Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What We're Excited About September 2016: Green Screen

I remember when I first was asked to come into a classroom to help with Green Screen.

I knew what it was, but had never used it before.

To be frank, I was intimidated and nervous.

Thankfully, before I was scheduled to go into that classroom, our team had been asked to lead a session on Green Screen at the 4th Grade Mattawan Tech Day. Basically, we helped 5 groups of 30 4th graders get going with Green Screen. It was a crash course for me, but by the end of the first session, I felt like an old pro.

What is Green Screen?

I love this picture of 3rd graders using Green Screen for the first time. I see Green Screen as a simple opportunity to spice up almost any existing project, report, or writing assignment. Your kiddos record a video while changing the background to any image or video that can be saved to the camera roll. It's as simple as that! The possibilities for your classroom are virtually endless!

We've seen Green Screen used with excellent results at all grade levels.

What Tech is Required?

Most classrooms we have been in use Green Screen with iPads and the DoInk App ($2.99 on the App Store).

Ann put together an amazing Green Screen Tutorial. Use it yourself or with your students as you're getting started!

What Can My Students Do with Green Screen?

Here are just a few exciting ideas that I've seen in classrooms or talked about with teachers in our area!

Book Talks: One of my favorite projects I've seen over the past year was a simple introduction to both Green Screen and Book Talks. A third grade teacher introduced her students to the elements of a Book Talk.

1) Title and Author
2) What happens in the book?
3) What is the problem?
4) What is your favorite part?
5) Teaser: "Read to find out if..."

The Green Screen portion is very simple. The students used an image of the book for the background and held a copy while reading their prepared Book Talk.

Virtual Field Trips: Have students place an image of a place they've visited or will visit in the background and give a summary of what makes that place special.

Project or Performance Evaluation: Use a student's art project or musical performance as the background and ask students to give a reflection on that performance or explain why they chose a particular technique, piece, etc.

Become the Character: Have students become a character in a story or a famous person in history. Use background images/videos that reflect when and where that person lived.

Video Story Problems: Students can create their own story problem for their classmates to solve. Use the backgrounds to illustrate elements of the problem, like the 4 sheep the farmer starts with or the train traveling at 35 miles per hour.

How Do I Get Started?

To get started, you'll need at least one device with the Green Screen by DoInk app loaded (or other app you've chosen) and a large green sheet or shower curtain. We at #teamJXN have 4 iPads with Green Screen and 3 large green sheets if you'd like us to bring them in your classroom! Just email us to arrange a time for us to bring them in.

You'll also need to think about what you'd like your students to DO. For younger students, you might want to consider something small and open-ended to begin, like answering the question"What was the BEST thing you did this summer/weekend?". Consider using only 1 background image the first time around.

As students start to get the hang of the app, they can begin to play around with using multiple background images and perform more complex tasks. 

How About YOU?

Do you have some ideas for using Green Screen in your classroom? Or have you already been using Green Screen with success? Please share your ideas and insights below.

If you're interested in getting started, please reach out to #teamJXN. We love seeing the power of Green Screen in the classroom!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's Time For Something Different

Last spring our team was introduced to BreakoutEDU, a product that allows teachers to "bring gaming into the classroom."

BreakoutEDU games "teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas." Since last spring we have been introducing BreakoutEDU to teachers and classrooms around Jackson County. Teachers and students have been very excited about kits and the possibilities they hold for the classroom. 

To learn more about BreakoutEDU visit the website:
Join the Facebook Page:
Or contact one of us to set up a time to learn how you can bring BreakoutEDU into your classroom! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: Sharing Your Calendar

Sharing is caring!  If you want to or have to share your calendar with someone, follow the steps in the video.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: Label your email

Do you like things organized? Me too!  Here's how to create labels for your email.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: Google Classroom

Are you planning over the summer and interested in setting up Google Classroom?  Get started with these videos!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: I can't log in to Google!

Uh Oh!  Did you just return from vacation and you can no longer access your email?  You've tried logging in to Google and it's not working!  No worries, try these steps to reset your password on a network PC and then try again.