Week 8: Special Effects

Due: Final Video Pre-Production

Review the assignment. Please submit the project proposal and POD before class begins. Please hand in your storyboards (on index cards) at the beginning of class. Remember, a rough cut does not have to be perfect. However, it does need to have every scene filmed and placed in order, and should be complete enough to share with others to solicit feedback.

Incorporate Students’ Interests

Video is a powerful tool to tap into students’ passions. Use excellent video to motivate students in your classroom. This video is a great examples of using non-academic interests to leverage student interest. Ninja Cat was a popular video amongst my 5th-8th grade summer school students. They loved this video. Use videos like this to creatively tie in student interest to your lessons. Tap into student passion, and tie it into your classroom.

Special Effects

There are some easy, free ways to create stunning special effects.

Forced perspective makes something appear larger (or smaller) than it actually is. You can film shots like this guy pushing over a hot air balloon. Flickr has some great examples of forced perspective. Here is a gallery with some great forced perspective examples.

You can also use time compression to speed up or slow down video to give the illusion of something taking a very long (or short) amount of time. Taking this further, you can record audio, reverse it, learn it reversed, then record video with reversed audio, and finally reverse the video. The end result is audio playing regularly, but everything in the video happens backwards… except the voices. Greg Laswell used this technique:

He learned to sing the entire song backwards, so that his mouth matched the words when the video was reversed.

Imagine recording a video in this way to start a new class. Students would see you talking normally, but everything around you would be happening backwards. It takes a long time to learn the backwards audio, but this special effect is free, and takes very little time to actually record and edit.

Interactive Video

Videos are traditionally linear and directive. In the classroom, videos are designed to either dispense information or teach the viewer a new skill. However, great lessons are rarely passive. Using the annotations feature in YouTube, teachers can create videos that require participation. At its most basic, students are given four choices, and they select the correct answer. If an incorrect choice is made, students watch a new video that reteaches the concept. If the correct choice is made, the initial video links a new video that shows the next step, or the next problem. Going deeper, the first video can link to several choices, and each of those choices can link to several choices.

Create an interactive video, where the initial video links to two other videos. YouTube Annotations will be leveraged to build interactivity into the videos. Unfortunately, Annotations is only available on desktop computers. Mobile users will view the initial video, but Annotations are not currently supported on mobile devices.

Graphing Stories

Dan Meyer created Graphing Stories–a series of videos that are conducive to creating graphs. Videos are interactive math topics that show real-life examples of things you might graph. Directions on the website are simple:

  1. Pass out this handout to your students
  2. Play any of these videos
  3. Have them graph the story

By using video and pencil and paper graphs, student motivation rises. This website allow students to progress at their own pace. This is a great examples of teacher-created videos that engage students!