9 June 2023
Photo of kids in front of the school

This year Glenside Middle School rolled out WeVideo accounts to all of our students. This was the first time that students had access to a full-feature video editing program on their Chromebooks. It wasn’t a perfect journey, but over the year almost all students could access the basic editing features and understand the concept of editing on the timeline with multiple tracks.

One of the best outcomes from this project was that our 5th grade STEM club created a video for the STEM Solutions Showcase for the Regional Office of Education and was one of seven winning videos that are featured on their website. The Solutions Showcase winners can be found here: https://stemdupage.com/. Without having access to a green screen and video editing software, our students would not have been able to create a video that highlighted their creativity and ingenuity.

The RAILS My Library Is grant was instrumental for the STEM  project, but we also had many other successes this year on our journey teaching video production skills. Here are five Great Things we learned about incorporating video production into our school and library at Glenside:

  1. Video creation gives students a voice. From the first day we introduced WeVideo we noticed that students who rarely spoke out in class were able to explain their work in a video. We had students log in and give a quick tutorial on the basic features. Then, we told them to create a video of themselves explaining a project they had just completed. Immediately, students got to work and stayed on task. Not only that, but they were able to demonstrate their understanding without the pressure of presenting in front of the class. Our newcomers could even explain their answers in their home language, increasing their connection to their learning.
  2. Video production can be test prep too! Everyone hates “teaching to the test”, but this year we used WeVideo to have our ELL students prepare for the ACCESS test. This statewide assessment for ELL students has a speaking portion, and using WeVideo was a fun way to prepare for this skill. Students used their webcams and had the option of green screening a background to add some excitement.
  3. Teamwork and preparation are key. The full-featured video editor in WeVideo allows students to work in teams for video production. Sometimes we could unleash students on WeVideo for more impromptu tasks, but most of the time we needed to teach students how to plan videos with storyboards and prepare the work as a team.
  4. Creativity and fun are a part of learning. In middle school, often video creation and giggling go hand in hand. Students had fun while learning essential skills. Of course, we had to have students stay on track, but being able to add humor and creative elements to projects really engaged our students with the content.
  5. Video production can promote the library. Not only did the implementation of WeVideo keep me busy with collaborative projects, but it is a great way to show that the library is more than just books!

At Glenside Middle School, we have many more great things to accomplish with WeVideo. This first year was just a stepping stone to incorporating video production into our curriculum and culture. Our district has committed to renewing our license now that they have seen the successes that the My Library Is grant has brought to our school. The RAILS My Library Is Grant opened the door in our district to video production and engagement for our students.

Today's blog post is from Sia Paganis, Teacher-Librarian, Queen Bee School District 16, Glendale Heights, IL.