When asked what my best, most reliable classroom tech tool is, the answer with out hesitation is Google Photo. In an earlier blog entry “Google Photos - Powerful Classroom Tool” I wrote about setup and the ease of using it to share the learning. Students love to share and parents get to see what happens in their child’s classroom.
As great as the photo sync and sharing is within Google Photos, video is equally effective. Using my Nexus 7 tablets I take videos of activities often. These videos sync to my Google Photos school account the same way as images. Video uploads take a bit longer than images. From there I have found mutiple ways to produce and share.
Sharing a raw video is the same as an image, just copy the link that Google Photos creates within my chrome browser or the tablet. I’ve had students capture and create science lab tutorial videos on how to replicate their experiment. In addition, they demonstrate their learning by explaining and modeling their lab. Many times a student struggles to write their findings, yet this individual can explain their learning using video.
I launched my classroom YouTube channel this year, Mr. Dean Dahl. Capturing video is easy, then upload for editing in your YouTube channel. The excitement a video often creates and reinforces what I’m trying to teach my classes. Whether photos or videos, I have so much content each week for my channel updates. Its a chance for me to tell my story of learning along with student reflection.
The next move was a student created video newsletter using my channel to share. Students sign-up to create the newsletter in a special 40 minute session. After our first edition we always start by reviewing and critiquing our previous episode. Then students create a list of academic and school events on the white board. They put themselves in groups of 2-3, moving where they need to be for recording their selected subject or event.
All videos are uploaded to my Gphotos account after they finish. When they are done recording we come back to the classroom to review the raw footage, selecting the clip(s) for our newsletter. I create a “Raw Video” shared folder for the group and a second “Final Clips” folder for the videos selected. There are so many fun bloopers to pick from as they try again and again to get it right.
I can now easily upload the videos in the “Final Clips” folder to YouTube. I upload in private mode so the clips don’t go public right away. The process is seamless and ready to make the final product using the YouTube Video Editor. This is the most time consuming part of the process, but worth every minute. It doesn’t take long to find efficient steps making the start to end time manageable.
The final product is a powerful example of student excitement of their video newsletter demonstrating that learning is fun. The group takes great pride in their production and parents love it. I so enjoy watching their interviews and creativity. I share the episode link with families, but many get notified from subscribing to my channel.
These are a few examples of how I use video in my classroom, with the assistance of Google Photos. The learning curve is low and the excitement is always high. I get dozens of parent “Thank You” comments for sharing these videos and letting students create their video newsletter. Again, video makes sharing the learning fun!