Each spring after the state’s standardized testing, I knew my students would need a relevant, high-interest assignment to remain focused until summer vacation. In a Socratic Seminar fashion, we read selections from Tupac Shakur’s collection of poems “The Rose That Grew from Concrete.” Using Costa’s Level of Inquiry, my students created level two and level three questions to bring to class for discussion. Students also wrote reflections and/or summaries after each seminar. However, the culminating assignment for this poetry unit was a video based on personal core values.
One day we defined each word (personal, core and value), and created our definition of what personal core values were and made an accumulative list. Afterwards, I found another list of common values online and had my students compare it to their list.
The effort my students put into the Personal Core Values Animoto video assignment makes it the best assignment my students have ever approached and completed in my teaching career. The video had to include the following:
• At least 10 personal core values (PCV)
• At least 10 digital pictures, one to represent each PCV
• At least 2 video clips
• Video length must be at least 2 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes.
• Music that supports PCV
Animoto has a collection of music, digital pictures and video clips, but students may also upload their own as long as their media is original and meets Animoto’s guidelines. Animoto offers many features for the student to create their unique video, but the best feature is that Animoto does all the technical and difficult “stuff” for the students so they can remain focused on the assignment. The length of the video is based on the length of the song and/or the number of media pieces included in the project, whichever one ends first.
Animoto is web 2.0 friendly, so students can share their creations via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Photobucket, Picasa, iPhones and many other applications that support embedded codes. A teacher can apply for a code, so students can gain access to special accounts for education. Visit Animoto for education at http://animoto.com/education and use your school email address to apply for an educational account.
Because the account codes generally last for 180 days, my students were able to use their Animoto accounts over the summer for their own personal use. Talk about relevancy! Many students created videos of their prom, vacations, and summer outings. I had two students from last year come back this semester and ask for another code so they could use Animoto for their science project.
Do you use Web 2.0 tools in your class? How do you implement them?