Last year a group of students approached me after completing our Hour of Code club asking if we could do some video work. I am always interested in supporting students passions especially when they are for students who don’t get as many opportunities to explore their gifts. So the first thing I thought of was audience and purpose. They are always important to me because they add a level of commitment and authenticity that goes beyond “Playing” with the tools. Having deadlines and a purpose drives the production and quality of any project. For instance one of my blog posts has been read over 3000 times so I take what I do here seriously. A great example is in many of our garages, tools that were a good deal or something we were interested in a the store that sit in their original boxes waiting for the project to meet their match. So starting with Why is very important!
Thinking of the various applications of the video tool I discussed the options with our students and we settled on the morning announcements. We talked about what kind of communication tool video is and what the various audiences we could address would be. Starting from scratch with few tools other than my Iphone and PC software (Yuck!) we began filming our weekly school newscast. To avoid the potential complications of asking for parent permission we opted to film in house and play only to our school community by putting our work on the network for others to watch. This approach worked but it was missing something. We tried to get one video done a week, which we did for three weeks then found that so much time was spent editing and preparing that we didn’t actually get to practice the intended task as much as we liked. Last year the videos were shot internally and we only showed our local school community.Without a true “Job” we were free to miss deadlines and did…often. We ended up producing about four videos before we folded for the year.
This year has been completely different. When the same group of students said “Can we do that video thing again this year Mr. Gamble” I said “Yes, but this year we are going to be Live, and we are going to post our videos on YouTube”. I made a permission form, and we started setting up, practicing, yes they practiced, because being live meant that others would see what they were doing so they had to get it right the first time. Being live and online meant that students could subscribe and some have, it also meant that they took what they were doing seriously, and we replaced the daily PA announcements with a live video feed!
Over time we added effects like Green screening while live through OBS and plan on integrating other effects by pre recording portions and using the live feed to demonstrate them with a “picture in picture” effect. Our students have a daily deadline and have
created a standardized script, because they needed it. To advertise our YouTube channel we started putting the link to our live feed on our School Twitter page @WesEvents which will hopefully bring traffic for both communication mediums. The growth in my students performance skills has increased exponentially and we take time to debrief after each broadcast, which helps us create better newscasts every day. I am very excited and proud of my students efforts so far and look forward to exploring this further with them!