Thursday, February 26, 2015

Student-Created, Centralized, Searchable Book Trailer Library

I recently attended the Dublin Literacy Conference.  Cheryl Angel and Marisa Saelzler talked about student-created book trailers, and how they use them in their buildings. They shared that when students are able to view or read trailers and recommendations from their peers, those books are immediately in high demand.  This is happening in some form or another throughout the district, but in isolation.

With all of the focus on authentic audience and relevance, I had a lightbulb moment.  Why not collect all of the trailers into a centralized library, and allow kids from all over the district to have a bigger audience? The added benefit would be that the number of available trailers and recommendations would be huge.  Sound overwhelming?  Our district uses MediaCore which makes this process very simple.  Let's take a look...

Have kids talk about their books.  They can write with paper and pencil, or with a word processor. They can draw a picture and record themselves talking about the book.  They can make a short commercial.  Any of these items can be digitized for the online library.
Digitize the book recommendation or book trailer.  If a student writes a book review on paper, use an app such as Scanner Pro to turn that book review into a PDF file.

Students using a tool such as Pages, Keynote, Word, or PowerPoint can export their final product as a PDF file.

If a student draws a picture, use a mobile device to take of picture of that drawing.  Students can use that digitized picture in an app like ExplainEverything to add narration, and the final product can be exported as a movie.

Upload the digital object into MediaCore or whatever digital library your district utilizes.  In our case, empower students to upload their work into the student projects area.  These trailers will be reviewed by a teacher, then switched to the book trailer collection.

When uploading an object into MediaCore, we have to agree on the "particulars," such as naming conventions and tags to include.  The tags will allow other students, teachers and parents to search for books by title, author, genre, or reading level.

Share!  With MediaCore as well as other video libraries, the collection can be embedded into any existing website.  MediaCore also allows teachers to copy a link to the collection, and post the link on a website.

Do you have a book you want to feature? Perhaps a book written by an author who will visiting your school? If you have an individual book trailer or recommendation to share, each object has its own embed code and sharable link.  Use Twitter or other means to get the word out about these objects.

Use the link to create a QR code for book trailers.  Copy the link for a particular trailer, paste it into a QR Code Generator such as, then print the QR code and slip it in the inside cover of a book or on a student-created poster.  QR code readers are free and available on most mobile platforms.

Search for a book.  Go to the video collection and search by title, author, genre, or reading level.  Look through the objects returned in your search, and make a wise selection based on peer reviews.

Thanks for reading these ideas.  I'm excited to get this off the ground and be able to share our collection with the world!

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