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techdirections May 2016 : Page 17

engage students’ creativity through animated whiteboard Video Project u By Miles o’Shea milesoshea@gmail.com ers to design and implement video projects. I have recently collaborated with a social studies teacher in my building to create a project-based approach to learning in a traditional subject area and increase student engagement. This article will focus on the de-sign and implementation of an ani-mated whiteboard video project that ment of Arts, Manufactures and Com-merce) animated videos on popular educational talks. After watching these videos, it was clear that this was an interesting project that could be used in the classroom to expand the creative ability of students and connect video production and the content that was being taught in other classrooms. SING video production in the middle or high school classroom can be an excellent way for teach-ers to create enthusiasm within students and help motivate them to learn. While some teachers have been using video production as a means to facilitate learning for quite some time, the opportunity exists to expand its use and increase student engagement. While teaching video production at the high school level for the past five years and utilizing video projects as an English teacher before that, I have seen firsthand what giving students the opportunity to create videos can do to encourage learning through active participation. During this time, I have also noticed a disconnect between the skills that students utilize in video production class and those skills that are required in various subject area classes. The problem is that while many traditional classes have failed to incorporate new and exciting tech-nology into the learning process, the rest of the world outside of school has done so at a rapid pace. In order to bridge this gap, a con-certed effort must be made on the part of the video production teacher in the middle or high school to work with traditional subject area teach-Miles O’Shea is a doctoral candi-date in Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Students conduct research and plan their video. can be utilized by content area teach-ers in conjunction with the video production teacher of the school. It may also be possible for content teachers to use this project on their own if they possess the necessary skill to facilitate the production. Project Beginnings I was first exposed to animated whiteboard videos by watching RSA (Royal Society for the encourage-A simple search of YouTube for animated whiteboard videos revealed a wide array of videos that had been created by adults and children alike to share their ideas with the world. I soon realized that animated white-board videos, while appearing to be complex productions, could actually be made in a simple way and were an excellent method for sharing the potential of video production with other teachers. F www.techdirections.com commUnications 17

Engage Students’ Creativity through Animated Whiteboard Video Project

Miles O’Shea

USING video production in the middle or high school classroom can be an excellent way for teachers to create enthusiasm within students and help motivate them to learn. While some teachers have been using video production as a means to facilitate learning for quite some time, the opportunity exists to expand its use and increase student engagement.

While teaching video production at the high school level for the past five years and utilizing video projects as an English teacher before that, I have seen firsthand what giving students the opportunity to create videos can do to encourage learning through active participation.

During this time, I have also noticed a disconnect between the skills that students utilize in video production class and those skills that are required in various subject area classes. The problem is that while many traditional classes have failed to incorporate new and exciting technology into the learning process, the rest of the world outside of school has done so at a rapid pace.

In order to bridge this gap, a concerted effort must be made on the part of the video production teacher in the middle or high school to work with traditional subject area teachers to design and implement video projects. I have recently collaborated with a social studies teacher in my building to create a project-based approach to learning in a traditional subject area and increase student engagement.

This article will focus on the design and implementation of an animated whiteboard video project that can be utilized by content area teachers in conjunction with the video production teacher of the school. It may also be possible for content teachers to use this project on their own if they possess the necessary skill to facilitate the production.

Project Beginnings

I was first exposed to animated whiteboard videos by watching RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) animated videos on popular educational talks. After watching these videos, it was clear that this was an interesting project that could be used in the classroom to expand the creative ability of students and connect video production and the content that was being taught in other classrooms.

A simple search of YouTube for animated whiteboard videos revealed a wide array of videos that had been created by adults and children alike to share their ideas with the world. I soon realized that animated whiteboard videos, while appearing to be complex productions, could actually be made in a simple way and were an excellent method for sharing the potential of video production with other teachers.

What is an Animated Whiteboard Video?

Basically, an animated whiteboard video is a video that records a person drawing and writing on a whiteboard and then utilizes video editing software to add sound and effects to share information with viewers. Whiteboard videos have evolved to the point where software can be used to simulate the drawing process and many professional companies now create their videos in this way. However, I have found that the process of recording actual drawings on a whiteboard is quite enjoyable for students and is an excellent way to improve video production techniques.

So much of our world has moved to a completely digital environment that it is sometimes refreshing to return to a place where hands-on interaction with real markers that can smudge and get you dirty exist. The beauty of this project is the way it combines tangible art skills through drawing on a whiteboard with digital video editing to produce a completely digital project.

What Will the Video Be About?

When planning to create a whiteboard video, it is important to start with the learning outcomes. A whiteboard video can be created on any topic, but as a classroom teacher it is important to guide students to a productive end. The content of the video will most likely be driven by the curriculum of the particular class. When I completed this project with a social studies teacher in my school, we worked to address the learning outcomes of his upcoming unit and required that completed videos address those goals.

At the time of proposing this project to the social studies teacher, he was on the verge of starting a unit on famous Supreme Court cases, so this topic naturally became the focus of student videos. In the past, he had required each student to research an individual case and present the findings to the class in the form of an oral report.

