Video Projects

Designing and Developing Video Projects

Click here for five video projects that you can try today.

Today’s Activities

1. Create a short video using Animoto, YouTube slideshow, or 30hands iPad app. This video could be used to introduce a new topic, create a book trailer, or introduce yourself to the class.

2. Create a short “documentary” using WeVideo, Loopster, or This video could explain what you do in your school, how a librarian helps students and teachers, or you could use this time to create a video about a favorite hobby of yours.

3. Create a short explanatory video using ScreenrScreencast-0-matic, or Jing. If you have an iPad you can also use ShowMe or Knowmia.

4. Create a “choose your own adventure” series of video using the YouTube annotations and spotlight tools. Click here to learn how

*Planning the student video project.
-What do you want students to demonstrate?
-Knowledge of process?
-Knowledge of content?
-Skills in writing, research, editing, assembling?

-How much time can you allot to this project?
-What are your skills? (Tip do the project yourself from scratch)
-What are your students’ skills?
-What kind of equipment do you have at your disposal? How often can you access that equipment?

*Assessing the student video project: pre-production.
-See “what do you students to demonstrate?”
-Require students to outline project goals before searching for or creating media to use in the project.
-Approve the outline yourself.
-Require students to write a script and submit it to you before they start using the production tools. This gives them a focus which in turn leads to less time wasted.

*Assessing the student video project: post-production.
-Did students demonstrate what they said they would in their outlines and scripts?
-Did students demonstrate what you wanted them to demonstrate?
-Was the final product engaging?
-Audience evaluation  sheets.
-Did the audience (classmates) learn something from the final product?

Free Video Creation Tools

Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto. Animoto’s free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account. Animoto is available on the web, on iPads, and on Android devices.

WeVideo is a collaborative online video creation tool. In the video editor you can upload your own media clips or use stock media clips to produce your video. The video editor provides tools for trimming the length of display and or sound of each element you add to your video project. What makes WeVideo collaborative is that you can invite other people to create and edit with you. WeVideo offers four different user plans. The free plan allows you to upload your videos to YouTube and Vimeo but does not allow local downloads.

Creaza Education (—not to be confused with a similar commercial product called Creaza—is a suite of tools that I started using this summer. Here you’ll find four useful products for teachers and students in the area of multimedia production. The video and audio editing tools are completely Web-based. Users can upload files from their computers to their Creaza Education accounts to then mix and edit into a project. While the selection of clips available within the application is not as large as that of We Video, Creaza Education makes up for it with a couple of handy features. Those features being a built-in soundtrack editor and a built-in storyboarding tool in the form of a mind map generator.

Loopster is a free video editing tool that is more complex than Animoto, but not as full featured as WeVideo or Creaza Education. To start creating a video on Loopster upload video clips, audio clips, and images to your Loopster account. If you don’t have any sounds to use, Loopster has a small library that you can access. After your media is uploaded you drag and drop it to the Loopster track editor. There you can rearrange elements and adjust their play lengths.

Wideo is a service that allows anyone to create animated videos and Common Craft-stylevideos online. You can create an animated video on Wideo by dragging and dropping elements into place in the Wideo editor then setting the sequence of animations. Each element can be re-used as many times as you like and the timing of the animation of each image can individually adjusted. Wideo’s stock elements include text, cartoons, and drawings. You can also upload your own images to use in your videos.

Video Star is a free music video creation app for iPads. To create a music video on Video Star just select a song that you have stored on your iPad then start shooting live video. The music will play for as long as you record or until the end of the song. You can also import images from your iPad to create your video. Video Star also lets you apply special effects to your video. Some of the effects that you can apply include text boxes, title boxes, frames around images, transitions, and split screens.

Animation Desk is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) for creating short, animated videos. The app allows you to create drawings using just your finger on your iPad’s screen. In the free version of the app (the version that I tried) you can create up to 50 scenes in each of your projects. In each scene you can include as little or as much as you want to draw on the canvas. There are a few different brush and pencil effects that you can use in your drawings. The opacity of the colors you choose can be altered too. When you have completed drawing all of your scenes hit the play button to watch your animation unfold. If you’re happy with your animation you can export it to YouTube. If you don’t like an aspect of your animation, you can go back and edit one scene or all of the scenes.

