#Selfies, Flipagrams and Vines... Oh My!

Selfie : noun
  • A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website:"occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary."
    It was deemed Word of the Year in 2013 - Read here.

    It is everywhere, people taking selfies literally anywhere and everywhere! Whether it annoys you or not, the fact is incorporating this in the classroom will grab children's attention. 

    I decided to create a #readingselfie video of the children and their reading books. Firstly, to promote reading, make it look cool and show how I as a teacher and we as a class value it. Secondly, for others to see which books we are reading. I would repeat the video in a few weeks and again see which other new books are popular in the class. To make the video I used the app Flipagram. This FREE app allows you to create slideshows in the matter of seconds, simply select your pictures, edit them if needed and then choose from a range of music to add to your slideshow. You can then save the slideshow to the camera roll or share it on various social platforms. Here is our #readingselfie video:

If you like the #readingselfie video and want to have a go with your class, please send a link in the comments, tweet me and use the hashtag!
See other examples here:
LowerPlace Year 6
LowerPlace Year 2
Radcliffe Hall

It then had me thinking about an idea @DeputyMitchell shared at a session looking at using some web tools to create slideshows of children working. I thought, Flipagram would be great to snap pictures of children who are doing the RIGHT thing and add them to my HARD WORKER's Flipagram. So that is what I said to the children, as they were doing their work, I would be stealthily trying to take pictures of children working. These pictures would then be added to a Flipagram and shared on the school blog for all to see. It certainly got a response, I have never seen a class so quiet and concentrating, hoping they would be snapped! Here is my first but by no means last HARD WORKER's Flipagram:

For months I have been enjoying the wonderful world of vine! Some of the funniest web clips online all created in under 6 seconds. I have recently blogged about how constraints can really inspire creativity (which you can read here,) and vine is the perfect example how a constraint (only recording for 6 seconds,) can really create some hilarious and impressive videos. 

I have been wanting to use this idea in class for AGES, however the app vine isn't appropriate for children with a lot of content aimed at a much older audience. Same with instagram, I didn't want to use an app that would give children easy access to roam and stumble upon something dangerous or inappropriate. So I have trawled through the app store looking for something that uses the same tools. To record on vine you simply hold your finger on the screen meaning editing a clip is incredibly easy. The length of recording is determined by how long you press the screen for, meaning it can also create some interesting stop start animations. 

I first came across the app Cineverse, which showed a lot of promise, until I realised that links to an online library of examples and also doesn't allow you to save to Camera Roll but does have some really interesting features.

At last, I found the app, Spark Camera, which records in the same way that Vine does, without having access to an online community of examples. The only downside is that children can record longer than 6 seconds whereas Vine won't allow you to record longer. However with some nice editing tools, filters etc it is perfect to create the same types of videos seen on Vine.

So how did we use it? Well I am a big believer in using drama to help children develop their understanding of texts but also writing. 
The class I was working with, have been using the picture book - Flotsam by David Weisner as a stimulus in Literacy. Today they had to compare two contrasting images from the story. I decided to use of of Alan Peat and Mat Sullivan's exciting sentences to help - a Tell: Show 3 example sentence. But rather than simply writing examples relating to some of the pictures, I wanted the children to act them out and record them as 6 second videos. They had to be precise, clear and quick however the constraint kept the children focused. I know from this, they will be more inclined to remember this effective sentence when they come to write a story linked to the pictures. Here are some examples:

6 Second "Tell: Show 3 example sentence' videos from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

There are plenty of other ways to use this 6 second video craze:

  • Other sentence types could be explored and acted out 
  • Creating 6 second stories 
  • Retelling stories in 6 seconds. 
  • Improve your writing in 6 seconds. 
  • Act out a two sentence horror story courtesy of @PrimaryIdeas, see some examples.
  • 6 second Maths Tip/Trick.
If you can think of or have examples of other ways in which this vine (6 second) type video can be used in the classroom, please comment and I will add to the list. 


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