The Screeching Owl

Archive for September 27th, 2010

It’s A Paper Slide What?

Posted by David Fisher on 27th September 2010

Paper slide video.

For those of us who have had the pleasure of spending some time with Dr. Lodge McCammon, we know all about these paper slide videos.  For those who have not, here is a brief introduction. Paper slide videos are exactly what the name says.  Students create slides on blank paper, write scripts that explain the slides, and then the teacher videotapes the students delivering the script while moving the slides in time with the script.  The filming, though, takes place over the shoulder of the student sliding the slides, and the rest of the group is out of the shot delivering the script.  Still confused?  Have a look at this short demonstration of some paper slide videos my students made.  This should clear things up.

From start to finish these videos were made in under an hour.  The overall idea is really simple, yet brilliant.  Give the students a topic and let them create something that shows their mastery of that topic in a one-take video.  No real rehearsals; no special effects; no props other than the slides. Paper slide videos are an easy-to-incorporate technology project that any teacher can do.  All you need is a video camera and a computer.  If you can’t then project the videos onto a screen in your classroom, huddle around the monitor and watch them there, or post them onto the web for the students and parents. I’ll talk more about posting videos in a future post.

Recently I held two workshops on how to do paper slide videos for a professional development day.  One of my colleagues asked after a short introduction to the idea what is the value of paper slide videos.  After she and her partner completed one of their own, the value was very clear.  This is the type of project that will allow every child in your classroom an opportunity to participate.  It won’t matter if that child is average, gifted, or has a learning issue.  If you can write, draw, talk, and slide a sheet of paper from one pile to another, you can make a paper slide video.  These videos can be used as an enrichment activity, an alternative assessment, an alternative to the conventional book project, a way to demonstrate a science experiment through images, and so many other things.  I really believe that because this project is so easy to do, yet has the ability to deliver some very sophisticated results, it has to be something that every teacher should try.

After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?  Yeah, I know.  Nothing works and you’re left holding camera with nothing to shoot.  In a case like that, do what we’ve all learned to do…wing it!

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