We often think of a tablet as a device for consuming content. Something that lets you watch a movie, read a book, or play a game. One of the most engaging tasks you can give a student is to become a creator. This might mean that they design an experiment, write a book or even make a movie. All of these tasks require higher order thinking and give you a chance to assess student understanding.

There are lots of ways that teens can create their own videos but a handful of iPad apps make this process manageable for both teachers and students. With these dynamic tools, teens have the power to tell a story. Whether they are recounting historical events, filming a public service announcement, or publishing a video tutorial for solving a math problem, the iPad is a wonderful tool for student learning.


One of the most powerful apps in the iWork suite is iMovie. This creation app is perfect for teens and teachers who want to create their own videos. It gives users the option to work off of templates to drag and drop their own content. Students can place music and audio tracks over pictures and add titles and effects to each clip. iMovie also has the option to create trailers which can be a fun option for students looking to demonstrate their understanding of a topic by using a familiar video format. Although iMovie has plenty of high quality features it won’t be overwhelming for new users who can follow along with the instructions on the screen to create a simple or complex final product.

ChatterPix Kids

This user-friendly iPad app might look a little elementary but it’s a great choice for middle school and high school students. Teens can grab a picture from the Internet and save it to their camera roll or snap a photograph of a primary source document. With ChatterPix Kids, students will slice a mouth on an image of a person and record their voice speaking through them. The video they create with this app can be used by students to explore a historical figure’s perspective or give a voice to a character in a book.

Stop Motion Studio

If you want to give students a few options when completing a research project on a topic, you might want to include Stop Motion Studio on their list.  This app lets teens create stop motion videos and is perfect for storytelling.  Your students can recreate an event from world history or show how two historical figures interacted with one another. This app gives teens the power to demonstrate their understanding of a topic while they move figurines across a tabletop.

The iPad is a wonderful creation tool that can be used throughout the content areas.  Your students can use video apps to show off what they have learned about a topic as opposed to writing traditional reports.  With these engaging apps you’ll transform how students interact with content and how you assess student understanding.

Have you used video creation apps with students?  Share your experiences below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

Teachers working with middle school and high school students know how powerful a video can be as a tool to grab the attention of their students. Multimedia can be used to hook students at the beginning of a lesson or refocus them during the middle of a lecture. Videos are great for bringing the content in a Science or Social Studies textbook to life. There are tons of resources available for locating and sharing videos with your students. These apps give you the option to search for clips or full episodes of programming. You’re sure to find something that you can use to energize your lessons.

If you want up to date videos that show radar maps and news broadcasts of weather in a particular region download The Weather Channel app. You’ll be able to share up to the minute reports with students and engage them in conversations about weather patterns and the impact natural disasters have on a geographic region.

The History Channel’s iPad app is another great choice for finding clips that connect to your curriculum. They have videos on a wide range of content that works well with middle and high school students. This app contains popular television shows in addition to documentaries. You may find that one of the reality shows relates to a particular unit of study and is perfect for getting your students interested in a topic they would normally find boring.

The Smithsonian Channel has a great app for accessing content on the go. You can search through their videos and pull your favorites onto a channel that is designed just for you.  If your classroom is equipped with an Apple TV you can use AirPlay mode to push content straight to your projection screen for students to watch as a whole class. They’ll let you look through videos in particular categories and even sign up for notifications that tell you when new content has been added to the app.

When you’re introducing new regions to your students in a Social Studies class you may want to show a clip from the Travel Channel’s app. There is a wide range of options for you to pick from but one nice feature is the ability to search by region. Instead of looking through shows with titles you may be unfamiliar with, tap on Costa Rica, Sydney or New Orleans to find a clip that tells a story related to a particular region.

After deciding which app you want to explore, remember that you’ll want to preview the content you’ll show to students to make sure that it is appropriate. If the wireless connection at your school isn’t very strong you may decide to save a video for offline viewing if the app gives you that option. Don’t forget that you’ll either need to mirror your iPad screen to your computer or use a special cord to connect your iPad to your classroom’s projector.

Do you have a favorite video streaming app to use on iPads? Share it in the comments below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

ChannelOne.com has lots of resources that can help students with their homework. Have you looked through the Video Library? It is full of videos that teens can use as they tackle after-school assignments. The Video Library organizes clips by “newest first” so it’s easy to find reports on important world events and hot topics. Kids can locate videos on a wide range of topics and access content related to their work in school. It’s also a great place to send students to gather information on a topic or answer questions they have about current events.

Everyday Assignments

The Video Library on ChannelOne.com can give students an overview of topics so they are better informed and ready to complete their homework. For example, if they have to write about Syria as part of a current events assignment, a quick search of the Video Library will give them a few clips to watch. Students will build their background knowledge on the subject and be ready to answer questions about chemical warfare and the political climate of the country.

Research Projects

For teens working on research projects the Video Library on ChannelOne.com can help them locate information. Students can type in a keyword in the search function or look through different categories or tags to learn more about a subject. Watching a news program that combines high quality reporting with video is a great way to help students stay informed on a subject. It will keep them interested in the topic while they make sense of the information they’ve gathered from other sources. When assigning a research report to students you can require them to include video clips in their bibliography to show that they were able to use a variety of sources. EasyBib.com has a guide for citing video clips like the ones featured on ChannelOne.com.

