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Empowering Voice and Choice Through Multimedia Creation

/ Keith Baldwin

Student recording podcast. Yellow filter on top of image.

Do all student projects need to be the same?  If students are given the opportunity to select how they present a project, won’t they be more invested in the outcome?

As an Instructional Designer for Chesterfield County Public Schools, I have the flexibility to observe classrooms at my school and provide instructional support for the teachers in my building. Time and time again, I see students bringing in tri-fold boards, shoeboxes, or  poster boards as final products of projects they’re working on in their classrooms. These projects are all uniform and in many cases are done with a lot of support and money from parents.

But here’s the thing about today’s students — they’re incredibly tech-savvy and very familiar with multimedia videos. So…instead of the traditional “paper” projects, why not have them create with multimedia?   

Multimedia projects are a great opportunity for students to showcase their creativity, voice, and choice. Here’s why I turn to WeVideo to help me foster these video learning opportunities for students. 

Why WeVideo?

Our district has been fortunate enough to be a district user of WeVideo from the beginning, and I've personally used the platform to promote school spirit through video messages to our school families, deliver our daily morning news program, provide learning opportunities to our K-5th grade students, and create virtual PD opportunities for my teachers.

WeVideo is an interactive video creation platform that’s packed full of features for students and teachers.  Students quickly learn how to navigate the user-friendly interface, and teachers have the ability to monitor student progress through assigned projects.

The best part? Students don’t always have to film their own footage just to create a video in WeVideo. The platform comes with a built-in library of 1M+ stock videos, images, and audio clips. They’re able to easily create high-quality projects without having to spend money on supplies like they would if creating poster boards, tri-fold boards or dioramas.  Plus, multimedia projects don’t take up space in your classroom and can be shared for years to come.

How to start using WeVideo

I try to visit classrooms at the beginning of the year and give a lesson on how to use WeVideo. This helps students create multimedia projects throughout the remainder of the school year.

Explore more: WeVideo's certification courses for educators and students

My introductory lesson takes the form of an “All About Me” video. I drag a title slide to my timeline and then have students do the same.  From there, we move into how to edit the title slide and then how to add images and/or video clips to the timeline. We do some basic layering with text, images, and audio clips, which also allows me to begin talking about green screen recording.

And remember what I said about students being tech-savvy...they usually pick up on these skills pretty fast!

My "All About Me" project coming together in the WeVideo editor.

Once your students have a good grasp of WeVideo's tools and how the timelines works, I recommend taking advantage of the ready-made Assignment Ideas Library. It's fully loaded with standards-aligned video projects that you can assign to your students in just a few clicks, either to work on individually or collaboratively. 

Use WeVideo's Assignment Ideas Library to quickly access educator-made, standards-aligned video projects.

There's really no limitations to what can be created in WeVideo. A few ideas to get you started:

  1. Adding narration to PowerPoint/Google Slide presentations
  2. Book review/trailers
  3. Virtual field trips 
  4. Creating instructional videos
  5. Creating short GIFs
  6. Weather/news reports/broadcasts 
  7. Videos showing school spirit/pride
  8. Interviews
  9. Videos demonstrating quality student behavior (SEL)  (cafeteria routines, bus routines, hallway/bathroom behavior)

Here's a great example of a book review turned into a book trailer;  instead of creating a poster board or google presentation, consider having students create a book trailer video. These truly grab everyone's attention and make students excited about reading a particular book.

And here's an example of how to turn a traditional research project into a live action news programs.  Students can work in small groups and be assigned different aspects of a news program from News Anchors, to live reporters, to production and editing crew.

When teachers allow students to take ownership of their learning, it promotes innovation and creativity. And with WeVideo's real-time collaboration, you're still able to provide feedback and guidance to your learners every step of the way.  Consider adding multimedia creation as another tool in your teacher toolbox!

Keith Baldwin.
Keith Baldwin
Keith Baldwin is a 25 year veteran working for Chesterfield County Public Schools. Currently Keith is an Instructional Designer at Grange Hall Elementary School in Moseley, VA. Throughout his 25 year career in public education Keith has taught middle school, elementary school, Technology Integration, and currently an Instructional Designer. Keith enjoys spending time with his wife and children and they all enjoy watching football together on Sundays…Go Buffalo Bills!!