iEARN 2008-2009

Video Introductions to Communities 

Project News

See sample videos:

Lagos, Nigeria
Santa Clara, California, USA
Kunimi, Japan

Participating Schools (as of October 6th):

Ramos Mejia, Buenos Aires, Argentina - Challenge Education School
La Serena, Chile - Colegio Elena Bettini
Chisinau, Moldova - American Language Center (ALC/ACCELS)
Lagos, Nigeria - Queens College, Lagos
Osaka Prefecture University - Osaka, Japan
Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S.A. - Immaculate Conception School
San Jose, California, U.S.A. - Silver Creek High School
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A. - Wilcox High School
St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.A. - Cathedral Parish School
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.A. - Mary C Dondero School
East Hampton, New York, U.S.A. - East Hampton Middle School
Walkertown, North Carolina, U.S.A. - Walkertown Middle School
Austin, Texas, U.S.A. - Anderson High School
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. - Thomas Jefferson High School


Title:  Video Introductions to Communities

Background:  How are we alike, and how are we different?  In this project, students will take one of two approaches to introduce their communities.

Option 1: Introducing the Community

This option allows participants to introduce their community by focusing on these questions:

* What are the places that show something special about who we are?
* How do we see our futures?
* What are the challenges young people face in our community?
* What ways do we build friendships and have fun?

Option 2: Meet One of Our Own

This option allows participants to profile someone in their community who helps others by focusing on these questions:

* What does the person you are describing do for the community?
* How does what he or she does make life better for others?
* What joy and/or meaning do these efforts bring him or her?

Facilitator Name:  Rushton Hurley
Languages:  English
Student Age Level: 5-18

Summary:  Students create videos to introduce their communities to peers around the world.

Contributions:  Students seeking to learn about other places often have little to use beyond what is in their textbooks.  This project is designed to help students develop an interest in other places by seeing how their peers in other countries are similar to and different from themselves, as well as by learning about people who get joy and meaning from helping others.

Outcomes:  Video materials will be designed to be shared so that students in and out of the project will be able to learn more about the larger world.  They will have the opportunity to share with and learn from each other, as well as develop a better understanding of the power of digital media for expanding their horizons.


Instructions for Participants

Would you welcome the chance to have students watch videos of pieces created by young people in the country your class is studying?  Teachers and students are invited to create video material introducing their community to the rest of the world and to share them as a part of work being done at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California, in the United States.

Wilcox has partnered with Next Vista for Learning (, a young nonprofit which is working to attract content to its Global Views and Seeing Service collections.  Content is gathered and hosted by, though creators retain control over how long it remains in the collection.

Those interested should contact Rushton Hurley ( with the following information:

1. name and e-mail address of the person who will be the main contact for the project
2. name of your school (and website, if available)
3. location (city, state/province/region, country)
4. number and ages of participating students
5. which of the two options described above students will do (it is okay to do both)
6. the name and e-mail address of a second teacher/project coordinator, if there is one

The rules for the videos are as follows:

* Videos should not be longer than five minutes, with two to three minutes ideal.
* Videos should contain no copyrighted content.  If music is in the video, it should be by someone (ideally, one of the project team) who has given permission for its use.  Participants are encouraged to consider recording their own music for videos.
* It is preferred that videos not identify any participants by students' real names.  Please tell about your community without identifying yourselves personally; this is done for the protection of all participants.
* Videos should be in .mov, .wmv, .avi, or .mpg formats.
* The script for all audio should be typed in an .rtf document so that those with hearing difficulties will be able to enjoy what you create.

Timeline for the project:

date - activity

by Sept 15, 2008 - participants send school and student information to Rushton Hurley at (these are the six items numbered above)

by Oct 15, 2008 - participants finalize script and storyboard

by Nov 15, 2008 - participants submit completed videos to project library

by Dec 15, 2008 - participants share impressions of other groups' videos


Those learning about the project after these dates may contact the facilitator regarding joining the project late.

Below is additional information for those wanting suggestions for activities with students, as well as instructions for getting help creating the videos, if sufficient computer resources and editing software are not available.

We hope that you will participate in our project, and that you will enjoy seeing how others around the world introduce their communities.

Rushton Hurley
High School, Santa Clara, California, USA




Organizing Students to Make the Video:

Here is one way to break down the work of making the video:

1)   Have kids talk about what pictures they would want to have that tell about their community (however they define 'community').  For each picture, they would write 1-4 sentences to give the viewers more information on what they are seeing.  (This is a basic storyboard.)

2)   Groups read each others' written pieces and provide suggestions.  (Getting good at providing positive, constructive feedback is the goal.)

3)   Get digital pictures for each item the students have chosen, and arrange them using a simple editor (iMovie for Macs, or Windows Movie Maker, Photo Story, or similar for PCs).

4)   Record themselves reading their written descriptions in the same editing software, which will create the audio files to go along with the pictures.  (If you need help on choosing or using software, just let me know.)

5)   Add any titles, transitions, or effects the students want, export the piece, and it's done.  (I can help you with options for sending big files - one good option is to use; also, make sure to save the project as well so that if we need to redo anything, it'll be easy.)


I recognize that some schools wanting to participate may not have computers on which they can do video editing.  Consequently, participants may send digital pictures and voice recordings to my student team at Wilcox High School, and they can create the video for you.

If you wish my students to create the videos for you, you will need to follow these rules:

* Pictures should be in .jpg format, and their names should be numbered in the order you want them to appear in the video (picture_name01.jpg, for example).

* Footage (if you have it) should be in .mov, .wmv, or .mpg formats and can be sent using for free if too large for e-mail attachments.  As with the pictures, the names of the files should make it easy for students here to create (clip_name01.wmv, for example).

* Audio should be in .wav or .mp3 format.  For those using PCs, the accessory Sound Recorder (accessories -> entertainment -> sound recorder) can be used to create the files.  Please number these files in the order they should be heard in the video (audio_name01.wav, for example).

* Provide in an e-mail a script aligning the pictures and audio files (telling, for example, that audio_name01.wav should begin when picture_name01.jpg appears).

* Provide in the same e-mail the name of your community and school for the title page.  If you want anything else added as a title, please let us know in the e-mail.  You may also send a graphic that you wish used as the title.