Sunday, November 22, 2015

Elementary News using TouchCast and iMovie

       I can't believe it's November already!  All my good intentions to continue writing this blog went out the window as soon as school started- I hope to renew this resource starting today.  With that said, I wanted share what the elementary students and staff are doing at BCLUW- using the Touchcast App and iMovie App for iPad, students are filming and reading a weekly newscast that gets shared to classrooms, parents, and the community.  Here's last week's news:

Using Touchcast, a free green-screen iPad app, we pick a background from a Creative Commons source.  The students receive their scripts from the principal a few days before, and rehearse.  On filming day, a student runs the camera and the app while the news reporters recite the news.
Touchcast is great for adding backgrounds using a green screen- it's a very user-friendly program that allows for some basic editing of film.  The really cool part is that you can add interactive elements to the broadcast- pictures, websites, music, video, etc.  If you upload the Touchcast by logging in, the elements in your video become interactive- that is, users watching your video can "touch" the elements and go to a different site.  You may also upload your video to the iPad's camera roll, which is what we do.

After uploading to the camera roll, we import the video into iMovie and add Creative Commons or fair-use copyrighted music, create title sequences, and export.  Everything is loaded into Google Drive and shared with parents.
Students using green screen with iPad

Students apply to be a part of the broadcast, and a new group of students are "hired" each month.  The entire process takes about 30 minutes to film, and about an hour to edit.  Allowing students to participate in the process can meet all sorts of Iowa Core standards, including Reading, Speaking and Listening Domains, and 21st Century Skills.  The Common Core doors fly open when students are allowed to write their own non-fiction school news!  Feel free to comment below any other ideas you might have to make this process more fun-

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