Technology and Teaching

Using Technology and Video in the Content Area Classroom

 Bill now offers workshops on Teaching Teachers Technology (see description at the bottom of the page).

Digital Book Talks™
Dr. Robert Kenny and Dr. Glenda Gunter at the University of Central Florida in Orlando conceived of using video book trailers to motivate reluctant readers to read books. Students make a “movie preview trailer” of a book they’ve read to entice other readers. For more information about this wonderful program at UCF, go to

Chris Roberts, a teacher at Lakeview Middle School in Winter Garden, Florida, implemented the UCF program with her students. She has kindly allowed me to include a few samples of her students’ work. Chris requires her students to script out their movies in Story Boards before they are allowed to begin filming. Note that she has expanded the use of video by having her students make commercials, as seen in “The Hoverboard,” in order to learn propaganda techniques. Chris’s students began transferring their video skills to other classes. Be sure to watch “Confucius Boy,” a film a sixth grader made for Geography. It’s a reminder of why we love middle school kids.


The Lightning Thief
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Hoverboard
Confucius Boy

After one of Bill's workshops on Using Video in the Classroom, teacher Jomel Villamil at Franklin High School in Los Angeles implemented the Flip camera in his Environmental Science classroom. His students made films about such topics as Poverty, HIV-AIDS, and Alternative Fuels. Here is one of his students’ films on Global Warming. PS-note who catches the blame at the end!

Global Warming

Student Video “Oscars” Program
For a number of years, middle school students in Marietta, Georgia have been studying such relevant topics as child homelessness, immigration, child labor, and genetically modified food. Each year the students make 2- to 3-minute movies of their research, and the school holds an “Oscars” program. Films are judged in categories such as: Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, or Best Dramatic Comedy. To see pictures of this wonderful event and samples of winning films, go to

Copyright note: As with any project, make sure students properly site their sources for art and music. Check with your own administration or media specialist for more information.

Teaching Teachers Technology

Many teachers feel woefully behind the curve in their use of internet and computer teaching strategies. This workshop is designed to get them over that psychological hump that hinders their use of technology in the classroom. In one day in a computer lab, teachers will learn the following:

  • How to use Poll Everywhere
  • How to utilize over a dozen pieces of instructional technology
  • How to create a movie in Windows Movie Maker
  • How to download video, pictures, and You Tube video into their movie
  • How to include special effects, titles, and transitions into their movie
  • How to add music and narration to their movie
  • How to use a "Green Screen" so that students can be "anywhere"
  • How to integrate Movie Maker films into their curriculum

For more information, see Teaching with Technology on Bill's Wiki at

You may never see prouder expressions on your teachers’ faces after this day! Detailed handouts are provided.