Greg Lawrence is currently the Director of Technology for the Wentzville School District. As a former district instructional technology coach and a middle school computer and vocal music educator, he has seen and is motivated by the engagement technology creates. He was a recipient of ISTE’s Making IT Happen award in 2012. Greg is also a Google Apps Certified Administrator, Google for Education Certified Trainer, Google for Education Certified Innovator, and a co-leader for GEG (Google Educator Group) Eastern Missouri. He is also an Ambassador for WeVideo.
Wentzville School District is located 40 minutes west of St. Louis, Missouri and is the fastest growing district in the state. Wentzville is growing by 600 students each year. The District is home to corporate offices and industries such as General Motors (sole producer of GM’s full-size van), MasterCard Worldwide, and CenturyLink Telephone Operations. The District serves an 89-square mile area including all or part of Dardenne Prairie, Foristell, Lake Saint Louis, O’Fallon and Wentzville. The high school level has supported a 1:1 initiative for over 6 years with Google Chromebooks, as they continue to elevate the performance of their students to prepare them for life’s endless challenges and possibilities with technology.
As a former instructional technology coach I have had the opportunity to brainstorm, co-teach, and observe many creative lessons. One of my favorites lessons focused on the election and what issues were important to the students for an AP United States Government and Politics class. In conjunction with C-SPAN, students researched their issues of focus, conducted interviews, and used clips from the C-SPAN to create a video that represented their area of focus. It was amazing to what students were passionate about.
My favorite feature within WeVideo is animation (Ken Burns Effect). When creating a video project, photos can speak louder than a video clip and sometimes that is all that you have. The animation feature allows the photos to come to life, by allowing them to move and tell their story. With WeVideo it could not be easier, simply double-click on your photo, select the animation tab, and finally, set your start and end points, instantly you have your pictures moving. Add animation (Ken Burns Effect) to your photos, cross dissolve between your photos, and your students look like they have been video editing for years. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
To continue to support student learning, specifically in the area of writing, Wentzville is hosting their first annual Film Festival. The entire festival is driven by students from…
- the logo created by a 6th Grader
- the poster designed by a sophomore
- stage design and production by a Theater Tech Class
- Paparazzi and Press coverage by Journalism classes
- And more.
The purpose of the film festival is to provide an audience for student writing and a creative outlet to share their passions. When students are creating and have an authentic audience, nothing can stop their learning. Check out the WSD Film Festival website and promotion video… wentzvillefilmfestival.com and video.
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