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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Oh dear: our long-bemoaned short attention spans are dwindling into nothingness. That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about Vine, Twitter's app that allows users to make and share six-second videos. What can possibly be said in six seconds of video that's worth watching? You'll have to answer that for yourselves, but after a bit of digging, I've been pleasantly surprised by the creativity that such limitations can enable.

On the heels of Vine's release, Facebook's photo-sharing app Instagram announced a video-capturing feature, and users there had all of fifteen seconds to play with. Regardless of the app of choice, the bold early-adopter educators around the country started finding inventive ways to use these "microvideo" apps in the classroom. Sure, there's a lot of dreck out there in the world of very short videos, but there's some gold to be found, as well. At least, some golden ideas for engaging kids. Check it out!

Video Playlist: Microvideo in the Classroom

Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube.

  1. How Much Science Can You Fit Into 6 Seconds? - GE (04:12)

    This incredible compilation was born out of a Vine contest sponsored by GE -- I enjoyed seeing the spectrum of fun and innovative ideas to bring science to life! Learn more at the #6SecondScience website.

  2. Using Vine In the Higher Education Classroom (3:25)

    Online Universities blogger Justin Marquis explores the possibilities for Vine in education -- it's geared towards higher ed, but there is much to be gleaned for K-12 here.

  3. Frame By Frame: The Art of Stop Motion (Excerpt) (01:23)

    I adore almost every video PBS OffBook produces, so I couldn't resist excerpting this section exploring Vine as the new frontier for stop-motion animation.

  4. Six-Second Shakespeare (02:07)

    This series of Vine videos by enterprising English teacher Tim Nance is sure to make you giggle -- each one attempts to encapsulate a Shakespeare play in just six seconds.

  5. Instagram Video vs. Vine - Which one is better? (03:05)

    Stumped on whether to use Instagram Video or Vine? Watch this short clip to learn the differences. You can also find good comparison charts and reviews online.

Four Great Ideas Fresh Off the Vine

Forgive the pun, but the trickiest part of compiling this list was that most of the good Vines are actually living only within Vine; most people don't take the time to upload to YouTube. So I've embedded four student- or teacher-made Vines to spark some ideas. Mouse over the upper left corner of each to turn on audio.

Renegade Buffalo, New York, history teacher Keith Hughes encourages folks to check out his great HipHughes History YouTube channel with this Vine.

Elementary school librarian John Schu, from Naperville, Illinois, frequently posts Vines to get kids excited about reading.

Leann Hoelscher teaches elementary school in Palm Springs, California, and her students made Vine videos to show how to make garden starters.

In Springfield, Nebraska, Jodie Morgenson had her students act out scenes from MacBeth on Vine. Read about her process in this helpful blog post.

More Resources for Using Vine and Instagram

Clearly both of these are applications still in their infancy, and as commercial brands, journalists, and educators try to figure out how to make best use of them, we'll see better and better examples. I've gathered some articles if you'd like to learn more, and some more samples for inspiration. My advice? If you have a smartphone or a tablet available, just download one of these (free!) apps and start playing with it! And once you've created your six-second masterpiece -- feel free to share your ideas and projects in the comments below.

Articles about Vine in Education: More Inspiration from Vine Users Beyond Education:

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