12. Digital Media Production

Teaching Creativity through Digital Media Production

Essential Questions

What types of digital media production activities could students do at particular grade levels?
How can digital media technologies best be used to improve student learning?
What are the steps to creating a digital media project?
What is digital storytelling?
What are the four points of fair use that help me meet guidelines?


Log into the OneNote Class Notebook for your section to access the Peer Team Teaching Planning Guide for this week.

Why Teach Creativity?

Csikszentmihalyi (2006) noted “creativity is no longer a luxury for the few, but . . . a necessity for all” (p. xviii). The world of education appears to agree, as a variety of 21st Century Learning Skills have included concepts such as “thinking and problem-solving skills,” “inventive thinking,” “high productivity,” “using digital technology and communication tools,” and “learning academic content through real-world examples” in their standards. In Tough Choices or Tough Times from the National Center on
Education and the Economy, McWilliam (2008) explained “the 21st century is a world in which comfort with ideas and abstractions is the passport to a good job, in which creativity and innovation are the keys to the good life, in which high levels of education – a very different kind of education than most of us have had – are going to be the only security there is” (p. 67). As teachers, how can we bring this “very different kind of education” to our classrooms? Multimedia production in the classroom offers significant opportunities for students’ creative expression.
Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines
Watch the following video explaining copyright and fair use. Pay close attention to the four points of fair use, as this is what helps you make a decision on whether you can use something within the guidelines.

Animation by Common Sense Media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/)

Digital Media Production

This week, each of you will produce an educational video! As you work on this project, think about using multimedia as a teacher (instruction) and as a student (sharing knowledge).
Consider the following questions:
How can multimedia technologies best be used to improve student learning?

  • How can teachers and students make their own classroom digital video productions?
  • What is digital storytelling?

Using Digital Media Technologies to Improve Student Learning
Combining multiple media – text, voice, data, still image, video — in a single application of technology can help students learn better since they are receiving information in more than one form. Research shows that students learn best in situations that involve multimedia, simulations, modeling, and student-to-student interaction. Interaction is the key when teaching with multimedia. Consider the following examples:

Classroom A Classroom B
A chemistry teacher shows a video of an experiment and then has students conduct the experiment individually. A biology teacher connects his class with marine biologists on the Journey North online project where they can ask expert biologists questions, track migration patterns using data provided from around the globe, and collect their own local evidence of spring migration. Student groups produce video documentaries of migration patterns.
An English teacher shows a DVD of poets reading poetry aloud and gives the students a test over their knowledge of different poetry styles. An English teacher has students select their favorite video of a poet reading his/her own work on http://poetryfoundation.org. They create a new video of the same poem with the student reading and selected creative commons images to illustrate their interpretation of the poem.
At the end of the school year, a 1st grade teacher is pleased with how well her students are reading. A 1st grade teacher has students record each other reading aloud at the beginning, middle and end of year. Parents are sent the edited videos showing their children’s progress.

In which of these scenarios do you believe you would learn better, Classroom A or B? As a teacher, you would probably enjoy Classroom B a great deal more as well!  The key to successful student multimedia projects is allowing them to share their creativity–don’t give them too many rules or procedures. Give them creative freedom and let them surprise you!
Digital Media Production in the Classroom
There are three distinct phases to the media production process:

  1. Pre-production & storyboarding: idea generation; research; location ideas (interior/exterior); script writing; create a shot list; gather crew, talent (family, friends, & roommates will love being in your video!), equipment, props
  1. Production – shoot everything on your shot list, record all audio needed
  1. Post-production – editing, creating graphics, finalizing

There are some excellent online tools to walk your students through each of these processes!

Your video will need to be educational–the list below offers some basic ideas for having your students move from media consumers to media producers:

Ideas for Video Production Assignments
  • “A Day in the Life . . . ” video
  • advocacy for a social concern
  • biographies
  • career profiles
  • community history
  • conversation with “future you”
  • documentary
  • fable or fairy tale retelling
  • field trip doumentation
  • “how to” video
  • introduction or orientation
  • investigative
  • “movie trailers” for books
  • news and social events
  • news cast
  • plot synopsis in 60 seconds
  • public service announcements
  • skits and spoofs
  • stop motion animation
  • television commercials
  • travel and tourism
  • video pen pals
  • video report

Tips & Tricks for Filming in the Classroom
(adapted from http://langwitches.org/blog/2010/09/01/a-few-tips-tricks-for-student-filming-in-the-classroom/)

  1. Hold the camera with two hands to keep it steady. Suggest that you videographer lean against a wall, desk or chair
  1. Wait a few seconds after pressing the “record” button to start talking
  1. Make sure the microphone is on the camera
  • Stay close to the source of the sound
  • Be conscious of the noise going on in the background
  1. Take short clips
  • Avoid running the camera for several minutes at a time
  • Try to have “logical” breaks between clips: a new question, new topic
  1. Take both close ups as well as “panorama” shots
  • Move in and out to achieve close ups and far away shots
  • Try not to use the zoom – it can make the footage fuzzy
  1. Don’t film against a sunny window
  1. Know what is in your background
  • Make sure there are no other groups of students shooting in your background
  • Don’t film a distracting background
  1. Don’t include students who do not have media release permission
  1. Don’t identify students by filming something with their first and last name on it

Digital Storytelling
Digital Storytelling is just what it sounds like: telling stories using digital tools, or combining the art of telling a story with multimedia tools and sharing them in a digital space. The plus of bringing digital storytelling into the classroom is that kids are naturally good at storytelling, and it is a practice that fits each content area: science, social studies, math, language arts, physical education, music, etc. Check out some of the great examples from the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling website (
http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/example_stories.cfm). Richard Byrne (http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ or @rmbyrne) offers this free downloadable book with great examples of real teachers using digital storytelling in their classrooms: http://brandietrent.weebly.com/uploads/8/8/2/1/8821291/digital_storytelling_descprition_and_resources1.pdf

Another great read is The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way To Activate Our Brains

ISTE-T Standards
2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

  • Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the ISTE·S.
  • a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity
  • b. Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress
  • c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources
  • d. Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning

  • Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
  • a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
  • b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
  • c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats
  • d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

Key Terms
digital storytelling
Fair Use Guidelines for educational multimedia


How to Upload Your Video to YouTube http://www.business2community.com/youtube/upload-video-youtube-start-finish-0965736#egYVxYzjhSwoSPUW.97 

Examples of videos in previous classes https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLARo5mKVT2sCABAZkdwNRbnbBg-3SjnLR

Photostory 3 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11132
iMovie http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/
Windows Movie Maker http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/movie-maker-get-started
Kids Vid Storyboard http://kidsvid.4teachers.org/
Lego Comic Builder http://www.lego.com/en-us/city/comic-builder/builder
Storyboard That! http://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator
Storyboarding apps for writers and multimedia http://www.teachthought.com/apps-2/11-storyboarding-apps-organize-inspire-young-writers/
Bringing Real World Television Production into the Classroom http://schoolvideonews.com/Resources/Bringing-Real-World-Television-Production-to-the-Classroom
Story Collider: Stories about Science http://storycollider.org/

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