Sunday 26 November 2017

Turning students green

Green screen is not anything new, it has been around since the 1930's. Green screen technology has also been available to a mainstream audience for a while now, pretty much since iPhones and iPads came on to the market. there are a myriad of apps and techniques for creating your own Green Screen Movie effects.

You can use iPad apps like Green Screen by DoInk (paid app) and TouchCast studio (free app, but you need an account and internet connection, it is also a little bit more complicated for students)
There is also movie making software like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker that you can use for Green Screen effects.

There are thousands of teachers and students using green screen techniques all around the world every day. It is pretty easy and has lots of opportunities for innovative classroom use.

You will probably want a screen!

You don't need an expensive / professional green screen or green room (we have some green walls at school that work very well as a green screen)

Three cheap / easy options for a green (or blue) screen are 

Some green material / sheet and a couple of bulldog clips
A data projector showing a full size green slide
A minature green screen made with some cardboard

How to do Green Screen

Here are  instructions for some of the popular Green Screen Apps

Green Screen by DoInk

Green Screen using iMovie

Last week I did a quick Teach Meet session on innovative ways to use Green Screen in your classroom. For me Innovation in education as not just doing new or different things, but doing new things that add value to the learning experience. 

Being Different

Some of the innovative ways we have been exploring with green screen in our classes (beyond the usual news reports and cool photos) include

Putting green material or a green plate on the floor to make a portal to another world or a massive volcano in the middle of the classroom.

Having students wear green clothes or wrapping green material around themselves to disappear, be a floating head or adding their face to an animal body. You can also do some pretty cool ghost pranks with this effect.

You can download green screen videos from youtube that have action scenes with a green background. Then use these to add dinosaurs to a playground or a shark swimming around a classroom. Wonderful for provocations, story starters or for student created movies

Students can also use apps like Explain Everything, Tellagami or even Keynote to create animations with a green background, which they can then add to a Green Screen Video. That way they can interact with cartoon objects just like in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

Anything can be a green screen so one of my favourite green screen projects has been using green shirts or aprons on early years students and projecting the human body or skeleton on to them. It looks like they are seeing inside their bodies. They can then use another app or seesaw to annotate the images of their insides

If you are lucky enough to have a drone and a green field / oval you can create some cool effects, you could have your class standing on an ice berg or standing in the middle of the dessert.

(I haven't done this one yet, but hopefully a video coming soon)