Student Video Projects

I am about seven days into a ten day video project on propganda and totalitarianism in my world histoy classes. Each year, I tell myself, this is a great project. The kids get so much out of it. They work in groups, get to use five year old video technology (that’s all we have), and produce a pretty cool product.

Then, about seven days into it, I realize that it is a logistical nightmare. With four periods, I have 28 groups of four to six students. 28 video tapes so they don’t record over each other’s footage. Seven MiniDV and Digital8 video cameras. 28 five year-old iBooks running the old OS, with short battery lives, and very slow processors (especially compared to my G4 PowerBook). Plus, a large variety of technical issues, groups unable to work together, and an inability to follow instructions plague the process.

No doubt, when we watch them on Monday, I will be satisfied enough to put myself through this process again next year. I might even add a second video project this year. I need to wait and see how well they actually do.

3 thoughts on “Student Video Projects”

  1. I accidentally stumbled upon your blog via Google, and I’ve read almost all of your posts.

    I think you’re doing some incredibly interesting projects! I’m about to begin my first year of teaching (US History), and I can’t help but feel inadequate and inexperienced.

    How did you learn so much about computer software and audio-visual materials? Any advice for a newbie?


  2. I’ve always been a bit techy, but over the years I have just kept trying new things. I’ve also been working on my masters in Educational Technology that has exposed me to new technologies and helped me acquire those skills.

    Next, draw from what others have done. Take projects from other people and use them or modify. The Internet has changed the landscape of teaching.

    Last, don’t overwhelm yourself. Do one or two things a year. That has been my mantra – I don’t do too much any one year – then you have it the following years and you can do more.


  3. Hi all. I’m new here.

    I too am trying to “spice up” my History class by allowing the students to make “History Minutes” videos . . . but I’m a bit stumped with regard as to how to actually construct the assignments and then grade them. Anybody willing to share what they have?



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