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Wednesday 15 July 2015

Creating Magically Moving Newspapers with DoInk's GreenScreen and Tellagami

A while back I found an inspiring idea from EdTechTeacher, on how to use DoInk's Green Screen App to create a moving Harry Potter like newspaper. Ironically this came through just a few days prior to a meeting I was meant to have with the Humanities department.

We do a joint ICT/Humanities project with them at the end of each school year and I was looking to spice things up and revamp the project.  EdTech Teacher's post couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Our project involves the kids researching both the eruption of Pompeii as well as that of a local eruption at Joya de Ceren. They then report on it using narration and video. It struck me that a moving newspaper would be a perfect fit.

I put together  a unit that took the kids from point A, through the research process, learning about reporting, writing articles and producing a video report using the resources they created in Docs, Tellagami,  and DoInk's GreenScreen App.

This was written up in a Google Document with all of the relevant links and tutorials that students and teachers would need.

I then went on to find  a few newspaper templates online that were licensed for reuse and modification and found a few videos that showed various volcanoes erupting. 

I added all of these to Google Drive and shared the teachers and students in to the folders.

Our biggest challenge when planning this activity was that we would be working on Android tablets and then iPads and there were some issues regarding workflow. We sorted these out, by doing the research, written work and Tellagami recording on the Androids and DoInk on the iPads. In this way we were able to run the entire project on tablets from start to finish. 

Finally shared folders were created for students from each class to upload their final work to, again in Google Drive.

This was a very exciting project and the fact that we could run it exclusively on tablets, both iOS and Android, while working across departments was brilliant. As a result, we no longer had to deal with the restrictions of timetabling the ICT Lab around regular ICT lessons, the kids were mobile, and audio quality was greatly improved (mobile kids=less background noise). 

Here are a few of final projects to demonstrate what these looked like when done.

Finally, there are many exciting ways to incorporate DoInk's Green Screen App into lessons, in ways that really empower kids in creative digital storytelling endeavours.

Here is another example from EdTechTeacher's the History 2.0 Classroom. That incorporates time lapse photography using the free Hyperlapse app.

Lessons learned during the project:
  • Spelling and Grammatical errors still slip through, triple check templates with departments prior to moving on to DoInk.
  • Resolution matters more than you think. Export videos at high resolution or the text in the templates becomes very difficult to read. Also consider font sizes for templates.
  • Make sure that students have fit their three tracks with care prior to exporting as they may not have noticed these issues themselves.


  1. Thanks Judith. It was great fun doing this with the kids and the fact that we could work across devices made it easier to manage.