Beyond Text: Why you should and how you can have your students make videos as assignments
Type of technology: Website, Document & Video Sharing & Storage
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade level: 5-12
Subject area: Any
Can I do a video as my project?
Students are asking; are you ready to let them do it? If you’re not sure if you should or even if you can, please read on and see if I can convince you. Three different situations have come together so that a classroom teacher can now assign students a video production as a reasonable assignment.
Situation 1: Video is here to stay
YouTube turned ten this year. That ten years is like three generations of technology. As far as the students in our classroom’s are concerned, YouTube has always existed. On-demand video is normal for our students, as normal to them as the thousands of years of writing which preceded it. Video will be increasingly important method of communication as we continue into the 21st century, so we need to start to include it more regularly as part of our instruction. The written word is certainly not going away, but our students need and want to be literate in making videos to express themselves.
Situation 2: Available video tools drop costs to almost nothing
Students making videos is certainly not anything new. What is fairly new are the tools to quickly and easily create and share videos with nearly anyone at almost no cost to the creator. Devices that are able to record reasonable quality video are almost everywhere at this point. Video editing software and apps allow you to do in ten minutes what thirty years ago would have taken a whole day and a lot of expensive equipment.
Situation 3: Tech use in the classroom must be safe
The way that teachers need to use technology is fundamentally different from how the average adult is able to use technology; we have to protect our students. The same technology that makes it so easy to connect with each other can potentially expose students to dangers that were unimaginable just a generation earlier. Additionally, the technology must be reliable so teachers spend time teaching, not hoping something will work or trouble shooting problems. Tech in the classroom needs to be both safe and reliable.
Combine these three situations and we have an opportunity others before us have not had: our students can produce videos which can be securely turned in and shared with only those who should see it, all at almost no marginal cost.
Once the district has the internet infrastructure and appropriate devices are available (which SBUSD does), there is almost no cost for producing the students’ videos. This accounts for the first two situations I mentioned above. The third situation, keeping student safe as they use tech, can be handled by having the student’s post their videos to Google Drive. The process is fairly simple as described here (iOS or Android or Desktop). Also, you can find general information about how Google Drive handles video files here.
After the video is loaded into Google Drive, the student just shares the video with the teacher or any other appropriate party and the teacher can view it from anywhere with an internet connection. Unlike a video uploaded to a standard Youtube account, the video is not publicly available unless the student chooses to make it public. The size of the video is not generally going to be a problem in terms of storage, but it will take a while to upload the video the first time.
As the we start this year, I am challenging my students to include video elements in some of their projects. I expect some videos will be original videos and some videos will be edited works of others with student commentary, and some may be from video making sites like Moovly.com. Like most things that are worth doing, it’s going to be a little bit scary, both for me and my students. But it is a world of video; join me in letting your students loose in it! (Safely!)