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5 iPad Video Projects to Assess Student Learning

5 iPad Video Projects to Assess Student Learning

By Alasdair Carr

reading too much? Whooos ReadingAs access to hardware has improved over the last few years, particularly with tablets becoming a common classroom tool, student video projects have become one of the best ways to assess student learning.

A wide range of intuitively-designed tools allows students to collaboratively create visually impressive projects showcasing new skills, knowledge from a lesson or their experience reading a book.

Many of these projects are so simple they can be used as part of the learning process as an activity to explore a concept or thought in more depth.

Below are five ways to utilize iPads to create video projects for any classroom.

1. Video Idea: News Reports and Broadcasts

Key App: Green Screen from DoInk

Writing newspaper reports is a great way for students to explore a different genre of writing, while demonstrating their understanding of key events and the wider effects that these may have.

A simple video report could be based on an event in a book, a real life community event, an imagined natural disaster—the possibilities are endless. Or you could take it a step further, turning a news report into a news broadcast, complete with eye witness accounts and experts’ views.

Using iMovie and the fantastic Green Screen by DoInk, the filming process is pretty straightforward, mixing different news segments together, finding suitable soundtracks. Make it even more fun with a ‘Roving Reporter’ on scene to interview people affected.

Creating a green screen ‘studio’ in the classroom creates a sense of awe and wonder amongst students, which translates to students putting in a great deal of effort for script writing, acting and editing.

2. Video Idea: Instructional Videos

Key App: ReShoot

Social media outlets have been saturated recently with the extremely popular ‘Tasty’ video recipes. If you haven’t seen them, you can check it out here. These have been the most viewed social videos on the Internet four months in a row, with 2.2 Billion views in March alone!

Students can join in on the fun by creating instructional videos that explain how to solve word problems, draw a character, or explain a recipe. This structure will enable students to think about how to share the crucial sections of an instructional text in a creative manner.

ReShoot, a free app from Wally World Media, is a great tool to create this style of video. Recordings can be paused, text can be added and the recordings can be trimmed, all in-app.

It’s a really simple way to create a step-by-step video that matches this extremely popular style.

3. Video Idea: Compare Science Experiments On a Split Screen

Key App: Hudl Technique

Practical science experiments always lend themselves to memorable learning experiences for students. On occasion however, ‘waiting for things to happen’ and repeating procedures can be a little tiresome for students.

The iPad can be a great way to record results in experiments, making it more fun to wait for reactions and, even better, compare them later. iMovie and Hudl Technique (a free app by Ubersense) have side by side comparison features available. This allows students to see how changing the independent variable will have on the outcome.

Students could record and compare going down a slide on a blanket or a towel (friction), the speed at which a balloon inflates in a carbon dioxide, and much more. Being able to see both experiments side by side has a very powerful effect on students.

4. Video Idea: Empathise With Characters

Key App: Yakit Kids

I love using drama to explore literary themes. “Hotseating” and “conscience corridor” are two of my favourite tools to get students to think more deeply about how book characters feel.

Yakit Kids is a great, free app that can be used to make inanimate objects come to life with facial features and a voice. This can be used to make a character “talk,’” using interview style. For example, students can ask Willy Wonka why he decided to give away the golden tickets—students will love animating this character they already know and love.

This can be used for numerous activities, giving fictional or historical characters a voice. This kind of activity deepens critical thinking and understanding from students and often ends up with hilarious results.

5. Video Idea: Stop Motion Animations

Key App: Lego Movie Maker

Stop motion is the process of turning several hundred photographs of a ‘scene’ where props or ‘actors’ are being moved into a single motion picture. With this technique you can make anything come to life.

Stop motion used to be a headache, making sure scenes weren’t disturbed, ensuring you had enough memory for all of the photos, and editing them together at the end of the project, but the ipad makes this much easier. With the iPad, there are countless apps that offer a simple interface for students to quickly and easily build an animation complete with scene changes, sound effects and titles.

My personal favorite at the moment is a free app from Lego called Lego Movie Maker. One essential feature that all the great apps have is “Onion Skinning.” This allows you to view the last photo you took, as a translucent overlay of your current camera view—even if a breeze from an open window decimates your “set,” it can be easily pieced back together so movie making can continue.

Stop motion can be used to retell a story, explain a concept or just for a creative challenge. Check out Western Spaghetti by PES (A sundance film festival winner) for inspiration!

Video and filmmaking is quickly becoming the new literacy for our learners. There are countless opportunities for students to use these tools in a creative way, to showcase learning or even explore the meaning of a book they just finished.

Integrating these kind of opportunities into the learning experiences is a sure fire way to have enthusiastic, engaged students who show grit, determination and passion.

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