Printer Friendly

What do you mean use a 'Green Screen'?

This article has been written from two perspectives, a classroom teacher (Vicki) and an eLearning coach (Marsha), both from the same primary school.

Teachers and technology

Classroom teacher

Use a Green Screen? I have no idea what that involves, I have not been trained to use one and where would I find the time? All these questions most probably come up every time teachers are asked to utilise unfamiliar digital technologies in the classroom. I think we could all agree that an important aspect of teaching is the ability to be adaptable to change. So why does this notion completely fly out the window when it comes to the use of new technology? Perhaps it is time for teachers to accept the inevitable, that Digital Technologies are here to stay and the same 'give it a go' attitude that we instil into our students should also apply to teachers.

eLearning coach

It can be overwhelming when teachers are presented with another subject to teach, especially when the curriculum already seems full. The use of ICT in the classroom with the introduction of Media Arts can be daunting. The Media Arts content descriptor (ACAMAM059) requires the use of appropriate technologies to create time and space through the manipulation of images, sounds and text to tell stories. In addition, the aims of the Technologies curriculum involving designing, innovative creativity, selecting appropriate tools and evaluation align with Media Arts. This should allow teachers to utilise their time effectively by integrating Technologies into the different curriculum areas. With this in mind, we need to ensure that teachers have the required knowledge and skills to do so.

Let's set the scene

Classroom teacher

Year 4 Humanities and Social Science (History: ACHASSKO85) asks students to specifically study the First Fleet and the early colonisation of Australia. The subject matter gives the teacher scope for the integration of other learning areas. The content descriptors for English (ACELT1603 and ACELT1794) include developing storylines, characters and settings and expressing point of view. These descriptors can easily be interwoven with History.

Therefore, during History, the class embarks on an exploration of the First Fleet, covering from what life was like in England at the time, who were the people on the ships, and what life was like once they arrived in the new land. At the same time, during focused English lessons the teacher has been reading The Grace Stories by Sofie Laguna.

eLearning coach

It is important for classroom teachers to see the integration opportunities for Media Arts, the Humanities and Social Science and English units are ideal. The Media Arts content descriptors (ACAMAM058 and ACAMAM060) require students to investigate, plan and present media stories about people using different settings, structure, sound and text. Students can use storyboarding to plan their media sequence of their narrative/recount based on the First Fleet research in History combined with The Grace Stories in English. The required skills in Media Arts allow students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the texts they have been studying in English and History using images, sound and text to present media artworks that communicate to an audience.


Classroom teacher

There are two assessment options for students to choose from:

1. This term you will be reading a range of historical narratives and recounts. You will learn about the journey of the First Fleet and the reasons for that journey and you will learn about the first British settlements in Australia.

You will then write a literary recount set in the past from the perspective of a person who lived at that time in that place.

2. This term you will be reading a range of historical narratives and recounts. You will learn about the journey of the First Fleet and the reasons for that journey. You will also learn about the first British settlements in Australia.

You will choose and research an individual from the First Fleet (such as, an army officer, an officer's wife, a male/female/child in their service) and investigate their journey (such as, life in an English jail, experiences on the voyage, arrival in Botany Bay). You will then create a storyboard to plan and sequence a media presentation. Next, in groups of two, you will create your presentation using Green Screen technology on the life of your chosen First Fleet traveller.

Green Screen technology

eLearning coach

Green Screen technology involves taking video or images in front of a green background. The background is green as it contrasts well with human skin tones. The green background is manipulated to become transparent for other video or image layers to be inserted in the foreground giving the illusion of the character being in the projected location.

The accessibility of iPads means that teachers and students can utilise technologies relatively easily. Through the inbuilt camera, iMovie or the Green Screen app, students can work together in pairs to record their video in front of the green background.

