Okay, let’s face it: video is not a new medium. From the days of silent film through the late 1960s , it was the sole domain of professionals. Big, bulky, mounted broadcast cameras would clearly not have a place in the home, much less in a classroom. The early 1980s explosion of VHS camcorders firmly placed it in the hands of the public (my mom still has some classic childhood videos of me to prove it!) . But, up until recently, equipment costs, file/data storage, and security concerns have largely kept it out of the hands of students.
Even today, some schools and districts are slow to embrace the power of student-created (and edited) video? Why? At the elementary level, teachers often cite time concerns and lack of training. Standardized testing and letter/number grade systems increase pressure on teachers to stick with paper-and-pencil assessments. Districts that still rely heavily on networked drives for storage are battling size issues. Cloud storage solutions like Google Drive can open new pathways for students to leverage this medium to showcase their learning, connect with others, and to impact their communities and beyond. Standards-based grading and elimination of NCLB testing mandates would help, too, but I’ll save that for another post.
Today, my 8-year-old and I set out on a Minecraft screencasting mission. He enjoys watching YouTube videos with players demonstrating various aspects of the game, and he was ready to take the step from consumer to creator. Thanks to Air Server, Screencast-o-matic, WeVideo, and some patience from both parties, we were able to get the job done. He really enjoyed being able to create and especially doing the video editing part. Usually these tasks are reserved for middle school and above, but I see no reason that a 2nd or 3rd grader couldn’t use a simple video editor. I hope that you enjoy our production and that it inspires you to take the video plunge with your students!