Show Me is a free iPad app for creating and sharing whiteboard-style lessons on your iPad. To support teachers, the Show Me website has a gallery of lessons developed and shared by teachers. Click here to download the app from iTunes.

The Knowmia iPad app is an app for creating your own whiteboard videos similar to what Show Me offers. You can draw free-hand on the whiteboard screen or insert pre-made shapes. You can also use pictures and video clips in your video lesson.

Pixntell is an iPad app for quickly creating simple narrated photostories. To create a story using Pixntell all that you need to do is start a new project, select some images, place them in order, and then start talking about each of your pictures. You control the timing for each image. If you want to talk about your first picture for twenty seconds, your second picture for just three seconds, and your third picture for fifteen seconds, you can do that. Pixntell allows you to crop your pictures, add text them, add filters to them, place fun stickers on your pictures, and draw on your images highlight a portion of them. When your project is complete you can upload it directly to YouTube, save it in your Dropbox account, share it on Facebook, or send to friends via email.

Not a free app, but definitely worth trying: Doodlecast for Kids is an iPad app that allows students to create short whiteboard videos. Students can create short videos by drawing on a blank whiteboard. Students can record their voices as they draw on the whiteboard. Students who are struggling to start their stories can use one of the twenty-three story prompts offered by Doodlecast for Kids. A student’s video can be up to three minutes long. Videos can be saved to a student’s iPad’s camera roll and or uploaded to YouTube.

Sound and Music Sources

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses. The New York State Music Fund provided initial funding for FMA. FMA seeks to maintain a high-quality resource through the use of selected curators who approve or deny all submissions to the collection. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. The music collections can be searched by genre or by curator.

PodSafe Audio is a good place to locate and download free music for multimedia presentations. PodSafe Audio is a community of musicians who create music and share it for the purpose of fair-use in podcasts.

Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. All of the sounds on Sound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. You can find sounds for use in podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.

Jamendo is a source of free and legal music downloads. The music on Jamendo comes from the artists who upload it themselves. While not all of the music is licensed for re-use, there is a substantial collection of music labeled with a Creative Commons license. As always, before re-using any of the music you download make sure it is labeled for re-use. can be a good place to find music recordings that are in the public domain.

Image Sources

Pixabay is my go-to place for public domain images. The images are available in high-resolution.

Morgue File provides free photos with license to remix. The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, color, or rating. Morgue File is more than just a source for free images. The Morgue File also features a “classroom” where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Wylio is an image search engine designed to help bloggers and others quickly find, cite, and use Creative Commons licensed images. Wylio results only return images that are listed with a Creative Commons license. Wylio makes it easy to give proper attribution to the creator of the image by providing you with html code that includes attribution. All you have to do is copy the code and paste it into your blog post or webpage.

The World Images Kiosk hosted by San Jose State University offers more than 75,000 images that teachers and students can use in their academic projects. All of the images can be used under a Creative Commons license that requires you to give proper attribution when necessary. You can find images by using the search box or you can browse through more than 800 portfolios and groups organized by subject.

To find images that can be reused and remixed use Google’s Advanced Image search options. To use the usage rights filter option, select “advanced image search” on the main Google Images page. Once in the “advanced image search” page, you will find the usage rights options at the bottom of the page. In the usage rights menu you can select one of four options; “labeled for reuse,” “labeled for commercial reuse,” “labeled for reuse with modification,” or “labeled for commercial reuse with modification.”

Sharing Videos

To get the most exposure for your students’ videos, post them on YouTube. But if that’s too public or YouTube is blocked in your school, here are some other options.

Next Vista is my favorite video sharing site for students. The purpose of Next Vista is for students and teachers to share videos that they have made to help others learn.

SchoolTube is a popular platform used by schools to share videos.