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Learn and Serve Video

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Keywords: video, collaborative project, cross curriculuar
Subject(s): Technology
Grades 10 through 12
School: Marion High School, Maria Stein, OH
Planned By: Dot Garman
Original Author: Dot Garman, Maria Stein

Student must have prior knowledge and experience with the following:
- Camera care, tripods, lighting, and audio equipment.
- Storyboarding and scripting.
- Video shots and angles.
- Basic video editing.

NOTE: Prior to assigning this project, be sure to get staff support for collaborating with a high school Multimedia student on creating an instructional video.


Discuss the nature of an instructional video with the class -- the variety of video formats and ways that video can be used to "teach" something. Discuss target audiences. Students must be sure to keep the interest of the people that will be viewing the video. Last, discuss knowledge specialists. Explain how movie producers will employ the assistance of doctors, lawyers, policemen, and other field experts so that their video is as "real" as possible. For this lesson, teachers within the selected subject or grade level will be partners on this project to make sure content information and presentation is appropriate for the target audience (their students).


Instructional Video

The purpose of this is to teach something from the K-12 curriculum. It can take the form of a demonstration, news story, game show, or a many other formats. The type of topics this encompasses is also very broad. Some ideas include teaching young children how to tell time or calculate with fractions, demonstrating how to dissect a frog, woodworking safety, a video about a poem, play, or book from an English class, demonstrations of chemistry or physics projects, art techniques, foreign language, sign language, etc. The list is endless. As long as the video TEACHES something of value to a SPECIFIC target audience it will be acceptable.

Yes, you must do one (they always ask). The storyboard must be completed AND approved by the instructor prior to videotaping.

Two to five minutes (see the instructor if your video falls shorter or longer).

Students should get into their assigned groups and come up with a topic and target audience. Some years I have let students come up with a topic on their own. Other years, I present ideas that teachers have requested. Either way, they must present the topic to me for approval.

I make contact with a teacher for each suggested video. Once a teacher agrees to partner with this project, the group is then given permission to continue.

After receiving topic approval, the group prepares a detailed storyboard of the video. Once the storyboard is submitted and approved (sometimes there are revisions that need done) then the students are given permission to start videotaping. If possible, I like to get the partner teacher's input on the storyboard.

Students may use begin videotaping as soon as their storyboard is approved. The majority of students will use some of the class time but also videotape after school, before school, during their lunchtime, or study halls. I have had very few kids over the years that didn't love this project. I just don't see them one class period a day . . . but sporadically throughout the day.

Students must contact the partner teacher (at the partner teacher's convenience) at least twice during the process. I usually suggest one contact prior to videotaping so they can go over the storyboard and get any ideas or suggestions from the partner teacher. I also recommend they take a "rough draft" version of the video to the teacher prior to the finished product.


Students are given deadlines for everything. Storyboard deadline. Capture video deadline. Final edit deadline. Published to DVD, VHS, or web deadline.
NOTE: I will not list any specific time frames as these will differ for every class. Mine might seem rather lengthy, but my students are simultaneously responsible for updating web pages on a weekly basis.

Students are graded on the storyboard, for making contact with the partner teacher, teamwork, and the final published product. For this particular project, I ask the partner teacher to also evaluate the video. I also ask that the video be shown to the partner teacher's class and the class rates the video. It seems to me that when the kids know more people will be seeing their video, the more they try to really make it a professional product. They just seem to work harder. Listed below is a sample rubric for the final video project. I always tweak it a bit from year to year, but this is a starting point.


Video (20 points)
Shots are steady and follow composition rules. Still images enhance the video and correlate with the story being told. Transitions are smooth and seamless.

Organization & Sequence (15 points)
There is a theme with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The clips flow smoothly from one to the other. The viewer clearly understands the message and there is no doubt as to what is happening or what is being seen.

Educational Content (10 points)
Does the video teach the topic? Does the video list all steps in a clear and easy to understand manner? Are all aspects explained in sufficient detail that someone else would know what to do or try after watching the video.

Audio (5 points)
Audio is clear and consistent. Music or voices are audible with little distracting background noises.

Title & Credits (5 points)
Titles and credits are included, have complete information, and are readable (good color scheme and font style and sizes).

Teamwork (5 points)
All members worked together and shared equally in the responsibility for completing a quality product.
As a Technology Coordinator that also teaches, I find this a great way to involve the teachers in the possibilities of technology for a learning tool. It has proved to be a very positive experience.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Well, this project is full of cross-curricular. Other projects we do are video documentaries of local veterans of war. It ties in very well with the history classes.
The main follow-up is getting the input from the partner teacher's students. They are, after all, the target audience for the video.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Sports, Wildlife, Yearbook, Digital SLR, Mobile Labs, Web Page, Podcasting, Video Editing, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Digital Voice Recorders, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries
Other Items: 5 Digital Video Camears, $ 500 each, total of $2500.00
5 Tripods, $ 150 each, total of $750.00
5 Digital Video Tapes (for the camera), $ 5 each, total of $25.00