Heads Up Lone Nut

IMG_0254Life changing events don’t occur that often, but when they do, well…they’re life changing.

I had the privilege to once again attend the life changing Apple Distinguished Educator Institute (ADE) this past summer. The institute was a week full of networking, professional development, exhilarating opportunities, and memories that will last a lifetime. Over 400 educators from North America came together to share stories and lessons describing how technology and Apple products have revolutionized the learning environments for their students.

While the reflections and events of the week have now been well documented, I thought I would share with you a slightly different perspective.

Have you seen this video “First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy” a.k.a. the “Lone Nut?” The video basically tells the story of how one man decided to do what he wanted by dancing wildly at a music concert. Not long after, when another man saw how much fun this “lone nut” was having, he too decided to join in. Not long after that, an entire hillside of initially apprehensive people decided it was okay to let their hair down and accompany him in this dance hysteria.

The story is a great example of leadership. One person can truly create change and blaze a trail for others to follow, simply by having fun at what they do.

My week at the ADE institute seemed to illustrate this premise. Each of the amazing educators that were in attendance is the “lone nut” in their school or district. These lone nuts believe leveraging Apple technology transforms education, and our hope is that our peers on the classroom hillsides will eventually follow our quest.

Let me make this a bit more personal though.

One night after the daily activities had ceased, a small group of four of us decided to have some fun with an incredibly silly app called Heads Up. Our game of Heads Up was classic. We laughed, yelled, and bonded to this game. As other ADE’s walked through the courtyard where we were sitting, they stopped, looked at us like, “what is going on over there?!” and started to venture over to learn more. Soon chairs were being added to our tables and they joined our game. After about an hour, the courtyard was filled with educators sharing in laughter and community.

However, the group did become quite large and loud. And well, you might guess that there were a few complaints about the noise level. Hotel security came over to us to relay the complaints, and the game abruptly ended. That’s okay. It was late. People needed sleep.

But the more I thought about this Heads Up experience, the more I can relate it back to our schools.

The ADE experience for me was ultimately the perfect example of Heads Up, a group of teachers making a lot of noise about changing and transforming education through Apple technologies. And yet, it dawned on me to think, how often do we hear that voice from above in our own schools to quiet down. The voice filters into our classrooms or faculty meetings, and says, “You’re doing too much. That’s simply just too much technology. We don’t need that much ‘noise.’ Let’s get out the textbook and move on with the lecture.”

I prefer being the lone nut. How about you? Let’s keep making noise.

iAm Video Project

Who are you? What do you care about? Who do you care about? What/who do love/like? What do you aspire to be? What does your digital footprint look like?

Each semester I ask my broadcast technology students to create a final video project that is unlike anything they have produced so far. Yet, I ask them to implement all the skills, techniques and processes that they have already learned to successfully complete the assignment.

I always wait to tell the students what their final project will be. The anticipation is fun (for me) to see them sweat a little bit, waiting to get their final assignment. Let’s face it, at professional television stations the reporters are assigned to complete a story in the same day. So I like to believe I am giving them a taste of the “real-world.”

For this project, I had the luxury of allowing students to complete these videos over four class periods. Yet they are always free to work in the lab after school or on their home computers if they have the necessary software and equipment. Bottom line, they have plenty of time to be successful.

We are a Final Cut Pro school, still using version 6. And while learning Final Cut Pro X, I had an idea. I kept hearing that FCP X was very similar to iMovie. I would concur, from the look and feel. And although the power in the two software designs is vastly different, an excellent educator, and very good friend of mine (@tjredbird on Twitter) said, “If you know iMovie, you can pick up Final Cut Pro X rather easily.”  I put him to the test and he spent almost two hours showing me the way through FCP X.  Sounded good. Looked like iMove ’11. “Ok,” I said, “we don’t have FCP X on the computers, but we do have iMovie ’11. Let’s give it a shot.”

Now, while I don’t believe we are going to do a full switch to FCP X anytime soon, and we won’t become an iMovie class, I am always trying to expose my students to new experiences in the broadcasting world. And, although I have not been a big fan of iMovie in the past, I do find the iMovie ‘11 film trailer templates to be quite fun and creative. So maybe there was a way I could accomplish my goal of familiarizing my students with something new and applicable.

So here it goes. I proudly share with you the final project I assigned my broadcast technology students this fall. Feel free to use this in your classes, or modify for your needs. Maybe even try to create a project yourself!


In this final video project, you will tell the world, “iAm…”


  • Using iMovie ’11, select a film trailer theme to illustrate who you are for this iAm project. You may use video clips from any project you have ever created, or you can shoot new footage.
  • iMovie ’11 film trailer templates do not allow you to import photos. However, you can change the preference. This PREFERENCE change will also allow you change the font for your text.  Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pwQw0TZD-Y


  1. Read & Watch the iMovie ‘11 tutorial videos and websites.
    1. http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/#movie-trailers-section
    2. http://www.apple.com/support/imovie/
    3. http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2228
    4. http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/imovie/using-animatics-to-create-a-storyboard-in-imovie
    5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gkxlgalgDY
  2. Select the film trailer theme in iMovie ‘11.
  3. Change each text area to create words or statements describing “iAm….”
  4. Use video clips that build or show the audience visual images of who you are, what you care about, what you aspire to be. Ultimately saying, “iAm.”