The assessable Media Arts aspect for students is as follows:
   Using different media technology techniques, you
   will create an atmosphere suitable to your project.
   This can include filming from different angles to
   convey various emotions, distorting or blurring focus,
   fading in or out of scenes, adding suitable audio and
   choosing video or still backgrounds appropriate to
   each scene. You will then layer images or video over
   your original video. Finally, you will manipulate and
   edit your project through Green Screen and iMovie

Working with technologies

The biggest issue surrounding Media Arts and Technologies is fear of the unknown. It is important therefore, for schools to support classroom teachers with either eLearning coaches or colleagues with digital technology experience. Unpacking the Media Arts curriculum with support, allows teachers to break down the detail and become familiar with what they need to assess. Integrating Media Arts with English and HASS can be a smarter, more time effective way of delivering the curriculum and provides opportunities to explore curriculum themes at a deeper level.


ACARA Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Australian Curriculum English. Retrieved from http:// au/english/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#level4

ACARA Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Australian Curriculum HASS. Retrieved from http://www. au/humanities-and-socialsciences/hass/curriculum/ f-10?layout=1#yl-4

ACARA Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Australian Curriculum Media Arts. Retrieved from http:// www.australiancurriculum. curriculum/ f-10?layout=1#level3-4

ACARA Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Australian Curriculum Technologies. Retrieved from https://www. technologies/

Marsha Spiker isa Digital Technologies teacher, eLearning coach and Teacher Librarian at Ithaca Creek State School. With over 20 years of experience in both primary and secondary school, Marsha's goals are to embrace progressive education and utilise new technologies. She is passionate about developing teacher's knowledge and skills in the Technologies curriculum and enabling them to be confident users and educators of this growing area.

Vicki Lane has been a primary school teacher for seven years after spending the previous four years as a preschool teacher in the UK. She currently teaches a 4/3 multi-age class at Ithaca Creek State School. Her passion is in innovative unit planning and she likes to re-invent the wheel.

Caption: Left: students pose in front of a Green Screen; above the green 'background' is replaced with another image
Term 3   English                       History

         In this unit,                 In the unit
         students listen to, read      students investigate
         and view informative and      stories of the first fleet,
         literary recounts, set        including reasons for the
         during the time of the        journey, who travelled to
         arrival of the First Fleet    Australia and their
         to Australia.                 experiences following

1        Read 'Meet Grace' Focus:      What do we know about the
         punctuation and direct        First Fleet? What were the
         speech                        reasons for the journey?
                                       Focus: map of journey,

2        Read 'Meet Grace'. Focus:     What was it like living on
         recount structure.            the ships? Focus: the
                                       stories of the people of
                                       the First Fleet.

3        Read 'A friend for Grace'     What was life like when
         Focus: identifying clauses    they arrived Australia?
                                       Focus: daily life for the
                                       convicts, first contact for
                                       the Indigenous population.

4        Read 'A friend for Grace'     What were some of the
         Focus: text connectives       problems faced and what
                                       were the solutions? Focus:
                                       changing experiences

5        Read 'Grace and Glory'
         Focus: paragraphs, sentence

6        Recount of the excursion      Visit to Caboolture
         from the historical           historical village
         village. Focus: sentence
         structure (writing): Simple
         and compound as well as
         complex) sentences, variety
         of openings, range of

7        Assessment: A literary
         recount set in the past
         from the perspective of a
         person present at that time
         and place. Focus: plan and

8        Assessment: A literary
         recount set in the past
         from the perspective of a
         person present at that time
         and place. Focus: writing

9        Looking at other Australian
         First Fleet books. Focus:
         nouns and noun groups,
         verbs and verb groups.

10       Watching our films and
         reviewing the unit.

Term 3   Media Arts

         In this unit
         students will use Green
         Screen Technology to tell
         the story of a First Fleet




4        Media lesson 1--media
         assessment explained,
         demonstration of green
         screen technology with the
         eLearning coach. Begin

5        Media lesson 2--continue
         storyboarding and
         researching clothing,
         props, backgrounds.

6        Media lesson 3--begin

7        Media lesson 4--filming and

8        Media lesson 5--filming and

9        Media lesson 6- finish

COPYRIGHT 2017 Australian Literacy Educators' Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Lane, Vicki; Spiker, Marsha
Publication:Practical Literacy
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 1, 2017
Previous Article:Ten reasons to create a classroom blog.
Next Article:Enhancing literacy skills and literature study with ipads and blue-bots.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters