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Create a Green Screen Video in Your Classroom

By Lindsey Petlak on April 8, 2014
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Create amazing student-driven, directed and edited videos placing them anywhere in the world using a super-simple green screen app. See how putting your students in the director’s chair facilitates authentic learning and assessment opportunities and results in Oscar-worthy productions, with little to NO prep!


Video Scholarship Application

My fabulous colleague, Jenna (a.k.a. Teaching Twin), and I collaborate on a weekly basis through a joint STEM education endeavor that we created called STEMagination Station. Check out our STEMagination Station website to see our efforts at work as well as the amazing student STEM projects and watch for future posts detailing the hands-on STEM challenges we engage in each week.

We have the opportunity to attend a wonderful professional development conference this summer, but need scholarship assistance in order to attend. After stumbling upon a tech-based funding opportunity, we decided to involve students in the application process and to apply “outside of the box” by incorporating technology into our application. See our application web page for inspiration and to view our final student video project!


About the App

Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos right on your iPad. Classroom-tested by kids and teachers, this app emphasizes ease-of-use and simplicity while still enabling fantastic results. With Green Screen by Do Ink, you can tell a story, explain an idea, and express yourself in truly creative and unique ways. (Description courtesy of iTunes App Store.) Fellow blogger Christy Crawford favors the chroma key app and explains how to use it (with a video demonstration by her talented students) in her post Go Green (Screen) in October. That app, as well as the Green Screen by Do Ink app, cost $2.99. Watch the video below for a video tutorial of how to create a green screen video recording.


Don’t want to pay for a green screen app? 

No problem! You can find several free green screen apps in the iTunes App Store. Regardless of which app you choose, or even if you’re just doing video recording with a camcorder, phone, or tablet, I highly encourage you to take the leap and try integrating student-directed video recordings into your project-based learning. The video below can help you learn about green screen video production regardless of the app you choose to use. You will find yourself and your students beyond pleasantly surprised with the levels of enthusiasm, engagement, and quality of student video productions!


Movie Making Process in the Classroom

Whether you decide to use Green Screen by Do Ink or another awesome app or technique to create your video recordings, the tutorial above still applies. Other tips:

  • Much like our class Project Ninja endeavor, we involved students in the content and creation of our video for the scholarship application.

  • Since we had specific, teacher-focused questions and requirements, Jenna and I created the application web page ourselves and wrote the “newscast” skit for our students.

  • Two students were given the script to practice and encouraged to add their own pizzazz and additional comments to make the video truly unique. Some of the very best features of the final video were student-generated additions to the original script.

  • Set up and recording was super simple: We used a blank, blue-covered bulletin board as a backdrop, put an iPad with the green screen app on a tripod and set it on top of student tables.

  • We chose two different backdrops to use behind our “newscasters” and started recording! See the video above for specific video recording steps and tips.

  • After recording, we used iMovie to put the clips into one of their pre-set movie trailer templates.

See our final video newscast!


Endless Possibilities

We used this process for our scholarship application, but INSTANTLY realized the potential teacher- and student-directed uses for green screen movie recording are ENDLESS. Put your students anywhere in the world at any time in history! See my initial brainstorm of ideas for green screen video uses in the classroom:

  • ANY type of report on nearly ANY topic

  • Mock court case investigating perspective

  • Historical court cases

  • Book character trait “interviews”

  • Video blogging

  • Text-based evidence responses

  • Math thinking explanations

  • Math student-created story problems

  • Math survey and data collection

More Inspiration

Need more inspiration? Looking for additional video-creation tips and techniques? Check out these posts on classroom movie-making from fellow Top Teaching Bloggers!


I couldn't leave out the fabulous movie-making inspiration of Beth Newingham!


Standards and Assessment

I will be using OpenSchool ePortfolio (OSEP) for students to upload and showcase video links and will create and use the standards-aligned rubrics within OSEP to assess final projects. Read my blog post on using student ePortfolios to showcase, evaluate, and communicate regarding student projects.

ISTE Standards: Due to the creative, student-directed, tech-centered approach to video production, all six of the ISTE standards for students are incorporated into green screen projects.

  • Creativity and innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

  • Communication and collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Research and information fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

  • Digital citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

  • Technology operations and concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Common Core State Standards: Depending on what project content you use video production for, the recordings should serve as creative communication to demonstrate mastery levels of strategies and skills aligned with Common Core English Language Arts standards and mathematical standards.

Have you ventured into classroom movie making? If so, do you use a green screen? Do you have useful tips and techniques? If so, please share. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Comments (4)

Anyone know of an easy to use green screen online program to use with students in computer lab???

Wow! This post has me so excited! I can't wait to try this out with my students! There really are endless possibilities for movie making in the classroom, I wish I would have known about this earlier this year!

If you have a MAC computer, you can use the green screen portion of iMovie; it is built in, but has to be turned on in advanced settings.

Thanks for your helpful suggestion! I'm sure many will benefit from the tip you shared. Thank you!

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