Self-Care in the Digital Age

We are surrounded, and drowning, under a sea of devices to make our lives more efficient.

But, what people do not talk about is the lasting effects that excessive usage of technology can have on a person without proactive and swift decisions to have a healthy mind and body, from the inside-out. ISTE’s standards also recognize the how overuse of tech can impact one’s mental, physical, and emotional health and one’s digital identity.

Recently, I have been reading “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson, and it is a game-changer. Great sleep is more than just aiming for 8 hours; What you do during the day will directly impact your sleep or lack thereof.

In the digital world that we live in, we must actively be leading kids and ourselves to practice self-care.

I have been doing research on how extensive use of digital screens causes eye fatigue and strain while interfering with your sleep and circadian rhythms. Only decreasing the brightness of your screen will not solve the problem. Blue and white light work together to cause interferences with your brain that can directly affect your well-being during the day, and your sleep at night.

Here are some tips to live by:

Blue Light

Download a “Blue Light” app or extension on your phone, computer, and tablet to reduce eye fatigue and strain; Search “blue light” in either your Google Play or Apple store to find results. But not all apps are equal- try them out and see what gives you the most positive results. I love “BlueLight Filter” from Android and “Screen Shader” for your Chromebook or computer.

After downloading, you can click the icon on your toolbar and either mask a day or nightshade depending on the time of day. The screen will turn a different color with a mask of pink/salmon (or other colors of your choice). If you take a screenshot, your screenshot will also have the colored mask for some apps. You can also temporarily turn off the shade function for zero interference- I do this easily on “Screen Shader” with just one click.

Body Mechanics

  • Position keyboard directly in front of your body.
  • Adjust keyboard and height, so shoulders are relaxed, and elbows are slightly open.
  • Keep neck and jaw in a neutral and relaxed position.
  • Adjust the screen rather than adjusting your neck as you work.
  • Look away from your screen periodically and get up and move!
  • Push your body to the back part of your chair and adjust the height of the chair (if applicable).
  • Aim to be one arm’s length away from your screen.
  • Stretch and flex hands, fingers, and wrists throughout the day.

Go Outside

Take a walk and spend more time outside. A quick 15-minute walk can do wonders for your health paired with the joy that sunlight can bring to your brain. Getting proper daylight during the day also helps you sleep better at night. If the weather hinders you from being outside, keep the blinds open if you have windows.

Sleep

We continue to work harder and sleep less, which equates to feeling run down and making more mistakes throughout the work and school day. Do your best to put devices away 90 minutes before bed time. If you cannot do this, use one of the “Blue Light” extensions during your time on the device to limit interference with circadian sleep rhythms.

 

During the past few weeks of staying true to these tips, I have noticed gains in my posture, sleep patterns, and overall well-being during the day. I encourage you to practice self-care and to give a few of these tips a try as well. Once you try it and see results- teach your students, colleagues, and beyond! Although we love technology, we have to train ourselves to love our bodies and health even more!

Build a Collaborative Culture by Asking for Help

The title of this post is incredibly misleading; There is much more that goes into building a collaborative culture than simply asking for help. But, I must admit that asking for help is a meaningful start. Although I strive to serve others in all I do, I also have come to understand that we must be willing to ask for help first before others feel comfortable reaching out to us.

Many of us hear metaphors that include:

– Life is a “give and take.”
– “You give before you get.”
– “You must sow the seed before you reap the harvest.”

Although these sayings have meaningful intentions, after years of hearing “always give first,” you begin to feel guilty when asking for even the tiniest assistance. Furthermore, sometimes we even feel weak or inferior if we ask for help; As if one person can somehow know all of the answers to life. We cannot do it alone; We need each other.

I have found that by asking others for genuine guidance, you start to heighten the comfort level between you and your peers. Giving to others can include providing others with resources, suggestions, time, effort, and your heart. It can even be established by asking a question to gather feedback, like, “What would you do in this circumstance?” or “I see that you are really successful with _________, do you have any tips that you could share?”

By asking for help, you can also show interest in another person. In addition, you can build a culture where people conclude that “If he/she feels comfortable asking for help, I am going to feel at ease asking him/her for help next time.”

Everyone deserves to feel heard and it all begins with us.

