Students at Somerville Intermediate School enhanced the presentation of their work about virtues using YouTube.
"In our school, the safe and responsible use of digital technologies is embedded in our curriculum programmes."
The classroom teacher was looking for new ways to integrate the use of social media tools to help support students’ learning in ways which were authentic and current. YouTube was used as an interactive presentation tool.
As part of the classroom virtues programme, students were given the task of creating a quiz to portray their understanding of some of the virtues they had been studying.
The teacher introduced YouTube at the beginning of the learning sequence to demonstrate how they could make an interactive virtues quiz using YouTube’s spotlight tool. This tool allows students to place clickable areas on their videos which would take the viewer to another video based on their choice.
The students used iMovie to film 13 videos that ask questions about virtues and uploaded them to the class YouTube account. The viewer watched the first video, then chose one of three options by clicking on the appropriate spotlight in the video. The spotlight linked through to another video, where the viewer was then asked a question with three more possible spotlight options to choose from.
In YouTube, the students added the spotlights using the annotation feature and then linked their videos together to create a complete interactive YouTube video experience. The steps the students went through to do this are explained in more detail below.
The group initially used a mind map to create video pathways for a series of questions and possible answers.
The mind map was displayed in the classroom and also served as a checklist to show which videos needed filming and which ones were already completed. See example done in Blubbl.us .
The students filmed 13 videos and also selected three other videos from Youtube that represented each of the virtues of integrity, perseverance, and respect. These bonus videos that the students chose were linked to the correct answers in the quiz giving the viewer a choice of watching an additional video.
Basic video editing was done using iMovie before the videos were uploaded to YouTube. The focus here was on selecting the best snippets from the raw video footage. The group decided to keep the bloopers in the final product for added comedy value.
When the videos were uploaded to the class YouTube account the students used annotation features, accessed via YouTube’s edit video section, to add titles and captions to the videos. Available features include speech bubbles, notes, or title annotation. A variety of font sizes and text colours can be selected. Students used the timing feature to set when they wanted their annotations to appear in the video.
The spotlight feature, also accessed through YouTube’s edit video section via the annotations link, allowed the students to edit their spotlights altering their size and location within the video using drag and drop.
"What are some other online tools that we currently use, that could be manipulated in order to support our learning in ways that we haven't yet thought of?"
The following learning outcomes for students were noted:
Students discussed what kind of privacy settings they should set on the videos considering questions such as:
They decided to set the privacy parameters to only allow those with access to the URL link to view the videos.
This also led to further discussion around the importance of students leaving a positive digital footprint for the future.
Exploring an everyday social media tool at greater depth led the students and teacher to ask the question: "What are some other online tools that we currently use, that could be manipulated in order to support our learning in ways that we haven't yet thought of?"
At the end of the process, students were asked to reflect on their learning by answering the following questions in a VoiceThread:
The teacher included his own reflection on the VoiceThread as part of this process.
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