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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Creating French Dialogues with iPads and Google Drive

Last week we did a bit of work with the French department, on a small cross curricular initiative. The 6th grade students have been working on writing up dialogues in French lessons and the teacher was looking for a simple way to record these using video.  Our 6s have used the iPads a great deal this year for both audio and video work, so I suggested them as our tool of choice.  It just made sense, the kids are familiar with them and the apps are very user friendly.

Next we looked at all the options and decided that due to time restraints and the required outcome, a fully edited video was not needed this time around. Next, we needed to address the potential issues of trying to share media work on iPads with teachers, over wifi connections. This can be a huge problem. DropBox blocked and emailing the videos would not only be difficult, due to their size, but also be a breach of our school email protocol.  In the end we decided to work with Google Drive and I am so glad we did!

This made a lot of sense. We are a Google Apps school and the kids use their Google Apps accounts for a good portion of the work they do, across subjects and grades.  The initial plan was to record the videos with the camera app and then upload to drive. Later that day I began playing around with the upload option in Drive when I struck gold! I was thrilled to find that one of the options was to record a video through the Drive App!

This is so easy to do! All you do is navigate to the folder you want the video to be uploaded to, click the plus symbol. Next, select Use Camera from the menu and point and record.

When you have finished recording, you will be asked whether or not you want to use the video. If you select the Use Video option, it will save in your Google Drive account within the folder you specified in the beginning. The other options are to preview your videos before you select Use Video and  retake them if needed. Finally, be prepared to wait a few minutes to process videos before they are viewable. This was fine for us, as our students used the wait time to share their videos with their French teacher.

Now none of this is particularly new. The option has been around for a while. It is new to me however.  I am thrilled with how easily staff and students can create videos, and share them right in their Google Drive Apps. 

If you would like more information about video creation within Google Drive for the iPad, Bill Campbell has produced a good video on the process.

Below I have included a short Animoto video featuring some of our students as they work through the activity. As you can see in the video, the iPads, or any mobile device for that matter, are fantastic for audio/video work. These devices enable kids to plug in, move around and work in more unconventional learning spaces, outside of the tradition classroom walls.

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