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28Feb
2018
Spark In The Classroom: Video Journals

Lots of teachers encourage students to keep a daily journal, something short, focused, a few minutes of personal expression and communication to start each day. Student journals are usually written, but they need not be, and video journals are cool and lots of fun for kids to create. Here's how it works:

Obviously, students need access to Adobe Spark which is fun, free, and runs on iPads and desktops (including Chromebooks).

If using iOS have the student use the Spark Video app and click the + to create a new video. If using the web version click on the blue + and select Video.

Have the student name the new video, call it "My Journal" or use the student's name as I did with mine. To personalize the journal further, have the student click the + on the left of the screen and add a picture of themself as the title screen background. If using iPad the student can even add a picture using the iPad camera.

Students will update the same video every day, opening it, and then adding one new slide by tapping the + at the bottom left. Slides should be added to the end of the video, if students mistakenly insert the new slide earlier in the sequence, just have them tap on it and they'll be able to drag it to the correct location.

The new slide can contain text, an icon, photos, videos, or combinations of these. Younger students will love coloring their own picture which they can take a picture of and then use as the slide background image. More sophisticated students may want to change layouts to Split Screen to have text alongside images and icons, and so on.

The final step each day is for students to record their voice-over, their narration for the day's journal entry. It may help to have them write out what they plan to record, and read it when recording. Have them state the day and date, and then a brief sentence or two for the journal entry.

When done, have the student click the play button to listen to their ever growing journal. The play button next to the slide editor will play just the new slide, the one at the bottom next to the slide carousel will play them all from the beginning.

You can then have students download the video MP4 file, or publish it so it can be shared with family.

The Video Journal can get rather long, so you may want to encourage student to start a new one each month.

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