It may sound over-sentimental, but try asking a colleague a question that you may not usually talk to, or pick their brain for essential insight that could improve your teaching practice. You will be astonished to see how new friendships can build and how your school culture may launch to the next level with the beginnings of one small act.

What Really Matters


This post will be a bit different than others I have posted in the past. I hope by unveiling more levels of who I am and how my thought processes evolve over time, I can connect with you, my friends and readers, even further. 


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Image Credit: Kara Welty

Today, I went to church for the first time in several months. Living in a new city has tested my courage. Truth be told, I have been eager, yet exceptionally nervous to find a new church community that I will belong in.

It can be nerve-wracking to display your heart to a group of individuals who you do not know, in particular on a personal level. But, through these moments, I need to remind myself that you see your strength and the strength of others in these moments of vulnerability.

Ironically enough, the message at church today ended up solidifying my feelings of vulnerability and reminded me about what REALLY matters. Below are themes from today’s mass that can apply to many facets of life. I hope this enlightens you, as it did for me:

Grit, tenacity, and hard work are valuable, but they are not everything.

We are trained to work hard and to pave the life we want to live. But, somehow we omit to take the pressure off ourselves to know all of life’s solutions. Furthermore, we get too accustomed in being in the driver’s seat. Sometimes, by “being in control” we can unintentionally push ourselves to levels of exhaustion. When we do this, we may be missing the point of what our journeys are all about.

Have faith in your life’s path and trust that opportunities will present themselves to you when you are ready; Letting go of that steering wheel can be a cathartic process.

Gladness is the opposite of loneliness.

Happiness can be temporary and fleeting. We often jump to the next thing or event that can bring us joy, but then once that anticipated moment comes, we feel empty again; It is a continuous cycle unless we break it. Seeking to be content is harder than it seems when life rises and falls in unexpected directions. But, what if we found gladness in the right, rather than the wrong ways? What if we praised moments where we were tested and tried? What if we sought gladness when we needed God as our refuge?

Do not get transfixed in the journeys of others.

We are all humans doing the best we can. We often see others who we think “have it all” and view them as superhuman. Admiring the traits of others is a beautiful thing; But, we cannot forget that those individuals are human, too. Everyone has a journey, and ALL routes include stumbles and falls, whether we see those pitfalls or not. Do everything you can to refrain from idolizing others.  Be grateful for the journey God gave you. Take solace in what you bring to the table to serve the world.

 

Live life with purpose; Be who you were called to be.

Happy Sunday,

Kara Welty

My Weekly “Resume of Failures”

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Image Credit- lifehack.org


This weekend I attended the GAFE Summit in Kansas City. I was fortunate enough to hear James Sanders, co-founder of Breakout EDU, speak during the keynote. During his talk, he mentioned his personal “Resume of Failures.” Although most of us have seen the article referring to the Princeton professor publishing his career lows, I was even more moved to see an educator I admire display bravery and vulnerability in such a public setting. Therefore, thank you, James, for inadvertently inspiring me to publish this post:

To begin with, the word “failure” has always been an idea that stirs me to my core.

Here are some questions I often ponder: We fail every single day, so why is it unusual if someone publicly admits their failures? Does admitting that we are not perfect make us “less than” someone who we believe is doing everything right?

No one is perfect and we know this. But, I often believe that our personal perceptions can be our worst enemies. Sometimes failure does not push us down, while other times it can. It is often difficult to admit to ourselves the dark places of our failures. I find this to be especially true when we are tenacious to a fault. We can try to train our brain all day long to think we love failing, but if we are actually struggling sometimes during the process, are we doing an injustice to our learning journey if we cannot be genuine, open, and honest?

Even though I fail every single day (or several times a day, if I want to be REALLY honest), I am going to start giving myself the grace to feel uncomfortable when I do not live up to my perfectionist standards.

I know I will grow during the journey, stay positive, push through, and become better as a result, but in the moment, it is okay if failing does not feel great. What I am finding out, is that what matters is my patience through it all.

