Embracing being REAL

/ WeVideo

What is your role at Grayslake Central High School?

I’m Shanna Piggott, a science teacher and an instructional coach in my 20th year teaching.                    I’m Victoria Lobb, an English teacher and an instructional coach in my 12th year teaching.                      I’m Jennifer Naes, a Library Media Specialist in my 11th year teaching. 

How did you discover WeVideo?

As we worked to roll out our 1:1 Chromebook initiative a few years ago, we also wanted to give our students an opportunity to use a robust, web-based creation tool to apply across our curriculum.  After testing out the free version, our district invested in the paid version for all of our teachers and students.

What changes have your seen in your teachers and students with the use of WeVideo in the classrooms?

Before we became a WeVideo district, we didn't see many teachers making the leap to assign video and podcast products. There just wasn't a program they felt that all students had access to, and learning the tech was an added step in an already complicated process of project-based learning or performance tasks. Since we've been using WeVideo, more classes have experimented, and thus students have gotten more and more used to using the tech. Teachers don't have to sacrifice the first couple of days in a project just to teach students the tech (after all, tech is never our end goal). Rather, more time can be spent developing the content, structure, and unique design of the video.

What is the most valuable skill that kids learn by creating content with WeVideo?

It’s so important that we give students the chance to have their voices heard. And WeVideo allows for this quite literally -- through podcasting and voiceovers. But it also allows their creative voice to shine. Students choose their own music and visuals, their own fonts, and decide on how to structure ideas. Each content and design decision tells us more about them, and by the end of these projects, students can feel proud of something they created.

How does WeVideo tie into the 21st century skills currently being taught at your school?

D127 embraces the philosophy of being REAL -- insisting on relevant, engaging, authentic learning. WeVideo is a vehicle through which we can achieve this. Students can more authentically take on the tasks of experts in their field. They can collaborate on videos, and thus it’s become a medium through which we can teach and assess collaboration, an essential skill for our students as they move into the workforce. 

We also are slowly implementing Blended classes, which combine in-person instruction with online learning. It helps to facilitate a personalized, self-paced approach to learning. When teachers need to screencast direct instruction or modeling, WeVideo can easily help them to record what’s on their screen, but also keep the webcam on -- which allows for a more personalized approach.