Mac. This fun application allows you to take video and add backgrounds to your video. It is a ton of fun to use and you could literally put yourself in any country or any location. The background could even be a computer motherboard. If you look at this previous post, you will see me experimenting with it at the Discovery Education workshop. Thanks Hall Davidson for the great tutorial! I have included directions on how to do this effect on Photo Booth below.

Photo Booth Requirements:
  1. You will need a web cam and a MAC. If you do not have a MAC see below for free alternatives for Windows.
  2. Then you will need Photo Booth 2.03 or above. This program comes pre-installed with OS X.

  1. First be sure you have your picture ready. You will need the picture to be in .jpg, .gif, or .png format. There are some really cool pre-made backgrounds already preset in the program that you can use too.
  2. Go to the video camera feature it looks like a movie rail.
  3. Use the arrow keys to scroll to the drop your background here feature
  4. Drop your background (your picture)
  5. Click on the video camera to record your video
  6. The program will ask you to step out of the frame and then back in
  7. I recommend you have a clean background. Think green screen like they do in the movies. The cleaner the background the better the quality of your film.
  8. Have fun!
  9. If you make anything neat be sure to share. I would love to see your ideas. My students are working on Networking Web pages so you might just see a follow up post using their Networking video examples.
Windows Users:

If you are on a Windows machine there are quite a few programs you can try. Any of the programs below can offer the same kind of affect however some of them only take pictures and do not allow video. Also you will need a webcam and your web browser will need Adobe Flash installed. Some of these sites work best if you sign up for a free account and some do not work on a MAC.


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