Saturday, October 31, 2020

Real-Time Collaboration with WeVideo - Virtual Caroling Project

When WeVideo announced  that its Real Time Collaboration  feature was LIVE, I was excited to try it, but didn't realize such an authentic opportunity would present itself so quickly. 

This week I was scheduled to present a session on creating virtual choir type projects at VermontFest 2020.   Although my slides were ready, and I had practiced the project several times, I still didn't feel confident in the final step - aligning all the clips so that the finished project would pass muster with folks with a truly musical ear.  I don't have the fine-tuned ear for music that my children have.  

As luck would have it, while I was 'playing around' with WeVideo to test the real-time collaboration, the phone rang. It was my son, Adam.  I quickly asked him if he would explore the real-time collaboration features of WeVideo with me and help me make the final touches to our Virtual Caroling Project. 

What happened next was amazing. Not only did we test out the real-time collaboration features of WeVideo - but I got an authentic mentoring session filled with tips and tricks on how to fine-tune a virtual choir type video project from an expert!  Not only is Adam a talented musician with experience at making virtual choir type videos -  he's an amazing teacher.  With his permission, I recorded our mentoring session - made possible due to the REAL-TIME collaboration features of WeVideo. 

It's a bit long, but if you're looking for pointers on synchronizing and polishing a WeVideo virtual choir type projects with great sound,  check out our authentic real-time collaboration session below. 

And to see the results of our collaboration session - check out  our finished video - a  really fun Virtual Caroling Project Video created as part of VermontFest 2020.

To learn more about the recent release of this WeVideo feature - check out the official 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Creating and Collaborating Remotely with WeVideo

Covid has introduced constraints in our lives in so many ways.  But with constraints comes increased creativity.  The number of ways that the CREATE, MAKE, and LEARN community has embraced constraints continues to inspire me.   

Inspired by the creativity of Adam and Matt Podd to "keep on singing" in a Covid world - I've decided to put together a session at VermontFest 2020 that features collaborative workflows with Google and WeVideo that can help you and your students create and collaborate remotely as well. 

Join me and some fun creative GUESTS for a hands on workshop where you will walk away with new skills and resources for remote collaboration using WeVideo and Google Drive. We'll use Virtual Caroling as a project, but these skills can be applied to all types of creative collaboration.  

Come have some fun with us on 

Tuesday, October 27, 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM

       Pre-conference Hand-on workshop - Includes a Virtual Caroling Kit ($50 value) 
       Learn more and register here.

Block M – October 30, 7:00 PM & Block P – October 31, 11:30 AM

       Standard conference session (demo of features) 
        Learn more and register here. 

Want a sneak preview - check out this 30 second video  of some #vted colleagues preparing for this session.  Which #vted colleague can you spy?

A Caroling We Will Go With WeVideo & Collaborative Workflows

Workshop Description: 

Singing together is one way classrooms, choirs, communities meet their social emotional needs. And even Covid-19 can’t stop us from singing together. In this workshop, Lucie will provide a demo showing tricks and tips of how to pull off a virtual caroling session featuring WeVideo. She’ll show you the most efficient workflows to bring your community together to create a virtual caroling event. This workflow will save you so many pre-and post-production hours, that you’ll be ‘laughing all the way’ and so will your students and colleagues.  

Lucie brings her passion for learning through creating and making, members of the Create Make Learn Community, and special musical guests to the scene in what promises to be a fun-filled hands on workshop. All you need to bring is  two devices (a smart phone or tablet for recording) and a laptop or chromebook — and a willingness to have a little fun. 

You’ll leave with an efficient collaborative workflow to share with others in your school, some tips about  WeVideo features you didn’t even know existed, and a new way to tend to the social emotional needs of your learning community. 

This workflow was developed by two alumns from our Vermont schools – whose virtual choir video went viral this spring – and they are willing to share their secret sauce with YOU!  For a sneak preview check out 

Registration fees for this pre-conference workshop includes a Virtual Caroling Kit from


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Reflecting on Voice and Choice in STEM


The other day I was having a play date with my grand-daughter.  We frequently do STEM related activities. She has such an engineering mind.  

I grabbed some masking tape and sidewalk chalk and had an activity in mind - stained glass drawings on the road outside our camper.   