Once your video is complete, EXPORT your video:

  • Create a folder (your last name & FINAL) on your desktop to save your videos into the folder
  • Click Share
  • Export Movie
  • (Select 2 sizes to export) – Mobile, Medium, Large or HD

(I want you to identify & recognize the various sizes for the different types of devices.)

  • Click and drag the folder to our dedicated server space, clearly marked in GREEN for backup.

You have 4 class periods to successfully complete this assignment. Have fun!


Sample Videos to watch:

Broadcast Technology

Media Literacy: A 21st Century Skill

Scoring guide

Section 1: Does the video illustrate personal features of the student?

  1. Unique info  = 10 pts
  2. Interesting = 10 pts
  3. Creative = 10 pts
  4. Powerful = 10 pts
  5. Written Quality= 10 pts

Total = 50 points


Section 2: Production Value

  1. Color = 10 pts
  2. Lighting = 10 pts
  3. CAM angles= 10 pts
  4. Steady shots = 10 pts
  5. Action = 10 pts

Total = 50 points


Section 3: Does the student follow directions according to the film trailer template, and Mr. Goble’s instructions?

  1. Outline = 10 pts
  2. Storyboard = 10pts
  3. Shot List = 10 pts
  4. Export correctly = 10 pts
  5. Submitted to server space correctly = 10 pts

Total = 50 points


Section 4: Post-production

  1. Upload to SchoolTube = 10 pts
  2. Embed video in your Weebly blog = 10 pts
  3. Post a blog about final video = 10 pts

Total = 30 points


Section 5: Deadline

  1. Met the deadline = 20 pts
  2. Missed the deadline = 0 pts

Final Project = 200 points

Care to see some of the projects my students created? Click any of these links to watch. I’m quite proud of their efforts, and the students told me it was a fun project to do.

Good luck!

iAm Don Goble. iAm a Broadcast Technology & Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. iAM also an advocate for technology and digital media in the classroom. 

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90373251@N00/12638218

Top 10 Educational Videos of 2011

Another year is coming to a close. And with the New Year approaching, it’s a great time to reflect on topics and issues that impacted our learning in 2011.

I traveled all over the country again in 2011 speaking to K-12 educators on the power that video can have on student learning. I have personally witnessed the amazing influence video has had on my own students’ learning during my past nine years in education. 2011 was no exception in the diverse and powerful videos that some of our world leaders, or future world leaders, created. Therefore, I have decided to list the top 10 educational videos I watched this past year.

Now, I will concede that there may be better videos in our global stratosphere. But, I have to admit I was blown away in one way or another by the following list. Most of these videos came through my Professional Learning Network via Twitter, or through my own personal research. So here it goes.

10. To make a video, age simply doesn’t matter. 1st and 2nd grade students from Ancaster Meadow School, created fun and educational field trip videos using iPod Touch devices and flip cams.  (Bonus 10 videos in this selection. Couldn’t help it!)

Grades 1 And 2 At Ancaster Meadow School

9. My list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t offer at least one video created by my own students. Just this past November, my class was “hired” by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), to be the onsite media journalists for their national convention. The opening keynote speaker? Sir Ken Robinson….and a few of my students produced this piece.

Sir Ken Robinson on SchoolTube

8. Media literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms.  (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) It is a topic that is very important to me and I believe, is a skill that is necessary for all 21st century learners. Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito, discusses Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media.

Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito on Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media

7. iPads in the classroom are becoming increasingly more popular. This video from iTunes U illustrates just how students are using iPads to facilitate their own learning, and benefiting from its power. The following collection is filled with great videos. I personally was struck by #3 on the list.

iPad in High School English

6. Remember I mentioned ease and accessibility when it comes now to video production? How about a free App?!

Meet Videolicious

5. The “Flipped Classroom” model has been discussed quite a bit in 2011. And much of the discussion began with Salman Khan on Ted Talks in March.

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

4. This AT&T documentary is beyond powerful. Our school screened this film to the entire student body, and it was the talk of the halls for weeks.

AT&T Don’t Text While Driving Documentary

3. Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Oh, and he may be the next Steve Jobs. Really?! 6th grade?!!! Kids are amazing.

TEDxManhattanBeach – Thomas Suarez – iPhone Application Developer… and 6th Grader

2. Filmed at the Stanford University graduation ceremony in 2005, this video went viral once again after the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011.

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

1. What does challenged based learning look like? Just watch this video, and read the accompanying website, to learn how a group of Australian students accomplished amazing tasks to help others around the world.

What Does Challenged Based Learning Look Like


There ya have it. My top 10 educational videos of the year.  If there is a video on your list that wasn’t on mine, please share! I would love to watch what you are watching. Thanks for reading……Happy Holidays!

Don Goble is a Broadcast Technology & Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Don is also an advocate for technology and digital media in the classroom. To contact Don, email: dgoble@ladueschools.net,  follow on Twitter at dgoble2001, or visit http://about.me/dongoble.