Thursday, November 7, 2019

Simple Informational Video Projects With WeVideo

Our high school Communications class creates video announcements each week. We have three teams responsible for "features" that are created in advance, usually outside of the studio. This year it seems they only want to focus on interviews and challenges, which result in similar interactions with staff and students week after week.

To get them thinking of other options, I recently made a tipsheet for what I call Informational Video Features. While that could be extremely general, for our class it means:

  • It's scripted.
  • Most likely it will have a narrator rather than someone on camera, talking to the audience.
  • It uses graphics, text and still images to enhance the narration.
Here's an example we made based on a survey we gave students just before Halloween. (I know the audio is pretty bad. We have upgraded our audio equipment since making this!)

I love using WeVideo for this because (as you see in the example) they have a lot of quality, easy to use motion titles. They even have a growing list of seasonal ones, which worked great for our Halloween poll. That combined with plenty of good transitions and tons of feature video clips and images to choose from makes it the perfect choice for the classroom. (It's not free, but check out their educational pricing here.)

Here's the direction document I created to help students get started on this. It is not a tutorial for how to use WeVideo, since our students already have a lot of experience with the basics. If you need more tips to get started, WeVideo has a lot of tutorials here.

Some additional tips for using this in class:
  • We often do a "Quick Poll" on our student website to gather opinions and information from our students. We use Google Forms to make the surveys and they're a great source of information for these quick video features.
  • As noted in the directions, there are a few options for recording the narration. If you want to use TwistedWave, here's something I posted on this blog a few years ago about that online audio recorder.
  • The directions say, "Write the script", but that can be a big challenge for students. Concisely summing up dozens of open ended responses from a survey, some percentages and possibly facts from other sources is likely an assignment in itself. Start with a small list of facts for the first time and use a rubric to help them know exactly what you're looking for.

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