Our Blog Video – How We Blog and Why, Is In Production

Besides video-Skyping today with new friends in Florida we started doing the real work of making a video about how we blog. Last Friday we started brainstorming all the steps we go through and then breaking it down into scenes. Next we assigned each group a different part of our blogging procedure to video. Students are designing how they will “tell their part of the story” and then storyboarding and writing the narration. Everyone has to take part in the group … even out 2 non-english speakers will do some of the narration in english with help and support from their groups.

As usual the biggest part of their grade is based on how they work in their group. From my experience when that is the main focus of their grade the most learning takes place. Why? Because when students cooperate and include everyone, everyone is involved in what they do and the thinking that goes into it. I always tell them that I might ask anyone in their group what they are doing and why … and they better be able to tell me … that forces them to stop and explain what they are doing and thinking and why they are doing it to each group member and include them. Students get to hear ALL the thinking of what is going into their project … and that is key. We even role play doing that. Kids feel good about being an involved part of the group AND being one of the people that sees to it that everyone understands. When it is humming along with that attitude going in the room – it reminds you why you teach.

My students were simply awesome today. They have to design their scene, storyboard it, write the dialog, practice the speaking parts, practice how they will show that on tape, and then when they are ready show what they are planning to the whole class for critique. We haven’t gotten to the “showing” part yet, but Wednesday some groups, maybe most, will be ready.


Last year when we made the “Inclusion” video we followed many of the same steps but I probably shot half the video and did all the editing with input from the class (that was their first experience with video and they were 4th graders). We started learning more about editing with iMovie today using the famous “Dog Wash” tutorial that used to come with iMovie. The student laptops are so old they will only run iMovie2, but it works and all their almost 8 year old iBooks have Firewire so this should be fun. We plan on having each group shoot all their own video, edit it, do the voiceover narration and then run it back to video and probably my laptop for a final assemblage of all the scenes into a final product. Truly “MESSY” learning at its best.

Learning is messy!

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One thought on “Our Blog Video – How We Blog and Why, Is In Production

  1. This is one of those ‘I agree with you, but in my school…’ comments.

    First, I totally agree that the emphasis should be on the group dynamic and the individual’s role within that structure (hello…echo chamber).

    However, in my little part of the world, I am constantly reminded about the overwhelming lack of basic writing skills. Voices cry out, ‘student blogs are never held to the level of precision in their writing like their papers’ and therefore, teachers tend to abandon blogging b/c they maintain that proper communication skills are more important than collaboration and connection (and even I’m on the fence on this point).

    I’m well aware that any teacher has within him/her the right to construct a rubric that places greater value on whatever area he/she chooses. But I am mesmerized, actually disheartened, by the Reflexive Refusal Response that teachers use when it comes to thoughts of ‘blogging’ or ‘wiki-ing’ or ‘ning-ing’.

    What’s a Brave New Teacher supposed to do?

    Coaching is messy.