Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Easy Video Ideas for Teachers!

I love experimenting and testing out new video project ideas! But to some, new projects are a source of stress, fear, and anxiety. What if it fails? What if I forgot to plan some key component?

Or, the most common concern I hear:

To help combat these concerns, I've compiled a list of easy video project ideas that you can start using in your classroom right away. The EASIEST method of incorporating video would be to simply offer it as a choice item amongst a variety of choice project options for demonstrating understanding and/or mastery of a concept. Put the onus on the student to find the time and resources to develop the video on their own, if they so choose.

But maybe the idea of doing a video project in your class sounds super fun (spoiler alert: it IS) and you're just not sure where to start? Here is a list of some easy project ideas:

  • Narrate over a slideshow and record as a video instead of a whole-class presentation. (Eliminate student stage fright!) See my suggestions for screencasting below.
  • Set up a video camera on a tripod and record an IGNITE presentation (Presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes.)
  • Create a screencast (it’s a one-shot and done type of deal) - I like Screencastify and Screencast-O-Matic, although WeVideo has built-in screencasting abilities, too! Great for how-tos and having students teach eachother. 
  • Give a virtual tour - students could always record this outside of school, and use a limited time allotment in school to edit and assemble.
  • Create a gif using stop-motion: could be using photos or simple sketches/graphics, like a flip book. This is so easy that it can be done with as few as two pictures!
  • A book trailer - WeVideo now has TEMPLATES to use for video creation, as well as a gigantic media library (hundreds of thousands of files) of still images, video, and audio content (royalty-free!!!) that makes creation fast and easy - you don't even need a camera! 
  • A newscast - also available as a template on WeVideo!
  • Time-lapse: Set up a camera (or smartphone, iPad, etc) while students work; speed up the video to show work being completed at an amazing rate! This was super fun to do in art class to show progress over the course of several days; all it took was the time to set up the camera!

  • Lip dub: My son made this video in his bedroom all by himself, using a selfie stick. I can't even handle the cuteness, but imagine THIS with a whole class of students. They could each be responsible for a verse or phrase... or an AIR INSTRUMENT!

  • Challenge students to tell a story in four shots (or less!).
  • Challenge students to do a presentation on a topic in only 3 minutes! Here are some 3-minute(ish) TED talks for inspiration.

Hopefully this list has got you itching to try a video project in class! Maybe you're not sure where to go from here? As far as structuring your video projects go, I’ve done presentations on this very topic for a variety of groups. Check out my slide deck from a presentation on this topic that I gave last year:

I love helping other teachers try out new material in their classes, and brainstorming new, fun ideas. Never hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need help!

- Mrs L.

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