Create a Weekly Check-In Video with Adobe Spark Video

Teacher preparation students create a weekly check-in video for their students
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About This Strategy

This 1.5-hour strategy helps teachers in training create a weekly check-in activity for their students using Adobe Spark Video.  Research has shown that videos are a powerful tool for increasing teacher presence in an online environment. We also know that having a daily or weekly check-in can help improve a student’s social/emotional well being.

Because Spark Video is an easy- to-use video editing tool, it enables teachers to create fun and creative weekly-check-in videos. For more advanced options, teachers in training may use Adobe Premiere Rush.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student Sample
  • Adobe Spark Video 
  • Adobe Premiere Rush
  • Editable Resource Bundle
  • PDF Resource Bundle 

Outline for Teachers

90 minutes

Learn. 

Learn about the importance of a weekly check-in. (20 minutes)

Create.

Create a Spark video for a student check-in and, if appropriate, a parent check-in. Teachers in training follow these steps, can examine an example here, and read this tutorial. (40 minutes)

Create. 

Create a check-in activity to supplement your video. (30 minutes)

Share. 

Share the Spark Video with the instructor as directed. 

Steps for Students

Research has shown that videos are a powerful tool for increasing teacher presence in an online environment. We also know that having a daily or weekly check-in can help improve a student’s social/emotional well being. In this 1.5-hour strategy, you will create a Spark Video for a weekly check-in for students and, if appropriate, one for their parents.

Because Adobe Spark is an easy to use video editing tool, it  enables teachers to create fun and creative weekly check-in videos.

Steps:

1. Begin by reading Going Beyond 'How Are You Feeling?' from Edutopia. While the activities in the article are for a face-to-face class, they can be adapted to an online environment. (20 minutes)

2. Prepare to create a short (3- to 5-minute) check-in video for your students and, if applicable, for your students’ parents. You will want it to:

  • be welcoming and engaging,

  • be creative,

  • show off your personality.

Decide what you will say. To keep it informal, don’t write a script. Instead, just  have the key things you want to say as a reminder. But remember,  these are short, so you can always re-record, and there is nothing wrong with tacking on a segment at the end where you say, “I forgot to tell you…” It makes you more human, and that’s the point.

Some things you might include:

  • Key expectations for the week (signing in daily, checking email and your course site, participating in meetings, etc. ) 

  • Information about how to contact you for help or support

Also consider including some of the social-emotional questions discussed in the Edutopia article in step one.  Use your video and the check-in activities you create to let your students know they are cared for. Ask them to share their interests outside of school and how they are feeling.

At a minimum, you will create a video for a weekly check-in with your students. If you are teaching students in a virtual class, also consider creating a video for parents. Here you may wish to take a more professional demeanor, but remember to be open and welcoming. You can use this video to remind parents of what assignments are due, offer them help and support, and just let them know you are there for their kids. (40 minutes)

3. Record your video (or audio). For more guidance on using Spark Video, follow these steps or watch this brief tutorial. There are a number of other tutorials for Spark that can be found on the web.

If you decide to include a video of yourself, you will need to use a tool such as Screencastify to capture your video, export it as an mp4, and import it into Spark. 

Alternatively, you can use a digital tool to create an illustrated virtual avatar for yourself: 

  • Kartunix allows you to create a cartoon-style  avatar.

  • Second Life or VirBELA are virtual worlds that allow you to create an avatar. 

  • You can turn a photo of yourself into a cartoon using Photocartoon or pho.to. There are also paid services that can create a more professional looking avatar.

One thing to consider: you might also use Adobe Audition to create an audio-only message. This is a good late night alternative to a video if you just want to send out a quick message but don’t want to fix up your hair after a hard day. If you choose this route, here is a good tutorial. (10 minutes)

4. Along with your  video, it is important to develop one or more check-in activities to see how your students are doing.

Jennifer Findley has a great resource for creating a weekly check-in using Google Forms. She also includes daily and end of the week check-ins.

Revisit the Edutopia article from Step One for ideas on the questions you might ask your students.

Also, explore different ways for students to find their voice. Along with written activities, encourage your students to use other formats such as a Spark Page, Post, or Video. (30 minutes)

5. Share your video as directed by your instructor.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric to evaluate students' check-in videos.