Within minutes, she had her own ideas of what we could do and she ended up creating a hopscotch game using some of the ideas from our stained glass picture.  

This activity came to mind, when I was working on my assignment for my most recent ACRES class on facilitating STEM using voice and choice. 

I showed up with my tape and sidewalk chalk expecting ready to try new strategies I had just learned. 

By being even more tuned into the concept of voice and choice, we ended up up exploring even more STEM concept -- the ones she was interested in and ready for.   The activity helped us explore shapes, numbers, and measuring.  This has me really thinking about how we limit our children's learning without even realizing it and how Voice and Choice can lead to greater exploration and deeper learning. 

Here are a few more pictures and clips from our STEM activity.

Strategies that can offer more voice and choice when: 

Working with material

I showed up with sidewalk chalk and tape, but when I arrived I noticed the driveway was not paved and Rosie quickly let me know that "we don't really have a good place to use chalk here".  But after quickly looking around for other possibilities, I  spotted some window markers. Rosie showed  an "immediate" desire to use those, since they had stored out of reach.    The constraints of the environment naturally lead to choice in materials.   I talked about using new materials and I asked her to find a new location.  She picked a large window on her porch.

Asking youth a specific question

I started to steer the activity back to what I had planned with my 'specific questions'.  However,  by being more open to the directions she wanted to move towards, I was able to to use her interest and readiness to ask questions that developed from her natural curiosity with my questions. 

Telling youth when its time to move on

It was obvious that she had different ideas than I did about what she wanted to do next.  I started to guide her towards my idea of laying down some tape to make a shape and coloring the inside. She decided that she wanted to draw her own picture and find shapes within it and outlining those shapes with tape.  After the first drawing, she was ready to do another, and wanted to label the lines that made up the shape with a number as a way to count them.   By letting her direct what we would do next, we actually were able to practice number skills - at one point she took off her necklace to use as a measuring tool.  If I had moved on when I wanted to, she would have missed an opportunity to play with numbers and measurements.

Learning STEM content

Again, because I gave her choice, we got to count,  work with numbers, and even play with measuring. We got to dig deeper into STEM content I had not intended to spend time on - as I was focused on shapes.

Answering questions

At once point Rosie asked "what shape is this" as she pointed to the swing.  I really didn't know how to answer that.  We called it moon shape.  Later in the activity, Rosie actually referred to them as cresent shaped on her own.   I loved that she was able to recall the name of a shape later in the activity on her own.


I could have been more explicit about asking Rosie to think about what she had learned, instead of asking a specific question that had a 'right or wrong' answer and prompting her to 'fill in the blanks" as a way to wrap things up.

Asking presenting group to say more...

Since there was nobody else in the room besides the two of us, it was not an option to ask others if they have questions as a way to engage them, so this strategy was not applicable to this activity.

A fixed ending

I love the idea of 'what would we do if we had more time" or "next time".  In some ways this activity was a follow up of a previous activity - but it was definitely determined by what I wanted to do.  I will definitely use this in the future. 

The strategies offered to give prepare students for leadership made me smile -- as Rosie is definitely a leader.  The fact that she has an autistic brother who is a few years older than her has helped her develop her leadership traits. 

I would love to see her "lead" an activity of her own chosing in her 'home school' group or with her friends.

We frequently look through possible projects when she comes over and she frequently selects STEM related projects. 

Her favorite place to explore is the clear bin that I have filled with craft or recycled materials that might be useful for projects. 

I love the idea of seeking out community leaders that might engage her in community needs.  I think of the many citizen scientist program (salamander crossings) that we could potentially explore. 

I'm familiar with the Scratch community and definitely plan to engage her in it in the future.  I had not heard of before Acres and truly looking forward to exploring it to see if there are STEM communities that would be age appropriate.

As a believer in project based learning, I believe that culminating activities are great opportunities to push students into leadership position.   Maker Faires have been some of my favorite 'authentic culminating activities" 

ACRES provided  some great prompts during our feedback protocol including these.

What do you see/hear? Get direct quotes when possible.
Reaffirming the goal or process.
How are students conveying ideas and choices?
Digging deeper in the content.
Exploring self/peer thinking and rationale.
Wait time.