Creating a Video

I am currently in the process of creating my Animoto curricular music video (just about halfway done), and here is my predominant thought while finding usable images, documenting them, and uploading them onto Animoto: I will never do this again. Right now I work part-time (about 25 hours a week), and I feel like I barely have time for this, so I can’t imagine that I’ll have time to fiddle around with Animoto when I’m working 40+ hours a week teaching full time. HOWEVER, I do think it has instructional merit, especially in terms of allowing students to express themselves creatively, so I would absolutely have my students use this program to make 30 sec videos (for free!).

Honestly, if I didn’t have to find copyright-friendly images and document them, which we all know can be monotonous and time-consuming, I would be having an absolute blast creating this video (being responsible can be such a bummer, right?). I would love to have students use this tool to respond to major themes in novels, I think the visual and textual connection lends itself well to a summation project like that. From the instructional perspective, I’m using Animoto to create a video to generate interest in a book that the students are about to read (in this case Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451). I figured if I was going to take the time to make this video, I would do something that I could actually re-use in the future, and Fahrenheit 451 is unquestionably part of my student reading list. So, frustrations aside, I really see the value of Animoto (perhaps a bit more so than Scratch).

I also took the opportunity to re-vamp my LinkedIn page this week. As silly as it sounds, fiddling around with LinkedIn really made me self-reflect; I already had a LinkedIn account, but I had previously used it when I was working full time as head trainer at a personal training studio. My picture was one of me in fitness clothes, and all my skills and experience were fitness training related. Going through and changing that picture and adding skills and experience made me feel good– certain and satisfied and mature. I’m still a little skeptical about the effectiveness of LinkedIn, but then again, I’m skeptical about most things.

Lastly, I love Twitter. I love Twitter because it requires skill to do it well. Sure, you can tweet “I love puppies,” but that’s not a very good tweet and not many people will follow you. However, if you really take the time to consider your tweets (question to yourself, “what is tweetable?”) and make your message clear and concise, then the people will follow. Some argue that tweeting encourages bad writing skills– using text-speak, emoticons, etc.– but I actually disagree. I think all writing practice is good writing practice, regardless of spelling, because the first (and most important) step in writing is thinking. Twitter lends itself well to responding to the process of something– long-term projects, road trips, even watching a movie. What if instead of having students fill out boring worksheets about in-class movies, we just allowed them to “live-tweet” the movie? Assuming the tweets are school-appropriate, I think the students would get a lot more out of it and maybe even pay attention! Trust me, I’m an expert on students watching movies in class… I’m a substitute. More than anything else we have experienced throughout this course so far, I am most certain that I will be using Twitter in my future classroom.

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2 Responses to “Creating a Video”

  1. Kayla Patterson says:

    Allison,
    I love your comment about the copyright photos. I said and thought the exact same thing. Trying to find those photos really made me have to change what I really originally wanted to do. I just found it time consuming to have to sift through what could be used and what could not. I also felt like the selection of approved photos was lacking. Twitter and Facebook are something I want to use in my classroom too. It’s what students do and what better way then to connect with them then to meet them where they are! I found an article somewhere while on my educational twitter that talked about a teacher who sends his students daily text messages with an application on his iPhone. It’s somewhat of a trivia question and he sends them to his students anytime during the day… and it has created this “fun” game that students have really began to engage in. I think it is revolutionary. Check out my twitter or I will send you the link to the article. I really think you would like it!!

  2. Angela says:

    Isn’t it amazing that we all come to the table with different strengths and preferences? You don’t like the Animoto assignment so much, and I loved it. It was my favorite assignment so far. I love that this class is allowing us to explore these things – especially the things we don’t like doing – that way we can better define ourselves as educators. I also agree that tweeting takes some skill. I go through and simply “retweet” a lot of what I see that has to do with education and the #indt501 hashtag, but when it comes to original tweets, sometimes I have to get pretty creative in order to get my entire thought into 140 characters. I like it!