Monday, June 15, 2015

Classroom Applications for WeVideo

Creation is KING according to Bloom's Revised Taxonomy.  This is perfect because it is also the most fun.  Humans are wired to create, and technology streamlines that process.  Chromebooks and iPads ares the Elmer's glue and Popsicle stick of this generation, so let's see what we can do with one of their most useful apps.

WeVideo is the only truly cross platform movie making tool available to today.  It is cloud-based and can use a Google login to authenticate, making it ideal for classroom use.  It is not perfect, but it sure beats Windows Movie Maker (a moment of silence for those brave young teachers that have tried Windows Movie Maker as part of a classroom project).  

Classroom Applications

1. PhotoStory

PhotoStory 3 is a legend in the Digital Story Telling community.  It was a free application available directly from Windows for XP.  It was easy and produced a consistently high quality product.  The concept was simple, add pictures, music, text and/or voice and Photostory would "Add stunning special effects" to produce an amazing video, each and every time.  Unfortunately, Photostory 3 is not longer supported.  Good news, this same special effect (the Ken Burns effect) is available in WeVideo.   

Tips for creating "Photo Stories" with WeVideo:

  • Use the Storyboard mode instead of Timeline.  I only recommend this because your students will only be using pictures in their video.  This mode is typically to simplified for video editing, but it works really well in this case. This is only my recommendation for Photo Stories.
  • Upload all your pictures first, then perform a "marque select" (as seen in the animation above) to select ALL of the pictures you want in the story.  Once selected, drag them all on to the storyboard at once.  This action allows you to batch apply the Ken Burns animation. 

2. Book Trailer/News Cast

This one is very simple and straight forward.  The basic concept here is to use the webcam on the student device to directly record the student(s) as they speak.  For an additional level of awesomeness and authenticity, your students can use an online teleprompter like cueprompter in a separate tab.

  • Click the big red record button.
  • Choose "Webcam."
  • Choose "Allow" if using Chrome.  You may also need to install the new WeVideo Recorder Chrome Extension the first time you use it.
  • When you are done recording click the "Save Recoding" button, then "Save."
  • Drag the newly created video from your My Media to the Timeline.

Tips for creating book trailers/newcasts:

  • Using an online teleprompter in a separate tab  is particularly useful because student can not see themselves as they are being recorded. 
  • Socket puppets at all grade levels are fun and reduce the anxiety of recording one's self.
  • After publishing a book trailer have the students run the url through a QR Code generator. Print the QR Codes and tape them to the book.  
3. Paper Slide Videos

Paper slide videos are similar to the book trailers and newscasts, but instead of recording one's self, you record as series of paper "slides."  See the video below for complete details.

Tips for creating a paper slide videos:

  • Explain the concept storyboards to your students and then require them to create one before they begin creating their actual slides. Here is a nice storyboard template.
  • Use an external webcam if you have one.  If not, a laptops or a Chromebook front facing camera will work. 
These are just a few examples of how you can use WeVideo in the classroom.  The options are endless and only limited by your imagination.  How have you used this amazing tool in your classroom?

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