Meijer Great Choices Film Contest Winners!!


Thank you to everyone who voted for our student videos in the Meijer Great Choices Film Contest. We received the official announcement that the Color Blind video took first place and Courage to Encourage took third place. I am so proud of the students’ work. The monetary grant that our videos have received will more than double our technology budget for the next year! Thanks again to the students for their creations and to all who voted!

Six Words, Six Unique Shots

Last November, I was at a conference where the talented educator and Apple Distinguished Educator Don Goble shared some student examples of his video assignment where students build a video illustrating 6 words with 6 unique shots. His wonderful free One Best Thing Multitouch eBook explains and illustrates this entire project! This assignment was a perfect fit for our multimedia tech class because it provided opportunity for students to work on storyboarding, filming, and editing skills. It allowed for lots of creativity, but also was simple enough to fit into a time frame of a couple weeks.

Students worked in groups of 2 to plan and film their story idea. But then each student downloaded the video clips onto their own computer and edited their own version of the story. It is fun to compare the 2 versions and see how each student chose to interpret the story and edit the clips. Here are the videos from the class and links to the blog posts that the students made to self reflect on their work on this project.

Get Your Head in the Game by Hannah, blogged here

Get Your Head in Game by Alex, blogged here

Restricted by Sin by Erica, blogged here

God’s the Key by Austin, blogged here

Bored, Tired, Longing for the Bell by Monica, blogged here

Bored, Tired by Cyan

Sphero + Doink Green Screen + Digital Storytelling

Last week while the eighth graders were in Chicago, I challenged the seventh graders to see if they could build a video that gives a “tour” of a location using our Spheros and the Doink Green Screen app. I wasn’t sure it would work – but it turned out awesome!  It took four days for the students to do some research and build a script, find images to use as backgrounds (they ended up using images I took in Venice, plus a few from ), move the Sphero using the Drive app, film the green screen shots, and then edit and add audio using the iMovie app.

Here is a behind the scenes video that I created showing the students in action. It should give you an idea how we set up the green screen on the floor and used a stand for the iPad for filming. By the way, our “green screen” is actually a shower curtain from Ikea, and it worked great!

Doink Green Screen is currently $2.99 on the iTunes app store.

Sphero Drive is currently a free app.

iMovie is a free app on newer iPads or is available for purchase for $4.99.

Here is a link where you can purchase Sphero on Amazon. (We receive a small percentage of any purchases that helps buy technology that our students can use.)

The Shooting Gallery 2015

Recently, our multimedia students had the opportunity to do “The Shooting Gallery” project as a quick way to be introduced to the various cinematic shots that can be used when storyboarding and shooting a video. We used the One Best Thing multitouch iBook The Shooting Gallery by Jon Corippo as the basis for our activity.  I am so thankful that Jon connected with me via Twitter when I was looking for resources and led to me his valuable FREE book! We followed his lesson plan of  having one day to shoot a variety of shots on an iPad and one day to edit them together using iMovie on the iPads.

The videos were done “fast and dirty”, but definitely gave the students the basic exposure to these concepts that was needed before we moved on to our next project!  Here are links to their videos:

Jon Corippo kindly offered to do a Google Hangout with the students to give them some feedback on their work. We are excited to be able to connect with a person who is an expert at helping students develop their video skills!

Sphero Challenges

FullSizeRender 3Over the past few weeks, the students have been working on developing, solving, filming, editing, and documenting Sphero Challenges.  We are sharing our challenges, hoping that other will accept them and attempt to try and solve them, too! See their videos challenges and blog posts documenting this project posted below.

Students used the free Macrolab app to program their Spheros. To learn how to program their Spheros, they worked through several of the excellent SPRK lessons that Sphero has provided for educators. Then they worked to develop their challenges.

In Flower Power, Monica challenges you to program the Sphero to draw a flower. Her blog post shares some of the things she learned while building this challenge.

In the Hokey Pokey Challenge, Hannah and Alex program their Spheros to dance the Hokey Pokey together. Here is their blog post where they talk about the process and share their solution.

Ace in the Hole/Sphero Challenge required Austin to use precise problem solving with his Sphero. Here is his blog post about his challenge.

Cyan’s The Ramp Challenge is another trick that required trial and error to solve. Here is her blog post about her challenge.

Erica developed a challenging trick called The Red Hot Sphero. Here is her blog post about her challenge.

We would love for some other classes to try to solve our challenges. Please leave us a comment either here or at the student blogs if you do! Thanks!



PLEASE VOTE: Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival

Our middle school multimedia class students created two videos to enter in the Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival. We would appreciate everyone to vote daily for our two videos! Videos that get the top votes will receive a prize of $500 for first place and $200 for second and third place – money which would be put to great use to buy equipment for our technology classes. You will need to create an account using an email address to vote. You may vote once a day! Here are links to our two videos:

Color Blind by Cyan, Erica, and Monica (Celebrating Diversity)

Have the Courage to Encourage by Alex, Hannah, and Austin (Promoting Character)

Thank you so much for supporting our students!

Here is the link to each student’s blog where they talk about their video and ask you to vote: SCS MS Tech Class Blogs




Sphero Programing in Action

IMG_3370.JPGRecently, Southfield Christian School was blessed with a grant of 10 Sphero robotic balls for use with our students. Our goals is to learn about problem solving and programing while developing new lesson ideas for students and teachers. We have been having fun testing them out with the Middle School technology class. We deeply appreciate this gift by Sphero to our school!


Students began by using both the Sphero Drive and the Sphero apps to learn how to move and manipulate the Sphero. So. Much. Fun!


Then they started working through some SPRK lessons provided by Sphero to learn to program the Sphero using the Sphero Macrolab app. The lessons pushed students to use their problem solving skills.  We also tried out the beta version of the Tickle app which lets you program Sphero using building blocks similar to Scratch. Here are some blog posts by the students giving their reviews of the Sphero and telling what they have learned.

Alexandra – Sphero Fun

Austin – Sphero

Erica – Sphero Project

This week students will be designing a new trick using Macrolab and will be creating and publishing a video quest demonstrating and documenting the trick!








Student Sketchnotes across Subject Areas


Recently, I challenged the middle schoolers in my mulitmedia tech class to create iPad sketchnotes from textbooks in a variety of different subjects that they were covering in their other classes. They came up with an assortment of very creative sketchesnotes. Here are a few examples:

Social Studies:

hannah social studies

From a science chapter:

austin science

From novels:

austin catching fire

erica novel

From Bible class:

Alex Ruth SketchThis representation of the Plagues of Egypt is particularly effective and memorable!

cyan plagues

And some stories from their literature textbook:

hannah story monica story

It was great to see how sketchnotes could be used in a wide variety of subject areas!