Using Videos in Your Classroom

Five Minute Film Festival (Edutopia)

Five Minute Film Festival (Edutopia)

If you are an avid user of videos to support instruction in your classroom, Amy has posted about very useful and effective video tools for teachers. Are you tired of trying to find videos that you have used in the past and wish that they could be in one place? This, and other resources, are detailed in her post here on Five Minute Film Festival:
It’s no secret that I am a passionate advocate for using video in the classroom. When used well, videos can help students make connections to people and ideas beyond their usual frame of reference. That’s why I’ve been really excited to see a wave of new (and mostly free or low-cost!) tech tools recently that enable teachers to take favorite clips and make them more valuable for educational use. Whether you use videos to flip your classroom or you just appreciate the power of video to engage kids, maybe one of the tools in my playlist below will help you go deeper in 2014.

Try them out and let me know how you like them.

Blogosphere Finds: Technology Integration Links, Ideas, and Professional Reading

Sort Google images by subject (new)

Technology for K-2/Early Childhood
Teach K-2 and want a great idea for your room? Write up about Voicethread

Facebook-like project for Biographies and the like

Video Making: Green Screen
Learn about green screen usage and see an example of a weather video project:
Another link from Langwitches

Professional Reading/Thinking
Will Richardson’s And What Do YOU Mean by Learning?

Interesting Post SOL project Idea:
Digital Story telling Ideas and other digital projects: Go

How Would You Change Education?

CaptureIf you are a teacher, you know the pressure of accountability and the scrutiny that we are receiving in the press and media. In short, the mantra seems to be, “Get those test scores up.” Ever wonder what students think? What if they had a chance to sit all those down who are responsible for schooling and say, “This is what I would do” or “this is how I would run the place!”

Steve Hargadon , creator of Classroom 2.0, has done just that with a new site Elevd:

We encourage students to submit videos that…
• Offer new ideas for what education could be, and/or
• Inspire others to transform education, and/or
• Propose specific actions you or others can take to improve education in your community

This is not only an example of students using technology to submit their ideas, but there are some nuggets of wisdom contained in these. If you have any students that wish to submit a video that they create, or have an idea for one, let me know!

100 Uses for Voicethread

vthreads WARNING! Reading this post may cause you to change your teaching!

Voicethread, a great resource for the classroom which involves uploading pictures and having students record a script, has many uses in the classroom, and best of all, it is EASY! I found a good Wiki that gives resources for ideas in using Voicethread in the classroom. Curious? Share your lesson plans, and we can come up with a fun, AND useful, resource! [also try Digitally Speaking]

VETC #3: Is an SOL PSA Video Project in Your Future?

Presentation1Stepping into the 21st century can be difficult, especially when the fear of not keeping up with the Pacing Guide can terrify a teacher. However, in the rush of preparing for Benchmarks and SOL testing, can students’ learning styles be overlooked? I had the opportunity to talk with representatives from Shortie, a video group from Virginia. As the presenters and I talked, I was especially intrigued with an experience that they had in a classroom.

Students were perplexed and were pondering (ah, alliteration!) a particularly frustrating Math SOL, and as the instructor discussed with the class the way to figure the answer (it was with positive and negative numbers), the group decided to come up with a funny jingle public service announcement. They placed the problem on their shirt fronts, came up with a jingle (you have to flip the sign), and “flipped” in front of the camera. Result? This special education class not only got the procedure, but they proceeded to do this with other subjects. The result? Higher test scores and a grasp of the SOL!

The Shortie Awards site has information about entering their video contest. Interested?

Technology and Rebellion (The Good Kind)

OK. There are some things that I just don’t get. For example:

• Why is it rude for guys to wear hats in the building?
• Why, if my feet hurt from wearing hard soled shoes, does that make me more professional and a better teacher? You only feel as good as you look? I’m in PAIN!
• Why must students sit at a desk for seven hours a day, feet flat on the floor, and listen to a teacher talk all day and they’re not allowed to talk to their neighbor at all?
• Why can’t a student sit or go somewhere else to learn?

