Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dry Erase X Hyperlapse = RSA Animate

I had a truly fortunate experience today to visit, speak with and work with the students and teachers at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri.  After a morning keynote that focused on the creative potential, implications and balance that needs to be struck when using iPads in the classroom, I was asked to work with two history classes to model for both the students and teachers how the iPad can be used as a creation device in the classroom.

I was given a block period of 85 minutes to work with a high school history class that had just started to explore a unit on Islam the previous day.  My goal was to have them work in small groups to create short videos that would provide an overview of their understanding of the origins of Islam.

Our process was as follows:

Introduction to the Challenge - 10 minutes

Brainstorming - 10 minutes

Storyboarding - 15 minutes

Video Creation on Dry Erase Boards - 30 minutes

Voice-Overs & Editing - 15 minutes

The students were given a number of options for the final product they could create, but 3 of the 4 groups decided on creating RSA animate style videos.  I have had my classes in the past also create these style videos, without iPads.  We typically worked on a 3 day schedule and I admit that the time frame outlined above is extremely fast paced.  I was also blown away by how the challenge was embraced by the students once they recognized how efficiently they would have to work to get their final product created.

To create the RSA style films with iPads, we used the process below:

1 of the groups completely finished their challenge within the class period and two of them needed a few extra minutes to wrap up their process.  While the students in the group below were visibly proud of their work in the time frame allotted, it was also evident that they would have liked a bit more time to finalize and improve their video.

The goal for the day was to help the teachers at Pembroke Hill get a sense of what was possible on the creation side of using iPads in the classroom.  And while the final product above isn't perfect there was one discussion I had with an observing teacher during the process that was powerful.  She commented on how the discussions that were taking place between the students during the creation process was the most revealing and powerful aspect of the challenge.  I agree thoroughly.  The decision making, compromises, solutions and discussions taking place were powerful and meaningful.  In may ways the content and the use of the iPad was secondary to the face to face discussions, something that I couldn't be happier with.

Update: As an alternative to dry erase boards, the same process can be completed using pen and paper.  The example below is from a middle school social studies class at Pembroke Hill.

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