Tag Archives: Green Screen

Living on the Edge – of a Volcano

Long ago – during the first semester – my GT 3rd graders decided that they wanted to do their Genius Hour project on volcanoes.  (My 3rd grade class is only 3 students this year, so they are doing their project together.)  To narrow things down, we decided to learn more about shield volcanoes.  Specifically, Kilauea.

You can probably see where this is going.  After months of research, writing a script for a newscast, dealing with many device issues and lost footage, we finally had everything together.

Then Kilauea erupted.

Actually, of course, Kilauea has been erupting.  For years.  But in the last few weeks it has been more insistent on being noticed.  A neighborhood needed to be evacuated because lava flowed into it, and the toxic fumes aren’t too hospitable either.  In addition, more violent eruptions may happen in the near future.

Our video needed to be rewritten and re-filmed.  Again.  The students, of course, wanted to keep all of their “humorous” sections.  I wanted to make sure it didn’t look like we were making light of a serious situation that has caused Hawaii’s governor to declare a State of Emergency.

I think we balanced things out.

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Click here to see our Kilauea video!

 

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You Just Won a Trip to Turkey!

I finally got around to trying this Mother’s Day idea this year – with a bit of green screen magic mixed in.  My GT first graders have been researching different countries, so they each made a Mother’s Day video for their moms incorporating some of their research.  After talking about perspective, and what they thought their moms would like to see in each country, they selected some highlights from their library books.  Then they made short videos “congratulating” their moms on winning trips to their respective countries.  We used some Creative Commons images and videos from Pixabay and Discovery Ed to create their final “Winning” montages.  You can click on the link below to see an example.  (Note: The video quality is a bit off because the young lady was wearing a bluish-green shirt that day – a little difficult to balance with our green screen program without making her a talking head!)

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Click here to see Olivia’s great video!

Give the Green Light with a Green Screen

“You mean they didn’t really go there?” a student asked me.

She was pointing to a bulletin board of Photo Mapo projects by my 1st graders.  Each student had chosen a Google Street View image of a landmark in the country they were studying.  Using the Green Screen app by DoInk, the students inserted pictures of themselves in front of the landmarks.  They also took video of themselves explaining the landmarks.  The pictures were inserted into Photo Mapo, linked to their videos on Aurasma, and presto – interactive postcards.

Photo Apr 14, 8 52 49 AM

Several of my grade levels have taken advantage of the Green Screen app we purchased this year.  My 2nd graders used it to portray themselves in front of famous bridges around the world, and one chose to use it to make a video about her biomimetic invention.

Biomimicry

In yesterday’s post, I showed how word clouds can be fun with the Green Screen app (thanks to Tricia Fuglestad for the idea).

Tricia also gave me the idea for the Time Magazine covers my 5th graders worked on last week.  Here is a link to her post about this project.  For our own versions, my students used Green Screen by DoInk and Canva.

Time Magazine (Some of my students have become so familiar with using the screen that they automatically turn it around to the blue side if a student is wearing green so he or she won’t appear as a disembodied head.

If you want some more green screen ideas, I highly recommend you do a search on Tricia’s Fugleblog.  Don’t have the ability to buy apps? Touchcast is free, though not quite as user friendly for younger students.  No green screen in your classroom?  There are tons of instructions for makeshift screens on the web, including pizza boxes, science boards, sheets, and paint.

Let your students travel to any continent, planet, or even the future with a green screen.

 

Word Cloud App Smashing

I think we’ve already established that I have very little imagination.  I admire creativity, but I am much better at borrowing other people’s ideas than I am at generating my own.

When I first learned about Word Clouds, for example, I thought they were fun but really couldn’t think of too many applications for their use.  Fortunately, I network with many other people who can think outside the cloud.

For example, someone tweeted the other day about using Word Clouds with Thinglink.  I wish I remember who.  Great idea!  If you are using iOS, you can use the ABCya Word Cloud app along with the Thinglink app.  On the web, there are plenty of word cloud generators such as Tagxedo and Wordle, and Thinglink has a web application as well.

In April, Tricia Fugelstad blogged about using word clouds with self-portraits.  Since we were using iPads in my class, my students had a bit different workflow than Tricia’s students.  Again, we used the ABCya app.  We also used Green Screen by DoInk.  (Unfortunately, the latter one isn’t free – but well worth every penny!)

wordcloudselfportrait

Last week, Susan Prabulos blogged about using word clouds to reminisce about the year.  I realized her idea would work perfectly with the Pic Collage and/or Canva project I planned for my students. Since we were using iPads, we couldn’t use Tagxedo to create a special shape (great idea, Susan!) but the students enjoyed it anyway.

My 2nd graders were short on time (and somewhat keyboard challenged) so we brainstormed a word cloud to represent our year in GT together.  Then they added it to Pic Collages they created using self-selected pictures from our blog.

Some inserted the word cloud into the layout,

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while others chose to use the word cloud as their background image.

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Of course, you could take this activity even farther by creating a Thinglink from the collage and having students reflect on how the photos relate to the words in the cloud.

For more word cloud ideas, check out this post from awhile back.

Put That iTunes Gift Card to Good Use

In yesterday’s post, I offered some ideas for free apps to add to children’s iPads for creating.  Today I am giving a few recommendations for paid apps in that same category that are, in my opinion, well worth the money.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think that it’s essential that these apps are accompanied by some adult guidance.  Of course, children will need to explore and create on their own.  However, they will also become much more engaged with some suggested ideas and encouragement.  That is why I am adding a few resources with each app that I list so parents/caregivers/teachers will have examples and recommended activities to which they can refer.

Here are some of the paid apps that are great for creating:

Green Screen by Do Ink ($2.99): This is the easiest green screen app I’ve ever used.  If you record someone or something in front of a green screen, you can easily insert whatever still picture or video you would like to replace the screen.  Now, most families don’t have a green screen at home.  But there are plenty of DIY suggestions on the web for making them out of various materials such as poster board or pizza boxes.  (You can also find some for less than $20 on Amazon.) Teachers who have interactive white boards can try this idea for making a quick green screen.  Here is some help from Do Ink on using the app, but  their video tutorial (included in the app) is very useful, too.  Here is an entire Pinterest Board of Green Screen production ideas.

A TypeDrawing "Self-Portrait" created by one of my 5th graders
A TypeDrawing “Self-Portrait” created by one of my 5th graders

TypeDrawing ($1.99): The TypeDrawing app does exactly what its name implies; it allows you to draw with words.  This can be anything from adding words to a picture or creating an entire landscape out of words.  My students love this app, and always amaze me with the variety of products that come from using it.  Here is one neat idea for doing a portrait. You can find some other examples of its use here. One project my students did with TypeDrawing was to add their character traits to a photo that symbolized them in some way.  This app really lends itself to app-smashing, too (using it in combination with other apps to create).  For example, create something in TypeDrawing, and then use it as a background in the Green Screen app.

Book Creator ($4.99 on iOS, $2.49 on Google Play):  I am going to admit that I have not used this one in the classroom yet.  However, I have read an extraordinary amount of positive reviews of this app on education blogs.  If your child has any aspirations to become an author and/or illustrator, this may be the one app worth buying. Users can create e-books, PDF’s, and even videos.  Imagine the fun of seeing a book published by you on your iBooks shelf.  Scrapbooks, fiction, how-to manuals, and whatever your imagination dreams up can be produced with this app.  Here is a Pinterest Board full of ideas just in case you don’t know where to start.

If you are looking for more apps for kids, along with reviews, you may want to head on over to Graphite, which has an extensive list and allows you to filter your search using several criteria.