I feel for what students go through. One does something forever, and after awhile, it’s so ingrained, people forget why they do what they do. Is questioning necessarily a sign of rebellion? Is rebellion healthy?

I’m taking three graduate courses, working full time during the day, leading workshops after work, and teaching at night until 9:00. Afterwards, I come home to study. I sat down at the computer, which sits in front of the window, to write my paper and looked outside on this beautiful day. I thought I’d climb out of my skin, for I’d rather work outside that be imprisoned inside and tethered to a computer. My solution? I took my laptop outside. Result? Productivity. The mind said, “Stay at the computer,” while the rebel said, “Make the best of it! Take it outside!”

How can technology help rescue bored people? The mantra today seems to be, “I can’t do that because they need to prepare for the SOLs and Benchmarks!” It makes one think of the old Roman slave ships.

I propose:

a) podcasting
b) Voicethreads (we have a license for this!!!)
c) begin a Wiki
d) start a blog
e) make a movie
f) use digital cameras (we have them!)
g) make a KidPix slideshow
h) visit a software program that you’ve not used before such as MapMachine
i) use the Activslate and Activexpressions

red high topsLet’s break free! Why follow the crowd? Do you remember the Dodge Different Commercials around 2003? Remember the CEO wearing red high tops? The red chili pepper in the midst of potatoes? Let’s take on the red high top philosophy and be different!

NECC 2009: Great Finds #1: Free Online video Editing

Attending the International Technology Education Conference in Washington, D.C., I’ve been able to discover new and interesting resources that many educators would find useful, and one that definitely raised my Happy Quotient was in a session on ten Web 2.0 useful free websites: a free online video editing site called JayCut. Similar to software such as iMovie or Movie Maker, you’ll see the same type of transitions, effects, and timelines to construct videos, and the desktop is quite easy to use. The site requires registration and is ready for you to explore today!

Technology Discoveries: Fun Sites to Visit for Technology Integration

What recent discoveries have been found in the Blogosphere, Internet, and other areas of Web 2.0?

Personalized Desktops: Photovisi ‘s website allows you to upload your own personalized pictures to make a collage on your desktop. Sizes and styles vary from small to large numbers of pictures.

Fotonea is another desktop collage maker allowing you to upload your own photos. Pictures are limited to 2MB and can be arranged artistically by yourself.

Have you sat through an excrutiatingly B-O-R-I-N-G presentation? Did the presenter stand and read to you? We all have our war stories. Will Death by Powerpoint Soon be a Thing of the Past? on the National Staff Development Council blog addresses this along with suggestions for a lively presentation.

“We’ll do the fun stuff after testing is over,” something that all teachers say because of high stakes testing, will be here sooner than you know. In the TechTeacher blog, Great Royalty Free Music for Movie Projects (Silent Films?), resources and links are given for making silent movies with your students along with royalty free music.

Music for Student Videos and Projects

I have not checked these sites and cannot give my opinion, but there is an interesting conversation on Classroom 2.0 for those who wish to work on media projects (PowerPoint, Movie Maker, etc.):

Musopen: looks like you need to access a blog.

Digitales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories: This seems educator friendly with information about what royalty free music entails (see below). If you are a fan of making digital stories, this seems to be a good starting point.

Fee/Royalty free: Purple Planet:

Creative Commons: Search OWL music search or SpinXPress:

Partners in Rhyme: sound effects, MIDI files, music loops, audio software, and so on. Plan on spending some time on this site–lots of links, styles, and so on.

Royalty Free Music: A snippet from their site: “If you are an educator who would like to use royalty free music in your classroom, click on the Free Music Programs link to submit an application to download stock music free of charge.’s free music program gives educators free access to tracks from our stock music library to use in a variety of educational projects…”


Like the image websites, some sites include free music and sound resources. Some companies have “free” resources if you sign up for an account at no charge. But beware that your email address and name frequently will likely become part of a marketing list. You are selling your name for free resources. Other companies have ” royalty-free resources ,” which means you pay a subscription fee to use the entire library for non-commercial purposes. They usually offer sample free music and sound resources to entice you to consider subscribing. Be sure to read the terms. And subscribe to anything that you feel is worth the annual fee.