Everyday our students are doing amazing things as they work and learn together. Capturing these moments has never been easier. Here in Hastings Elementary Schools, all teachers are given an iPad and students have mini sets in their classrooms. The iPad's camera is a marvelous documentation tool. With it teachers and students alike can record any moment and easily share it. It's a supremely powerful capability and one we can build upon before sharing with our families, community, and the world.
Raw video is fine for informal viewing. It serves a purpose. Raw video, however, is typically underwhelming when viewed by individuals not present for the actual event. There's a reason professional media is edited prior to delivery and viewing by the end user. Edited video is more polished, more professional, and far more engaging. Editing the video usually takes a particular set of skills, a vision, and time.
Replay was featured at Apple's 2014 Fall Keynote and instantly made anyone a video producer. The app automatically generates a fully-edited video, complete with transitions and effects coordinated with the flow of a music track it provides. The user need only select the photo and video in their desired order of appearance and Replay, nearly instantly, begins playing the fully-edited video.
If they so choose, the user has the ability to play a heavier roll in the finished product. Customizable features include, but are not limited to text, filters, themes, transitions, music, aspect ratios, video length, and source audio present. You can be as involved in the editing as you'd like, and you'll always get a positive and polished result.
Here in Hastings, teachers are using Replay to capture moments, highlight weekly accomplishments, and document experiences before sharing with an audience. The simple user experience, and the ability to customize the video to your desired specifications, make this a go-to app for documenting and sharing our story. Here are a smattering of Replay videos built by teachers.
Michele Johnson (@michelejohn10): States of Matter Volcanoes
Melissa Black (@MrsMelissaBlack): Code.org with Second Grade
Carolyn Beaty (@missbeaty10): Hour of Code
Rachel Bachman (@jfkbachman): Minnesota Zoo Field Trip
Amber Barry: First Grade Fire Safety
Sara Knoll (@MsSaraKnoll): Conference Video
Padlet has been around for a while, and it is an under-appreciated flexible collaboration space with a huge benefit in the classroom. Padlet is a way for any connected device to wirelessly contribute to a group interactive board. It is a flexible space that can transform and adapt to meet a wide range of classroom needs. From brainstorming, to reflection videos, Padlet gives individual students voice and empowers them to communicate, interact, and share in a visual and engaging way. In the end, the product of their contributions can be saved and shared with ease. For an added bonus - it's free!
After creating an account, I recommend taking advantage of the Google sign-in option, a user need only click New Padlet in the upper right to create a new space. That space can be tweaked and customized to meet the esthetics and expectations of the user and group. Backgrounds and contribution feeds can be changed. Permissions and visibility can be controlled. Since Padlet is web-based, even the board URL can be customized for easy sharing. Once your board is set to your liking, sharing is simple.
Click the "squarrow" (yes I understand that some detest that term, but my students love it - therefore I love it). Here you will be presented with embed code, the URL, and a QR Code. Students, using the Padlet app on their device, can scan that QR Code to be immediately transported to that specific Padlet board.
Contributions begin with a double-click or double tap. You have space for a bolded title and a description. I have not run into character limits, but a paragraph of text is perfectly acceptable and works beautifully within the design of the product. On top of the basic text contributions, users can attach audio, photo, video, links, and files. On an iPad these attachments can be drawn from the existing photos or created in the moment. Just remember to allow the Padlet app access to Photos, Camera, Microphone, and Location. I rarely give permission for notifications - this goes for most apps.
Depending on the access you give your users in the board settings, users may or may not be able to move their contributions about the board. They can, however, always edit their own content by double clicking back in their box. I tend to open the space up and allow all users the ability to edit and move the posts. This method is delivered with a lesson on digital citizenship and collaboration. We can self-edit our work and make it better together.
Padlets can be used and reused. They can be copied, too. Like most tech, Padlet is best learned by doing. Try it out for yourself and be open to the learning curve. Testing Padlet with students is the best way to learn. They will discover all kinds of helpful tips, tricks, and troubles that will make future experiences easier. If you are open with your students, clearly sharing that we are all learning together, they will be so excited to learn with you.
Here are some quickly-Googled Padlet resources and ideas. Contact me if you'd like me to launch Padlet with your students in Hastings, MN.
32 Classroom Uses for Padlet (Google Slides)
5 Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom
20 Ways to Use Padlet Now
How to Use Padlet a Fantastic Teaching Tool
Andrew G. Leiser