Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Green Screen Accessories

I helped Mrs. Bishop's kindergartners with a green screen project, where they used the new "Did You Know?" videos from Epic! to research an animal, then write facts they learned.  They recorded the facts on paper, and then took a screen shot of their animal to put onto the green screen behind them. Saving these screenshots to Seesaw is an easy way for the teacher to access the images later.  This was a great opportunity for the students to practice their research, writing and reading skills, as well as their abilities integrating technology by using a variety of apps.  However, in this post I'd like to focus on a few of the "accessories" we used to make these projects successful.
I was lucky enough to have a parent find a green screen at a thrift store for about $5, but if you don't have crazy thrift shop skills, Mrs. Bishop found this green screen fabric on Amazon for only $13. Having a good green screen is IMPORTANT!  In one classroom I tried using green butcher paper, and it was not very effective.
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Lighting is also important.  Make sure you are filming in a well-lit room.  Investing in an inexpensive lamp, like this one from Target, is a good idea so you can adjust the lighting in your video.
For Mrs. Bishop's projects, I used my iRig microphone, and had the students hold it and read into it. This made a HUGE difference in the sound quality of the videos.  The iRig mic is a little less than $50, but worth the investment.  I used it a lot in my classroom, whenever I had a special video project that I wanted to be sure turned out with good audio quality.  I have a teacher trying out some inexpensive microphones, and I will write a post with her reviews of those.
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It is also helpful to have a stand or tripod to keep the iPad steady and set up at the appropriate angle. I like using a JuStand, which is also a versatile tool for the classroom.  The JuStand can be used as a tool for students to help them take good pictures for their projects, as well as used as a document camera by pairing with Reflector or a similar tool. 

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