Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dry Erase X Hyperlapse = RSA Animate

I had a truly fortunate experience today to visit, speak with and work with the students and teachers at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri.  After a morning keynote that focused on the creative potential, implications and balance that needs to be struck when using iPads in the classroom, I was asked to work with two history classes to model for both the students and teachers how the iPad can be used as a creation device in the classroom.

I was given a block period of 85 minutes to work with a high school history class that had just started to explore a unit on Islam the previous day.  My goal was to have them work in small groups to create short videos that would provide an overview of their understanding of the origins of Islam.

Our process was as follows:

Introduction to the Challenge - 10 minutes

Brainstorming - 10 minutes

Storyboarding - 15 minutes

Video Creation on Dry Erase Boards - 30 minutes

Voice-Overs & Editing - 15 minutes


The students were given a number of options for the final product they could create, but 3 of the 4 groups decided on creating RSA animate style videos.  I have had my classes in the past also create these style videos, without iPads.  We typically worked on a 3 day schedule and I admit that the time frame outlined above is extremely fast paced.  I was also blown away by how the challenge was embraced by the students once they recognized how efficiently they would have to work to get their final product created.

To create the RSA style films with iPads, we used the process below:


1 of the groups completely finished their challenge within the class period and two of them needed a few extra minutes to wrap up their process.  While the students in the group below were visibly proud of their work in the time frame allotted, it was also evident that they would have liked a bit more time to finalize and improve their video.


The goal for the day was to help the teachers at Pembroke Hill get a sense of what was possible on the creation side of using iPads in the classroom.  And while the final product above isn't perfect there was one discussion I had with an observing teacher during the process that was powerful.  She commented on how the discussions that were taking place between the students during the creation process was the most revealing and powerful aspect of the challenge.  I agree thoroughly.  The decision making, compromises, solutions and discussions taking place were powerful and meaningful.  In may ways the content and the use of the iPad was secondary to the face to face discussions, something that I couldn't be happier with.

Update: As an alternative to dry erase boards, the same process can be completed using pen and paper.  The example below is from a middle school social studies class at Pembroke Hill.


Stop Motion X Green Screen App-Smashing

The awesome folks at DoInk recently retweeted a picture of a student creating a stop motion video with legos in front of a green screen from Amanda Bradford's class.


I've done a bit of stop motion work, but never considered having my stop motion lego characters appear in an green screen background.  Inspired by the tweet above, I made a quick visual guide to creating stop motion green screen video on an iPad.


DoInk X Explain Everything = Video Writing App-Hack

I was in a layover last night in Cincinnati...what else would one do in that situation but shoot some video using Hyperlapse while walking through a terminal.  As I often do in my spare time, I wanted to figure out yet another way to use Explain Everything and DoInk to add a layer to the Hyperlapse video.

While the app-smashing term seems well known and understood by teachers and students exploring creative uses of iPads in the classroom, I think I may have stumbled upon another idea, App-Hacking.  I am no hacker and will readily admit that the term may be a bit misleading, no worries.

App-Hacking: Finding uses for apps or combinations of apps to use them in ways that they were not originally intended.

My first app-hack: Layered Green Screen Writing



An the final product...



I don't intend for this to be a daily process or even to be considered a terribly thoughtful idea for iPad use.  I can see students that are experienced with video creation on an iPad to add this sort of customized layer to their videos.  Ultimately, I think these sorts of experiments are more about thinking creatively and pushing the limits of what is possible with any particular tool.  Consider it a sort of experiment in creativity.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Paper X Explain Everything = Animated Paper Videos

Years before having iPads in my classroom, I had students create paper animated videos with flip cameras and a bit of editing in iMovie on a MacBook.  The process was time consuming and tedious because there was only one MacBook for the entire class to use.  With a 1:1 iPad environment, very similar style videos can be created with a combination of paper drawings, Explain Everything and iMovie (optional).  Below is a quick visual guide to the process and there is a short video below that demonstrates a final product.






I can envision this type of creation process being used in nearly every classroom where students need to explain a concept or idea in their own words.  Also, because the actual student is not captured on video, this type of creation can likely be published and shared with the public even if there are specific restrictions on publishing student work.


iMovie X Explain Everything = Picture in Picture Video

By using iMovie on an iPad, the possibilities for mobile video creation are almost endless.  One extremely helpful feature that students can use to create video is the picture in picture function.  By using this tool in iMovie, students can create newscasts, video lab reports or art analysis videos.  The one trick to keep in mind is that the picture in picture content must be video.  My approach is to use Explain Everything to turn a still picture into video that can later be used in iMovie.  The visual guide below outlines the process and I have also created a short how to video that is at the bottom of the post.




Good luck creating video content in your classroom!