Holly and I had been wanting to do video announcements for our school for years. The tech department kept telling us they couldn't support it with our current system. We were determined to find a way to do it and with the approval of our principal, we made it happen! I have to give Holly all the credit for figuring it all out. She's amazingly creative!
First, I'll take you through some of the basic steps and introduce you to the apps you will need. Then, I will tell you why you have to do this at your school in some form or fashion. I promise, it will transform your school culture and start to the day immediately!!!
We have an announcements team made up of three of us teachers. We do a weekly rotation. So, I will make announcements one week out of every three weeks. We do a whole new set of announcements everyday. I have heard of other schools only doing it every couple or few days.
We make our announcements in iMovie. You can get the app in the AppStore for around $10. We each had to get it for our own iPads.
There are tons of tutorials out there on how to use iMovie, so I am not going to get into the technical parts of iMovie. It's an app that allows you to insert videos and photos and turn them into "movies." You can insert text, titles, and music. There are all sorts of possibilities. You just have to get in there and play with it.
We do have to get permission from parents, of course, to use students' photos in our announcements, since we are using the internet. We do not publish announcements for the public or even our parents to see. Once we make our movie for announcements, we upload it to Dropbox. We then e-mail the link to the video to our principal who sends it out to the rest of the faculty.
You can either make a movie or a trailer in iMovie. We make new trailers all the time for our opening to announcements. We take tons of photos and videos of our students. You can insert those into the trailer templates and it creates it for you with any text you want to add. There are lots of templates to choose from and they're really fun!
Every week, a hallway will be responsible for sending us videos for announcements. We ask them to send us videos of students saying the pledge, our mission statement, school rules, and birthdays for that day. It gives all grade levels the opportunity to be a part of announcements. It's also great for encouraging students to have excellent behavior so they can get a chance to be on announcements in front of the whole school. They feel like movie stars when they make it!
We have lots of different segments that are always changing. We like to keep announcements fresh and new. We always have a weather report and we make any general announcements needed. Anyone can send us a video of something they want announced. We always give a shout out each day, as well. It may be to a student for making a great choice or to a staff member for being helpful.
Another segment that we love doing is "Look who got caught reading!" We take photos of students that we catch reading and put them on announcements. You would not believe how much that encouraged students to start reading! EVERYWHERE! ALL. THE. TIME. We were amazed! They wanted to be known as a READER to the whole school. Students who never read were reading at lunch, in the gym, waiting for the bus, you name it!
We like to incorporate fun and educational videos from YouTube, too. Sometimes, it's based on holidays, what lots of classrooms are studying, motivational videos, etc. We also do a Jammin' Minute for exercise, so we like to put Just Dance clips in to get them moving. You can actually get an app called Download Video Pro. It's the app above. You can upload a video to the app and it allows you to save it to your device. Then, you're able to insert those videos into iMovie.
I have the Dropbox app on my iPad, too. Every photo and video on your iPad will automatically be uploaded to your dropbox. After you make your movie in iMovie, you will save it to your camera roll. It will get uploaded automatically, if you chose that option, to Dropbox. From there, you can e-mail it to whomever you wish.
I so wish I could share a finished announcements video with you! If we make one for the first day of school with no student faces, which is very possible, I will share it. Announcements have really transformed the culture at our school. If ever there was a day where we were unable to get announcements uploaded, the students (and teachers) were devastated. Our announcements were anywhere from 5 to to minutes long, so that gave teachers time to do those morning routine tasks we have to do. I hope you try video announcements with iMovie. If you do, please let me know! I would love to have more ideas for new segments to add.