Using Mozilla Popcorn Maker in Class

For a long time now I've been using video as a fun alternative to getting kids to make a conventional presentation on a topic. Film making is an excellent way of getting reluctant writers to do some research and then get some material down for posterity.

But of course using video is not without its problems. If the activity isn't managed carefully the content you want the kids to convey can get lost as they spend time getting to know the software and/or get sidetracked by adding visual frills to an otherwise light-weight film.

I've found that a bit of time spent setting the activity up and reducing the opportunities for off-task activity can make a world of difference and generate some impressive results. Also since Mozilla Popcorn maker has been available making videos - a task that used to require a good deal of expensive specialist equipment - has become a cinch.

I recently used the Popcorn maker to get a class of U6th geographers to document some fieldwork they had done in the Lake District. The trip involved a 'look see' at some of the classic glacial landforms. I wanted to ensure that the things they had seen in the field stuck in their minds and that they were able to relate them to the stylized text-book diagrams they'd seen before we left. Making short films about each glacial feature seemed an obvious way to do this.

So, armed with a selfie stick and our phones we headed off into the field.
Every time we came across a feature that I wanted them to identify I explained what it was they were looking at and then got a 'volunteer' to do their own piece to camera. This was a great way of reinforcing what they'd just learnt. There's nothing like the pressure of talking straight into a camera to make you think carefully about what you're saying...

By way of example this is the sort of thing we were able to produce in a matter of minutes on return to the classroom.

Definitely worth a play.

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