How a British Prep School Became Storytellers

February 21, 2017 / By

2016 was a record year for WeVideo. Never before have we received so many creative, high-level videos created by young students and educators. While digital storytelling has been trending in the US for a while, we noticed the past year that Europe has embraced the trend and we’ve seen some wonderful video creations from all around the world. Newton Prep School is no exception and we were thrilled to take part in year 5’s preparation for their big night: The Newton Prep Film Festival.

Newton Prep School’s WeVideo adventure started a little over a year ago. With lots of project ideas involving film making, Lex Lang, head of technology,  started looking for a flexible way for students to create and share video projects. Having tried lots of various offline editors, they were looking for a less restrictive solution that would let students work across multiple devices. After using WeVideo’s free trial for schools, they decided to purchase the full version and implement digital storytelling for their year 3 and year 5 students.
Year 3 (7-8 years old) are using WeVideo to create documentaries. The students are using iPads to conduct interviews and capture moments from around the school’s property. A big part of the project involves experimenting with different camera angles and assembling all the footage into one documentary. Later, they sync the footage to their WeVideo account so that they can access and edit the videos from their computers in the media lab. The videos and the documentation they write up while working on this project is saved in their digital portfolio they later use to apply for schools.
DSC00018-2Year 5 (9-10 years old) are using WeVideo for adverts, information films and experimenting with different camera angles, filters and effects. When we were visiting, they were only a couple of days away from the big event their most recent project has been leading up to: Newton Prep Film Festival. The project itself touches a lot of different subjects.  To set the right atmosphere, they  travelled back in time with WeVideo’s very own time machine, the “Noir” filter. The students practiced in their drama class and watched several old silent films to learn more about the era and the techniques used to create films at that time. When you watch their videos, pay close attention to all the details the student put into their work and all the effects they put in to make it match the “silent era”. Watch “The Champion” as well as the other amazing videos here.

Lex says that initially WeVideo was a tool he would advise his students to use for certain projects, but now students often ask him directly if they can create a video instead of handing in a paper or create a traditional presentation.  Years ago, this would be a difficult desire to fulfill, as their offline editor required installation and wouldn’t work on certain devices. Now, when a student asks, it’s easy for him to say yes. The flexibility of the platform allows students to start their project at school and continue working on their project from home, no matter what kind of device they have available.

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