Flipped Learning

Many teachers are exploring the idea of the flipped classroom and the Video Library at ChannelOne.com can help educators choose the right clips to assign to students. In the flipped classroom model, teachers assign videos for students to watch at home so when they come to class they are prepared to talk about the subject. These clips can include lectures, tutorials or any media that presents content. Teachers can assign ChannelOne.com news clips for kids to watch at home or during a free period as part of their homework. If this happens outside of the classroom, teachers can use their face-to-face time with students for whole group discussions, group work and partner activities.

Video Transcripts

Each clip in the ChannelOne.com Video Library includes a full transcript from that segment. Videos offer a unique way to learn about a subject and the transcript will help teens follow along and learn new vocabulary words by reviewing them in context. The ability to pause a clip to take notes or refer to the transcript included with each video post will help students as they get ready to write and report about a topic.

Have you asked students to watch videos at home? How has the Video Library fit into your student’s afterschool routine? Share your story in the comments section.

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

Shelby: For most of us, admitting our mistakes on camera is a pretty scary thought. But one guy in Ohio posted his video confession online for millions of people to see. Maggie Rulli tells us why.

Maggie: The video begins with a story.

Matthew Cordle: I was out with some friends. We were all drinking really heavily.

Maggie: A man whose voice and image have been digitally altered, talks about driving drunk. A crime he committed months ago. But instead of trying to fight the charges against him, the man says he wants to take responsibility for his actions and then reveals himself.

Matthew: My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession.

Maggie: Mathew Cordle posted this video where he admits to driving the wrong way down a highway while drunk and crashing head-on into Vincent Canzani’s car. Police say Cordle was found injured at the scene and had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit.

Yesterday, Cordle made good on his online confession…

Matthew: Yes, Your Honor.

Maggie: …Pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence – crimes that could cost the 22-year-old Cordle up to eight years in prison.

Young people have the highest rate of driving while under the influence. More than 20% of teenagers and nearly 25% of people in their early twenties admit to driving drunk within the past year. And while the penalties for driving under the influence vary from state to state, every states can punish even first time offenders with jail time. And that is on top the already tough punishments for underage drinking.

Cordle’s story and his unusual online confession have gone viral…

Ron O’Brien: It was a compelling piece of video.

Maggie: …And even caught the case’s prosecutor by surprise.

O’Brien: Boy, I’ve never seen one like this before, I would tell you that.

Maggie: Steve Crain was a friend of Vincent Canzani.

Steve Crain: This is the right thing to do. And I think that’s the way Vince would look at it. In fact, I think Vince would be proud of that young man.

Maggie: But Vincent Canzani’s daughter calls the video ‘self-serving,’ saying quote, ‘My family has not been helped at all by this video. Nothing has changed for the better and, if anything, it has only caused us heartache.

Maggie: To get his controversial message out, Cordle chose the website because I said I would, created by Alex Sheen.

Alex Sheen: I actually helped Matthew Cordle film this confession video. He was looking for a way to reach people with the message of not drinking and driving, and not making the same excuses that he made in his life.

Maggie: Excuses that will now haunt him for the rest of his life.

Matthew: I’m willing to take that sentence for just one reason. And that reason is so I can pass this message on to you. I’m begging you, please don’t drink and drive.

Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.

Maggie: Two months ago, fourteen-year-old Aria Jewett was attacked by a classmate just outside Oceanway Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Aria Jewett: So, like, I didn’t even know it was coming.

Maggie: This cell phone video of the assault is hard to watch. Her attacker, another eighth-grader, hit her repeatedly. Aria thinks there were about thirty kids watching.

Aria: Because she had everyone else, like, videotape it. She had the girl bring me over there. So, she probably had this planned.

Maggie: Aria suffered a fractured skull. Her attacker was arrested for aggravated assault and removed permanently from the school.

Aria says her attacker videotaped at least five other assaults, some on school grounds.

Aria: And, like, she never got expelled.

Maggie: One in four teens is bullied. And in those cases, 80% of the time it ends in a physical fight. Experts say videotaping those attacks is becoming a trend. And students across the country have been caught videotaping and posting those fights to the internet.

Aria’s family asked Florida Circuit Judge Henry Davis to protect their daughter but his ruling about the attacker surprised even them: “This child is a threat to all of the children at any school. The injunction is a permanent injunction barring this child from returning to any public school in Duval County.” The school district’s superintendent says the judge’s ruling went too far.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti: I don’t think we should use the bad decisions children make outside of schools as an example or a scapegoat to make a message.

Maggie: Nikolai Vitti says public education is a constitutional right. He says all students deserve second – even third – chances.

Vitti: And I believe that the perpetrator should be provided the same opportunity. It’s a tough decision but my role as superintendent is to support the law and enforce the law.

Maggie: While Aria’s attacker will not be allowed back at her school, an appeals court judge did overrule the ban preventing her from attending any public school in the district. And a lawyer for the attacker told me she started at a different school this week.

Scott, back to you.