Writer’s Workshop is a magical time in the primary grades. There are students all over the classroom. They’re standing, sitting, wobbling, or laying on their bellies relaxed. They’re thinking, sketching, writing, reading, sharing with partners, adding details, and more. Everyone is at different stages in their writing, and our iPads are in use. Infusing Writer’s Workshop with the creative possibilities of the iPad is powerful. They’re used to plan and publish our stories in many ways, however, our favorite has to be publishing our writing as videos. Here are just a few reasons why your students should too.
I always start the year with a few collaborative writing projects. It’s a great way to teach iPad publishing skills while building and creating community. Sometimes each student makes a page in Book Creator App and then we combine them. Book Creator lets us publish as an eBook and a video. We usually do both, but the video is the easiest to share!
Other times, we work on creating a book together. Social stories are especially great subject matter! Collaboration gives everyone in the room ownership over the finished product. This collaboration then turns into an excellent tools for when they need a reminder about different social subjects.
The reality of paper is that it only travels so far. When students can take what’s on their paper, transform it into digital content, add their voice, and publish it, magic happens. Suddenly, their words reach not just their peers and parents, but grandparents, class Twitter friends, blogging buddies and more. Increase the audience of your young writers and you’ll see an increase in student ownership and pride. They relish the comments from those outside the classroom! You never know, your most reluctant writer might just turn into your most productive new author.
Publishing writing as videos gives students a license to be incredibly creative. As we work on the craft of writing, we build our app fluency while getting to know the tools we’ll use. Publishing writing starts with our own short narrative stories and morphs into the publication of How To’s, informational writing, poetry, and more. Sometimes the writing we publish as videos is simple, just new information learned, but the videos turn out incredible. Other times, the actual writing is so important that it needs to be the star, and pictures of the writing turned into video is best. It’s up to each author to decide whether the video is just a way to share hard work or is going to be an extension. I love that choosing our own purpose and iPad tools allows each individual author to shine in their own special way.
Videos allow students to think outside the lines of their paper and incorporate their passions. Do they love playdough, legos, or coding? Encourage creative mixing of tools. Use an app like Koma Koma to make a stop motion video and share new learning or bring a story to life.
Encourage the Writing Process
Not every piece of writing will be published. Choosing a piece to turn into something special is a great incentive for young writers to complete the entire writing process. The story they choose to publish is going to be shared. It’s a prized production and needs to be just right. Before we turn our writing into a published video, it’s gone through many steps. Writing is read out loud many times, a publishing conference has been held, details added, words fixed, and more. Then, as the young author publishes to video with their chosen tool, it’s edited some more. Is their voice clear on the video, or is it all scratchy? What could make it better?
To some children, the publishing process can be difficult. Learning to look at your work and make it better is hard. They’ve already given it so much just getting the words down. Adding incentive elements like creativity, choice, and opportunities to share outside the classroom makes the process worth all the work and fun! I especially encourage the choice part. As students learn more iPad tools, publishing writing as videos becomes an opportunity to add “a layer of awesome” and mix apps to get just the result they want.
Videos are worth the work that you and your students will put into them. They are so easy to share afterward. Get creative and mix up the production tools or keep it simple. Even just taking pictures of writing pages, adding voice, and publishing with a tool like Spark Video can be exciting. Whether your students do some amazing app smashing or keep it simple, they’ll have a way to share their creative work. The possibilities are endless.