Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Green Screen Fun

Hi Everyone!

    It's another Snow Day here in New England so it's the perfect time to blog.  I've really enjoyed catching up on my blog feed these past couple of days.  You people are simply amazing and always make me smile.  Thank you!
    Let's start with my latest Tech Teaching.  These past few weeks of science have been about weather.  We've covered everything from the seasons to the water cycle to severe weather storms.  The students have really gotten into it thanks to these fantastic ladies - Amanda Madden from Teachers Clubhouse, Erica Bohrer of Erica's Ed-ventures, and Christina Bainbridge from Bunting, Books and Bright Ideas.  To get to the exact items that I used, click the images below.






    I thought it would be great to end the unit with some green screen fun and the kiddos completely agreed with me (as all good students should! ;) )  So we got right to work on our severe weather posters.  The students were able to chose which severe weather they wanted to talk about and the researching began.

    Once the posters were complete, the students practiced with a buddy to present their information.  I LOVE when their little personalities come out in ways that we don't often get to see.  They are so fun-loving and adorable when we let them have time to be creative...sigh!

    When students felt they were ready to be recorded, we broke out the green screen.  You should've heard the ooohs and aaahs - it was awesome!  You can buy these on Amazon pretty inexpensively or you can use a piece of green cloth, a green tablecloth, etc.  This particular green screen came from the ISTE 2014 conference.  I actually won it at a workshop that I attended.  If you've never been to ISTE...   It. Is. A. Must. DO.  Trust me!



    After the initial kinks were worked out, the classroom transformed into a recording studio.  All I had to say was "Recording now" and the room fell silent while one of their classmates became a meteorologist right before their eyes.  I DIDN"T EVEN HAVE TO USE MY TEACHER VOICE!  In between recordings, they went right back to researching and collaborating.  These are second graders I'm talking about  - it was a beautiful couple of days which is all it took for me to record 23 students during Science time only, I swear to God!

    Once recorded, a student was able to add the green screen effects.  I kept it simple for their first time.  All they had to do was add one or two background photos to their video.  I had already searched for severe weather photos and added them to the camera roll ahead of time.

    We used an app called Green Screen by Do Ink.  It is extremely user friendly and the students took right to it with no effort at all.  I'm working on a tutorial which I will post soon.  In the meantime, check out the video below for a look at the final piece.

video


    As for the initial kinks, they were simple fixes as well.  First, the student should speak clearly - not too fast or too slow.  They also need to be somewhat loud.  My school has surround sound in every classroom, so they wore my mic to make it easier.  Second, make sure you see only the green screen in the background.  You can't edit the video in green screen to get rid of anything extra.  I'm sure there are apps to edit video but that seemed like an extra, unnecessary step.  I like things easy, people.

   The kiddos are really looking forward to watching all of their weather reports when we get back to school...fourth snow day...sigh!


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