How to make quick and easy RSA style videos

Three years ago I posted about making RSA style videos with my kids.  The method I used for those would work for many schools, each school would simply swap out different tech tools based on the technology available to them.

Last year I posted about making RSA style videos in less time with less technology available, and with kids/teachers who have little or no tech experience, and who might find doing anything different a daunting task.

Both of the above videos were done with a demographic that was not tech savy, used to traditional work, and with kids that were fearful of doing anything that would be considered “different.”

This year I moved to a new school.  I am the social studies teacher at the alternative high school.  It would not be fair to describe my kids here, but let’s just say it is a challenging environment.  I decided to try RSA style videos with them.  We watched a couple documentaries and they wrote down questions as we watched.  Then they researched one of their questions.  We are learning how to determine credible sources, but for many just having one question and using the first website they find to write down a couple facts is a win for the day.  I realized that adding the narration was going to be too much.  Instead of doing a classic RSA style video with narration we simply added captions.  We did the following:

  • Recorded video on whiteboards
  • Placed video in Movie Maker
  • Turned off volume for video
  • Sped up the video…most kids did 4x faster
  • Added the music (what we use for music)
  • Wrote the captions
  • Wrote the credits/title
    …and saved as a movie.

If you are new to Movie Maker it would look something like this (I just forgot to add the title, most kids wrote the title as part of their video).

If you have an extremely challenging group and think that RSA’s are too hard, I offer you evidence that it is possible…even though it might take two weeks 🙂  I will put the samples below.  You will see many spelling mistakes, some things written incorrectly, and some sources that you think would be sinful for a social studies teacher to allow.  As I look around the internet at teachers sharing projects, you see many coming from schools with lots of technology, kids who are used to doing project based products, and from teachers who share their best.  I think it’s important for teachers who feel like they can’t compete with all the exemplars being passed around twitter to share share share.  It is important for a teacher who is in a tough class with one chromebook to see what  is possible.

So I’d like to show you my kids “quick and easy RSA style videos” because I am proud of what they accomplished.  You may watch these videos and just see basic facts, bad sources, and spelling mistakes.  I see videos that represent products the kids did not know they were capable of making just a few weeks ago.  We had a film fest today and shared them.  Each got a round of applause, and no one even noticed the spelling mistakes 🙂