Friday, June 10, 2011

Civil War Newscasts: Part II

As you start planning for next year (I know, I know, summer just started), I recently posted a big collaborative project that included a lot of technology as well.  You can find the first post here as a guest post on @techforschools blog titled Tech Tool's for Schools.  Now the second part of the project: 

After scripts have been finalized it will be time for the students to begin the process of filming.  There are many things to consider before this even takes place:
     1) What parts of the school are off limits?
     2) Will you have a specific pass for the students to take with them?
     3) What type of cameras will you be filming with?
     4) Will you allow students to bring their own cameras?

We quickly established filming norms, including a hall pass, off limit areas, and signing in and out for the cameras.  The next step was to actually issue the cameras.  The students actually had three options.  Option one was the RCA Small Wonder. 

This camera works well with Windows Movie Maker.  The drawbacks are that the batteries are not rechargeable and you'll find yourself changing them out a couple of times per day.

Option two was the Kodak ZI8.

This camera worked well with most editing software (except Movie Maker).  It also had rechargeable batteries so it was less of a hassle during the school day.

The third option was to allow students to bring their own cameras.  They were required to sign a waver, but many groups went this route and it worked out well as they could film at home if needed.

The entire filming process lasted around 3-4 days depending on the group.  I timed it so there was also a weekend between filming days so the students could film from home with the extra time.  While the students were out and about, so was I.  The were aware that I could be anywhere which curbed any behavior problems.  I also emailed the rest of the faculty and asked for the names of any students that were caught misbehaving.  Finally, the students were given a participation grade during the days of filming.  All in all, the students stayed busy and engaged.

Look for the final post of the project soon...the dreaded and feared EDITING PROCESS.  If you enjoyed this post please consider joining my Twitter PLN @HistoryandTech.  As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.

Take care,


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