So, on that note, let us start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Therefore, to end this post, I am going to leave you with a list of ways I have failed this week:

My Weekly “Resume of Failures”:

  • I did not charge my presentation pointer and clicker, so during my presentation today, I had to click the trackpad the old-fashioned way to get to the next slides (There is a first time for everything!).
  • I ate a ridiculous amount of BBQ over the weekend and blamed it on the fact that I am in Kansas City, even though I live here now.
  • I did not do any laundry over the weekend and am now staring at a huge pile of clothes.
  • I did not work-out this week, not even once.
  • I have had an unusual creative block on an upcoming presentation I will be leading.
  • I skipped my dental exam because I was too focused on work (Don’t worry, I eventually rescheduled it!).
  • I tried an activity with students that I thought would be a blast, did it ended up not living up to my imagined standards.
  • I spent too much time beating myself over the mistakes I made above (and most certainly more that I forgot about) instead of just being me.

Although I tend to think about my mistakes at unhealthy levels, I know that by writing this I can help someone else who feels the same way. I hope that through my openness and discomfort with this, that I can encourage you to own the uncomfortable journey that comes along with failing as well. Let’s start giving ourselves the unwavering love that we give our students- We deserve that grace, too.


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How Do You Define Leadership?

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If you take a step back within the walls of your school, who is making the majority of the decisions?

Through connecting with other educators around the world, I often hear the stories of others in the world of leadership. When many answer the question above, the first answer I hear is usually “administrators and superintendents.” Others sometimes say “teacher leaders.” I rarely hear this response: “students.”

There are many schools around the globe that who are guiding authentic student voice for the decisions they make. But beyond this, I do believe that we have an underlying issue with how we define leadership.

Leadership is NOT:

-The role you have

-An age

-The years of experience you have in your position

-How many people are “below you” in your position

-A fancy name plate

If we look into how our schools are often run, we still have this traditional definition of what leadership is, and it defines everything we do.

In many cases, to become a school leader you need to meet a prerequisite of years even to be considered for a school administration experience. Although experience is important, why don’t we look at people for who they as individuals and what they bring to the table rather than following a set of parameters established before them?

When guidelines set everything we follow, it makes sense why teachers who speak to me from around the nation feel that they need to earn their leadership, even as a teacher.

If we have this mentality for our adults, chances are this can also be reflected in the way we treat students.

Do students walk into your school as leaders, or do they have to earn it? Leadership should not be viewed as a privilege for the few; it should be a right for us all.

As Todd Whitaker says, “The school should be changing more to fit the new teacher, not the other way around.”

We often expect kids, young teachers, and parents to adapt to us, rather than us learning from THEM.

Ralph Nader says, “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” I would like to challenge this; I believe that everyone is a leader, it is not something that we “produce.” If we do not see our own people as leaders, chances are we do not know their strengths. But, we can change this to create environments that help kids and teachers believe they matter.

How we define leadership is crucial. What does leadership mean to you and your kids?

Kara Welty

Are We Spoon Feeding or Empowering?

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As educators, we all start our journey because we love kids and want to help them.

What is interesting, though, is that over time, we learn strategies and develop unconscious habits to “help” students, when in reality we are unconsciously enabling students rather than empowering. Sometimes over helping even becomes instinctual. But even with the best intentions, our over “help” can often resemble spoon feeding.

Empowering students has always been a passion of mine. I am always engrossed in finding ways to stretch brains and mindsets, including my own, in new and different directions. This past week, the phenomenal 4th-grade teachers at my school, @clarkesclass @teammontgomery @msrittsclass, and I have been working on approaches to help students in this area and we have been brainstorming ideas to challenge thinking.

Therefore, this week I worked with 4th graders on a Digital Scavenger Hunt I created that closely resembles a Digital Breakout Edu format. Yet in my scavenger hunt; students had to think critically to think outside of the box, troubleshoot, and to create and solve technical problems they have never encountered before. Each step built on the action before it, and it required deep thinking and trial-and-error to reach the destination. Just like many Breakout Boxes do, I gave each student the ability to use two tips to ask for help along the way.

During this Digital Scavenger Hunts with the classes, numerous students were astonishingly focused on the tasks and determined to reach the destination at all costs! But, there were also many who looked at step 1 and immediately said: “This is too hard, I give up,” or “I quit.” This also occurred once students ran out of tips. Even though it was hard for us to not over help at times; When these moments occurred, it was the perfect opportunities to discuss with students the idea of “YET” and growth mindset. In other words, it is okay to be honest about frustrations when challenges arise, but we have to work hard to train our brains to think: “I may not get it YET, but I will if I keep trying and am patient.” We also discussed the idea of progress; We may not reach our desired destination now, but if we make growth, we should be proud of each stride we made.

