jenniferleban-2

Educator of the Month: Jennifer Leban

Lise Framstad Education, Schools (K-12) 0 Comments

More than 6,000 schools around the world are using WeVideo, and we are thrilled to see all the amazing and creative projects that are created using WeVideo every day. We are going to highlight a WeVideo Education rockstar that greatly inspires us every month. This month, we want to introduce you to Jennifer Leban from Illinois.

Jennifer is currently a computer Literacy Teacher at Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst, IL. Prior to that, she taught visual arts for 13 years and in 2014-15, she earned a Technology Specialist Endorsement and Computer Applications endorsement from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At her school, they are 1:1 Chromebooks and use Google Apps for Education. This is their first year with a district WeVideo account, and they are super excited to make the most of it!

To introduce the 8th graders at her school to WeVideo, she created this video about… making videos!

We had a quick chat with Jennifer to learn more about how she is using WeVideo in her classroom, and here’s what she had to say:

First Project

I challenged my 8th grade students to create videos about Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety. They get to choose from a variety of topics, like Netiquette, Cyberbullying, Copyright and Fair Use, Creating Safe Passwords, Catfishing, and such. I welcome ideas from students that are not on “the list” of topics, but are still within the theme. It’s hard to find good videos that are specific to the middle school level. So many videos online about this topic are too babyish for middle school, talk down to students, or are just kind of corny, so I told the students that their challenge was to do BETTER than what was out there!

Favorite Feature

Hands-down, my favorite WeVideo feature is green screen, or color keying! We shoot our videos in the hallway right outside the classroom, which, until now, really limited the background environment for our videos. Now, the possibilities are endless! I’m kind of a goofball, so of course the first things I had to do with it (and show to students) was to run from Godzilla and jump out of harm’s way from a giant explosion, action-movie-style!

WeVideo

I learned about WeVideo last year, which was my first year teaching Computer Literacy classes, from my fellow teachers and district tech coaches. We were looking for a video editing program that worked with Chromebooks. I know that we kind of explored the idea of using free WeVideo accounts with students, but we quickly maxed out the limitations and felt like it would be well worth the investment for our district to purchase accounts. I’m so glad that we did – it’s made all the difference!

As for the program itself, I’m self-taught. I like learning new things, especially when it comes to technology skills, so I tend to just throw myself into a project and learn by doing. I enjoy learning alongside the students, and I’m not afraid to tell them that I “don’t know” something. If there isn’t another student in the class that knows the answer and can help us, we look it up and problem solve together!

It’s been really fun to see what students are coming up with – they’ve been able to catch on to the basic editing tools pretty easily; the user interface on WeVideo is great! Each time a student comes up with a new idea, it raises the bar for the next group to do bigger, better things. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

Learn more about Jennifer Leban and her creative projects at her blog, Leban Tech Blog.

Do you know a WeVideo Rockstar? Are YOU a WeVideo rockstar? Send an email to lise@wevideo.com