Thursday, May 2, 2013

What Can Come From Putting Something New Into The Hands Of Our Students?

Before the 5th graders came to the library I got something new ready to show them.  

Last week my friend Tom Lapping and the others at JDL Horizons gave me a big plastic box with a handle on the top.  

Today I put the black box filled with cords, a camera lens, microphone, batteries, my iPad, cords, and a holder for the iPad in the corner of the library were they usually sit in rocking chairs and bean bags to work on projects, read or just hang out.  

I told them to get into the box and figure it out....How did it go together?  What could we do with it?  

It took them about 2 minutes to get a few things put together and then all of them, with different parts of the kit in their hands, asked me to help them put it all together so they could see what it would do.  We put the iPad in the holder, screwed the lens into the back of the holder over the iPad camera, put the battery in the microphone, got the tripod out of the black bag, and then set the iPad into the clip on top of the tripod.  

During library they were working on the Poetry Summit that we are having on May 17th with three others schools across the country and several special guest stars.  Our students have the chance to be MC's for the event by applying with a video application that we have set up for them to complete.  
You can read all about the Poetry Summit and the application process on our Poetry Summit Smore

I told the students who were going to apply to be a Poetry Summit MC that they could use the iPad and the new equipment.  They all jumped over to the iPad and couldn't wait to figure it all out.  
They turned on the Camera, were checking themselves out, got the microphone set up, and were grabbing the script we had printed off.  They were ready to go! 
I let them play around with it for awhile and then told them I had something else super cool to show them.  A tool that would make it be easy and fun to use.
On my iPad there was a new app called Fuse for Camtasia Relay. They recognized Camtasia Relay right away because they created talking booktalks using it on a laptop a few months ago. 
Now they also had the tools they needed to use Camtasia Relay on the iPad with the Fuse app.  Fuse does the same thing that Camtasia Relay does on the computer.  Students record using the app and upload the video into our Van Meter EduVision Channel.  Camtasia Relay and the Fuse app are as easy as "Create, Capture and Publish Video...To EduVision In 3 Clicks!"  

These tools from TechSmith are very simple to use, and can even be used by kindergarteners. We have in our library and our kindergarteners are now getting ready to record their Iowa Animal Research Tuxpaint eBooks using Camtasia Relay too.  
It is very simple and takes just a few minutes after the recording is done to upload it too.  Once they are uploaded into our EduVision portal, I just have to go into my Video Management settings and approve the videos (as shown in the picture above).  I can also make changes to the text or add details, grab the url and embed code, and syndicate the videos to other sites.  
Meridan loved creating a booktalk from her favorite series.
And Kadence couldn't wait to tell you all to read Junie B. Jones books (click on this picture to go to the Camtasia Relay Fuse recording for this one). 

As you can see the students love giving booktalks while using video.  It enhances the experience and gives them an enriched connection to the work they are doing.  They can use the equipment themselves and help one another while using Camtasia Relay and Fuse.

It makes it fun because they love being videotaped and the opportunity that they will be seen around the world once their videos are published online.

And most of all booktalks give students such ownership on their learning and reading, while giving them the chance to encourage someone else to read.
So keep checking out the Van Meter Community School EduVision portal.  We have other projects available and these videos will really grow over the month of May with all of our elementary video projects in the works.

And I am sure that I will see several secondary students again tomorrow as they spotted the camera and iPad today.  They will love taking it upstairs into their classrooms or working within the library to create really awesome projects too.

I can't wait to see what comes from putting this new equipment and tools into the hands of our students at Van Meter.

The curiosity, wonder, and sense of community made me smile today.  It confirmed what we all know about learning, teaching, creating, sharing, collaborating, and communicating with our students and school communities.
You can read about a webcast I did with JDL Horizons and eSchoolNews a few weeks ago entitled Leading Educators Innovate With Video.  There are a few ideas you can share with students, teachers and the school community from me and other educators too.

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