Today’s Contributor: Laura Rice
Laura is in her ninth year of teaching and second year as CIC. Laura teaches seventh grade science at Small Middle School.
Green screening is an amazing technology that has been used by television for many years. Recently, applications have become available for use in education. If you are not familiar with green screening, think about weather reports that show a weather reporter standing in front of a beautiful setting in nature. These images are blended by combining a recorded forecast with video footage from an off-site location to create a visual effect. For a more lengthy description of green screening click here.
I decided to try green screening in my seventh grade science classroom while students were studying adaptations. It seemed like a perfect application for learning the technology and displaying their knowledge of organisms adaptations. I have seven iPads in my class, so I chose an App called Doink which is designed for education. There are other free applications that could be used, and in the future I plan to explore those to make management of technology easier. Here is a link to other green screening applications.
Basically I set my project up in this order:
After studying the types and functions of adaptations, students were put into groups. Together they choose an organism that had interesting adaptations they felt they could portray in a video project. Students worked together to collect 3-5 free images showing the adaptations. They then stored those images as jpegs on their google drive in a folder. Together they wrote a “script”, or talking points, for the chosen narrators to discuss in the video. When they reached that milestone, they were then given an iPad and 10 minutes with the green screen. The actual green screen was easy to set up. I used a large roll of green paper which I taped in the hallway. Recording in the classroom was not an option because students needed a quiet space to record. After recording the narrated portion of the project, students edited the project to merge their video with the pictures they had chosen. Projects were then saved and sent out to their google drive. I chose to view all of the projects directly from the iPads, but some of them were uploaded on BLEND or shared with me on google drive.
Overall, this project was a huge success. Shortly into the project I had to write more explicit directions for data handling because middle school students are not as competent as I had assumed. For future projects I will most likely choose an App that allows students to work at more of a one to one ratio with technology so there is less sharing of technology as on the iPad.