Although discussing growth mindset and learning how our brains work helps jump start crucial conversations, what we often miss is to truly challenge students and to help them apply what they learned about growth mindset in real-life scenarios.

Some students revealed to us after the Digital Scavenger Hunt that they wanted to give up many times during this challenge because it was too hard, but they started thinking positive and then realized “Hey, I can do this!” When you empower students to lead with a growth mindset, once they do overcome challenges, their reactions are priceless. There is nothing that can replace a student proud of his or her accomplishments from exerting true grit.

The 4th-grade teachers and I are currently planning mini-challenges that we will embed throughout the school year called Mindset ManiaThank you, @clarkesclass for the clever wording! These challenges will include anything from STEM to collaborative projects and they are designed to positively develop growth and innovators mindsets. I am looking forward to watching students grow as we embed thought processes like this into everything we do.

After all, nothing is sweeter than seeing a student proud of his or her accomplishments while endlessly persevering and learning new ideas along the way. If we aim to empower students today, the impact will last a lifetime.

Growth Mindset
This picture from today displays the joy that occurs when students reach their goals and realize “I CAN do this!”

Success is Resourcefulness Over Resources

 

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Image Credit- notsalmon.com

You may remember Xanga as the blogging service that used to rule the world. I remember Xanga as a website that empowered me as a child. Ever since the days of Xanga, I have been engrossed with learning “how” technology works. To set the scene, during this period I was in 5th grade and my family just received our very first computer. At this point, I only knew how to do two things with a computer:

1. How to use Microsoft Word
2. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) like a pro

Game Changer

Once my parents purchased dial-up internet, I stumbled across Xanga. Xanga was nothing short of a game-changer for how I saw the world. Before this moment, I never saw a website where kids, and people of many ages, posted their thoughts, pictures, and musical playlists.

My mind raced with endless questions; I immediately wanted to post my views, while reading the ideas of others. I also desired to learn how to change a site’s layout, script, font, color, and more. But, even with the internet, I did not know how to figure this out. Therefore, I determined that if I was going to find the answers my questions, I needed to play around with the website so I could learn myself. Through this determination, I taught myself HTML.

When I was in school, these tech skills were not valuable in the classroom, and I spent much of my alone time at home diving into this. I would have loved to be a kid today where coding, STEAM, and Makerspaces flourish in many schools.

What Will Prevail?

With all of this said, even though the tools are exciting, we cannot lose sight that the people should always take precedence over the “things.”

In some schools, even with the greatest tools, teachers wait to learn these technologies until someone shows them how to use it seamlessly. Then, students are often trained to remain at a standstill before trying a new tool, app, or game until a teacher shows them the way.

But, here is the issue- when we continually lead with this ideology, we are inadvertently teaching that the tool is more important than who we are. Also, without directly saying it, we are communicating learned helplessness when it is time to learn a new tool.

We need to shift our thinking to resourcefulness OVER resources. I love learning and teaching new tools when there is meaning behind it, but the tools will never solely propel us to our goals. What will prevail is the tenacity of the team and the students; Tenacity will always prevail over any opposing force. We cannot forget that technology is an essential asset, but it is not the end-all-be-all.

Lasting Thoughts

We can surround ourselves with:

-The most brilliant network
-The newest and brightest technology
-The highest quality of resources
-The largest sum of money

But, all of these incredible assets will not be as valuable unless we are equipped with the resourcefulness, determination, and self-reliance to navigate these assets. Technology is powerful, but WE are even more important; Let us become our best resource.

Kara Welty

A Collection of Digital Citizenship Resources

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In today’s world, it is crucial that we set our students up for success not only in the world around us but in the digital world as well.

Kids and adults in present time have to think much more purposefully about digital footprints than we ever had to in the past. As I tell students, this is not something to be scared of. Instead, we can think of it as an important responsibility and a big choice we have each day. We are in control; We can choose to leave a positive, negative, or neutral digital footprint each time we are online, so let us choose positivity!

