1. Setting up your classroom studio
I've worked with lots of schools but I've never walked into one and been told that I could spend as much as I needed. Budgets are tight but the good news is that you won't need to break the bank in order to set up your studio. Here's what you need:
- An iPad (or other mobile device) for taking and editing the video.
- A stand that holds the iPad steady for taking video. Average cost is between $40 and $100.
- A green screen kit (search Amazon and you'll find kits with lighting for $120).
- A green screen video editing app. I'd recommend Green Screen by DoInk.
- (optional) An external microphone. If you purchase a USB mic then purchase a camera connection kit to plug it into your iPad.
This was a 2nd grade project that was designed to have students learn about the various elements of weather. Students selected a location in the USA and then used their iPads to research the weather in that city. They were asked to play the role of a weather reporter and script a detailed weather forecast for their city. Once their reports were submitted and approved they were ready for the video session. As you can see from the image at left, they came to class dressed for the occasion. They discussed presentation skills and how to present their reports (pause, make eye contact...). The green screen was placed in a corner of the room and the students presented their weather reports while we took the video. Once completed, students found a background that best represented their location and edited the video to insert the background. Viola ... you're presenting the weather report in front of a ski lodge in the snow.
This 2nd grade teacher has a poetry writing project with her class every year. We wanted the students to perform their poetry. In discussing the project, the teacher pointed out that well written poetry evokes imagery in the mind of the reader. With that in mind, we decided to have the students use traditional media to draw or paint an image that matched the poetry they were writing. When they were done they used the iPad to take a photo of their art. Taking the process one step further, we wanted them to select key themes from their poetry. They printed the words then cut and paste them on to green paper. Once again, they took photos of the words on green paper - remember that the Green Screen app allows editors to remove the green in any video or image. They can then overlay the words at points during their recital video.
Take a look at the following overview and then I'll explain the process.
- Students wrote poetry and created matching art. When done, they used iPads to take a photo of their artwork.
- They selected and printed "keywords", cutting and pasting them in different positions on green paper. Again, they took photos of each word.
- Using the Green Screen app, students edited their video and replace the green background with the photo of their art.
- On another layer in the Green Screen app, they inserted each photo of a keyword on green paper (the green is not visible) at the appropriate points in the video.
One last word of warning. When you're taking video in front of a green screen make sure that the person on video isn't wearing anything green. The final video can look a little eerie when all of a sudden there's a "hole" where the green clothing was being worn! As evidenced in this example, even professionals occasionally make the mistake of wearing green.