The transition from this existing model to the animated whiteboard project was then seamless as we simply changed the final project expectations from an oral report to a completed video. Each student group was required to research a Supreme Court case and create a video that presented the key points.

The reality of this project is that it can be adapted to meet the learning expectations of any school course. It is important to keep the content of each video to a manageable size to allow students to complete the projects in a reasonable time and ensure that they are able to cover the respective topic in detail.

Creating the video

The steps to having students create an animated whiteboard video are simple. The teacher should identify an area of study that the videos will explore and then divide that information between assigned student groups. It would also be wise to allow students to choose specific video topics from a broad list to ensure the students will find interest in the given topic. The student groups will then approach the project as if they were teaching a lesson about the chosen area of study. This phase will require research and planning in order for a quality lesson to be presented.

It is my recommendation that the students attempt to divide the information into sections and then create subtopics based on those sections. The most important step of the planning phase is to require students to make connections between the various topics that they have identified to ensure a logical presentation of information. After the content has been outlined, students will work to plan the drawings and text they will use to present each aspect of the lesson.

Filming and Editing

The final stage of the project is to draw, write, film, and edit the video. This is the time in the project when the research and planning will come to life and students should truly be engaged in the material. The filming of the video will take time, but any student has the ability to draw and write on a whiteboard.

In addition, students will enjoy the process of filming the drawing and writing and should work diligently to create video shots that capture the action and allow for the message to be presented to viewers. The most important aspect of filming the action is ensuring that the camera operator is careful to record only the hand of the drawer and not his or her entire body.

Once the filming has been completed, the video will need to be edited on a computer with video editing software. If the content teacher is collaborating with a video production teacher, this is the stage of the project where the expertise of the video teacher will be utilized.

Many different video editing software programs can be used to edit a video like this and because of the individual nuances of each, specific instructions will not be provided. However, the general idea is to edit the film in a way that speeds up the drawing process, cuts out mistakes or portions that may delay the message, and then provide narration to the project, which serves to explain the drawings and text that have been recorded.

The Final Product

Once the videos are complete, students should have produced a product that teaches a portion of a unit in a creative way. The goal for any project-based assignment should be an authentic product that can be used in a real-world application.

The true value of this project can be realized when considering the final product that the students in the social studies class produced. They created animated whiteboard videos instead of the traditional form of oral reports. Instead of creating what was essentially a speech that was delivered one time to one audience and possibly forgotten forever, these students produced a tangible video that was uploaded to YouTube and became part of a larger website built to teach about Supreme Court cases. Students from the social studies class or across the world can now learn from the work that these student groups created.

Technology has afforded us the opportunity to connect with others in ways like never before. This project, and others like it, allows for the product of learning to be shared with others in meaningful ways.

We no longer have to create projects that are simulations of the real world or that could provide skills that students can someday use. We have the ability to engage students in projects that make them active participants in the global learning community.

Project Benefits

The creation of animated whiteboard videos in subject area classes is a way for teachers to provide students with an opportunity to engage material using real-world, 21st century skills. As we move further into the technological age, traditional forms of content delivery and evaluation seem either archaic or unnecessary. In order to meet students in the environments in which they live, we must expand our concept of what teaching and learning look like to include diverse digital platforms.

While on the surface this whiteboard video project appears to be a complex endeavor, it actually turns out to be quite simple once the proper foundation is laid for its implementation. The learning benefits that can be realized from the completion of the project are many. First, learners are asked to become active participants in the learning process, working in teams to find ways to present material to others. In addition, the students must interact with the content by building connections between various pieces of information. Finally, students in traditional subject area classes are exposed to new technological skills that they can take with them long after the course is over.

Conclusion

Most middle and high schools could do a better job of integrating technology into their general curriculum. While video production teachers may be in place in some schools, it is often difficult for these individuals to collaborate with traditional content area teachers because of the limitations of the school schedule. As a result, the role of technological advancement and video-based projects often remains in the classroom of the video production teacher and content area teachers rely on more traditional forms of instruction and assessment.

It is possible for the video teacher and other teachers in a school building to collaborate to create exciting projects that can generate student interest and increase learning. I have found that the animated whiteboard project presented here is an excellent starting point for collaboration between content area teachers and the video production teacher. In some schools, this may evolve into a fully integrated curricular project between multiple subjects and the video production department or it could remain as simple as the production teacher offering assistance to a single content area teacher when needed.

Regardless of the individual arrangement, the animated whiteboard project is a great way to bring video production to the traditional classroom. We know that in order for students to achieve in the 21st century environment, learning must become more interactive and be grounded in technological skill. I can think of no better way for some teachers to begin this journey into project based learning and video production then to present this type of project to their students. A completed animated whiteboard video serves as a model for what teaching and learning can and should look like in the 21st century classroom.

An online format of this project complete with a video tutorial can be found at www.thisnewschool.wordpress.com/white-board-animate-video/

Miles O’Shea is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Read the full article at http://www.omagdigital.com/article/Engage+Students%E2%80%99+Creativity+through+Animated+Whiteboard+Video+Project/2464934/299442/article.html.

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