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4 tools for documenting and reflecting with media


This article was written in partnership with WeVideo Ambassador, Lucie deLaBruere. Lucie has been on the leading edge of education for over 30 years and is a an incredible resource in the WeVideo community, so we invited her to share some of her favorite digital tools for documenting and reflecting. Follow Lucie on Twitter @techsavvygirl. Her Create Make Learn blog is filled with ideas and tutorials for designing hands on-minds on learning opportunities.

We often hear about the significance of student voice, and how educators play a key role in helping students amplify their voice. However, sharing personal thoughts and opinions about a learning experience or a life event can be a major hurdle for some students, and can be especially intimidating for introverted students. How can we help all students feel heard and recognized?

Educators can support students as they gain the confidence to amplify their voice by:

Letting students choose which tools they use in expressing themselves and communicating their message.

Encouraging students to become more invested in their learning by choosing topics that are meaningful to them.

Allowing students to select the channels and tools used to communicate their message.

Providing students with accessible tools for reflecting on their learning process.

Some tools focus on all or one of these areas. In this article, we'll focus on tools that educators can use to encourage deeper reflection and documentation of learning among their students. These online tools are all easy-to-use, designed for classroom use, and are especially excellent for supporting student reflection and voice.

1. Google Apps: Photos, Slides & Drive We've often heard that the best camera is the one in your pocket! In today's culture where most teachers and students carry a phone with a camera, it's easier than ever to capture images and videos of learning. Adding the Google Photos app to your Smart Phone and turning on Automatic Backup can help you make those pictures and videos easily accessible for documentation and reflection from any computer, tablet, or Chromebook. It also makes it easy to share collection of photos and videos with students to use as documentation of learning or for students to share with you as evidence of learning.

I encourage students to take many short' (about 5-10 second) videos and photos to document their learning journey. I also take tons of photos and videos as I walk around the room. As a teacher, I might notice different learning moments than my students. With the Assistant feature of Google Photos, I can literally have a short movie or collage of a learning activity ready to share with my students before the class is over.

Here's a collage of 4 students sharing evidence of inventive thinking captured with Google Photos and organized into a collage using Google Assistant.

The movie version of Google Photos found under the Assistant tab works great for quickly combining videos and still photos into a quick video with music. With much of the pre-production work completed in Google Photos, I often import the quick movie into WeVideo for a little post-production work such as adding titles and other effects.

In this example, the pre-production work was completed in Google Photos from photos and videos captures during our Hack a Toothbrush Learning Activity, and WeVideo was used to fine tune the video and add titles and effects.

Another trick I've learned for getting my Google Photos into WeVideo is to organize them into an Album. Once Google Photos are organized in an Album, they can be imported into WeVideo them using the Import Media tab.

Of course, Google Drive makes it easy for you and your students to create a Shared Folder in Google Drive and add your photos and videos to the Shared Google Drive Folder. Consider asking students to capture a photo that warrants further investigation during a field trip and adding them to a shared folder as an entry point into inquiry based learning unit.

Another option is for students to add photos directly to Google Slides along with a reflection question. By downloading the completed Google Slide deck as a PDF, photos can be uploaded to WeVideo and quickly turned into a student created video introduction.

2. WeVideo WeVideo has proven to be indispensable in our learning environments in so many ways that many of our schools districts make sure that every student in their schools has an account to document their learning. Whether it is used as a tool for teachers sharing instructions to students or for students to provide evidence of learning to their teachers, the accessibility factor cannot be beat! Students can access it anytime and from anywhere. They can start a project at school and finish it on their home computer.

And now WeVideo includes a robust content library, with hundreds of thousands of audio, video and image clips that students can use in their content. This feature significantly reduces the amount of time students spend on finding, curating and sourcing content from the internet for their green screen videos. With WeVideo, the possibilities are endless students use it for creating their own videos, developing digital yearbooks, morning announcements, STEM projects and podcasts. The green screen feature has allowed both teachers and students to tap into their imagination of what's possible when developing creative multimedia projects.

One of the most powerful ways to use video that teachers have found is for recorded student reflections. With WeVideo's screen capture feature, students can also record their screen and talk about their work without having to be on on camera. This feature makes it easier for camera-shy students to get started.

Want to see WeVideo for documenting and reflecting in action? Here is footage from Tech Savvy Gir
See more stories from wevideo

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