Guest Blog: Cochrane POP!

Posted by allisyn on

It’s always thrilling to hear about a teacher inspired by another BrainPOP Educator! Thanks, Sarah, for sharing your experiences with us!

My school is working on a podcast of educational videos based on BrainPOP.  We named them Cochrane Pop after our school.  This is our first attempt at making a BrainPOP video using a green screen.  I learned everything about how to do a green screen BrainPOP-inspired video from my friend Liz Gatewood’s webinar in April.

Our school does not have a lot of money to spend on a project like this. We don’t even have a subscription to BrainPOP.  I showed the kids several free BrainPOP movies on Internet Safety.  They really like them and enjoy watching all the other free ones. We were able to buy a video camera this year from a gift certificate from Wal-Mart.

The students got ideas for topics by looking at what they were studying in science and social studies and then looking for topics that weren’t already covered on BrainPOP.  They decided this way students who don’t have BrainPOP and students who do will both benefit from the information.

The students drew most of our backgrounds in Microsoft Paint.  However, it appears that the green screen works better when we use backgrounds downloaded from the Internet or created in Kerpoof. I was really impressed with the students’ sense of humor.  They were able to write some pretty good jokes and then improvised some great jokes during filming! We don’t have a green screen so we made our own with bulletin board paper. It has not worked great. Every time there is a wrinkle in the paper, it shows up shady on the movie.  We used a lot of lights, but it still isn’t enough.

I brought in my personal Mac Book to do the editing in iMovie. It was really easy. The hardest part for the students was using the mouse pad.  I had to set up an external mouse to make it work for them.

The students are already working on their next videos.  I think I will purchase a green piece of cloth and some more lamps.  Apparently, you can’t have enough to get rid of those pesky shadows!

Sarah Bumpus
Computer Teacher, Cochrane Elementary
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