The Current Logo

Always Try It Yourself

Written by Paul Bogush
January 09, 2013

I have a little policy in class…never have the kids do something I have not done. This time, I wasn’t able to make my own video at the same time as my students were making theirs. The process was difficult complex and there was too much for me to do in class to make it work. I did, however, make my own video after they did theirs.

I must say after doing mine that I was awestruck by what the kids could do in 6 class periods.  Seriously…I attempted to try and follow somewhat the same rules: doodle out pictures, one take for filming, no editing of video, one take for narration.  I finally felt so guilty while filming that on my 10th take I just kept going despite mistakes. It took me at least 2 hours to film, and you can see how many mistakes and little things I still needed to fix.  I probably spent an hour narrating, and even after multiple takes, you can hear problems.  How they filmed in 30 minutes, and did on average one take for narration I will never know.  I was impressed by what they did during the unit, but after doing my own, I am amazed. Now after doing this myself, I can really put myself in their shoes and will make many changes for next year.  Two simple things…have them make two-three doodles for each fact, have a second day of dress rehearsal and write the script during that day, and then record on next day.

My own attempt resulted in the video on the first page of this resource. If you go back to watch it again, you will notice the green lines around the outside of the video.  What was in the viewfinder was not in the final video.  In the viewfinder the green lines were not visible…another lesson learned.  I also realized that just like the kids I made simple spelling errors under pressure (Did I really spell Napoleon wrong!?) and I made simple historical mistakes just like they did.  I was wondering why so many kids wrote and said Haiti in their videos when we learned that the area was called SaintDomingue at the time. And there I am doing it too; even though I had planned on writing Saint-Dominque I still wrote Haiti! 

Above is a video with a look behind the scenes at my filming. I had to erase in between pictures because I had no camera person and needed to stay in a fixed position. 

Good luck with your own videos!