Monday, July 22, 2013

Ecosystem Explorers, Green Screen and QR Codes

One big thing that I've really started doing in my class is incorporating lots of technology across the curriculum.  Every year, our school hosts Project Day aka glorified science fair. The difference between our Project Day and a typical American style science fair is that the projects are done in the classroom rather than at home. The fair is showcased in both Chinese - Mandarin and English

I have 18 kids in my class. The kiddos were separated into groups of 3-4. Because the the kids are expected to produce two separate science projects in both languages - you could imagine setting up the classroom to facilitate experiments and making sure all my parents fit into the classroom is a bit of a daunting task.

So I decided to pre-record their experiments using green screen and super imposing them onto their ecosystems. This way, it didn't seem that there were too much clutter in the classroom.  I had the kids dress up like they were going to be in that ecosystem, for example the Arctic Explorers brought in their winter coats and beanies and pretended they were in the Arctic. 

I set up a make shift green screen using a large green cloth and hung it on the wall.  I used iMovie to edit the videos as you can see below. I used a stock image that I found off the internet. 

When the videos are done, I uploaded them onto my Vimeo account. On the day, each group will present their ecosystem research reports and then I will play the their little video!

Now, onto the QR codes. Parents love, love, love accessibility to their kids work, so using a QR code generator such as I linked up each video via my Vimeo account and created a QR code for each video. For privacy reason, I password protected my videos, but I created little take-away sheets for each group.
As you can see, I asked the parents to download the app "Scan", which is free and available across all platforms. They loved that they can download the videos onto their smartphones! 

On the day, students were able to showcase both their science boards, animal reports and their green screen videos! The kids has such fun working on their videos!

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