With that said, here is a culmination of websites that contain resources, videos, and lesson plans that I have found useful. Since digital citizenship contains a large variety of subjects (For example: Digital identity, digital safety, digital communication, etc.), be sure to be knowledgeable in these areas, while determining the appropriate times to discuss and integrate these topics within your curriculum and school day.

A few of these sites differentiate items into leveled bands that they deem to be “grade-level appropriate.” As we always do, ensure to read through items, websites, and videos listed below before teaching to confirm they are indeed grade-level appropriate while differentiating as needed.

1.ISTE Standards for Students (2016)

The new and updated standards are clear, in depth, and just what a school needs to help develop age-appropriate tech skills for a variety of grade levels. On the above link, there is a place to purchase the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students ebook as well.

2. Common Sense Media

A scope and sequence for K-12 Digital Curriculum with lessons to use in your class.  The grade level bands are divided between K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Therefore, I have used some of the lessons as a resource, but not a linear guide to follow step-by-step, since many supplemental skills will need to be added, based on what your kids need.

3. KidsSmart

A kids-based website divided into digital topics that are filled with conversational starters and videos to preview and use. Check-it-out!

4. Digital Citizenship Program – The Lester B Pearson School Board

My dear friend, @danaariss shared this Canadian based site with me. Thank you, Dana! Once you click the link, scroll down the site to see a multitude lessons and curriculum resources.

5. Media Smarts – Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Dana also recommended this marvelous link. Tip: This is a site you will want to spend time navigating through. I am especially a fan of the relevant parent resources with topics that are trending today.

6. Digital Citizenship Survival Kit via @mrbadura

This idea from Craig was brilliant, I just taught a digital citizenship lesson today and embedded this idea within it and called mine the “Digital Toolkit.” I also added in a highlighter for future references to remind students to highlight the positive that they see others, and themselves do online. Thank you, Craig for this superb concept.

7. Digital Footprint – 5 Things

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Although we need to help prepare students for potential dangers online, it is also crucial that we broadcast how positive digital footprints can change the world for the better, and it all starts with us. I ask students to think to themselves, “Does what I do online represent who I really am and who I want to be?” Remind them that today is a chance to start fresh.

Ask students to write and illustrate their footprint template with five positive words that they want others to think and feel when people see them online today and in the future. After completing, we began a “museum walk” to view the finished results around the room. I loved viewing words that students wrote like “positive, adventurous, kind, compassionate, smart, helpful, good friend, etc.” Reading these thoughts confirmed my belief that students want to be empowered to make a meaningful impact. Let us help them realize that they are not just digital leaders tomorrow- They are digital leaders TODAY!
Do you have any resources, links, videos, or lessons that you use to teach digital citizenship? If so, please share below!

Kara Welty

Flexible Seating at Our Model School- Featuring Five Colleagues

Over the summer, our school transformed in many ways to be even more excellent for students. We have had countless meaningful conversations on how to make our environments best suited for students and I am so proud that in our K-5 model school, we implementing school-wide flexible seating!

Our district was beyond generous with supporting innovative desk options and hokki stools/chairs to all of our classrooms in the building. Teachers have also brought in many of their materials, seating arrangements, and decorations.

In the past, I have played around with flexible seating as an educator and have been astonished by the results. This year, as a Mentor Teacher and Technology Integrationist, I am a support system to my colleagues and students. Therefore, It has been an extraordinary experience to work with many teachers as they set-up their classrooms to find out what works for their kiddos, while seeing how that differs from class to class based on the ages and learners.

This post will feature five incredible colleagues that I am fortunate enough to work beside: Angie Clarke (4th grade), Cara Cahill (3rd grade), Jordan Shawhan (2nd grade), Lauren Montgomery (4th grade), and Molly Rittenhouse (4th grade). They have done an spectacular job designing their spaces while adding their personal flair!

But, before I show you the grand tour of their spaces, I asked the ladies some questions to see their thoughts (almost a month into school) to see how the flexible seating is going thus far. I culminated their ideas in this chart below:

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Each teacher was asked the questions individually. Even so, every teacher above said “student choice” was their favorite part of flexible seating; Teachers also stated that “choice” was the feature of flexible seating that their students adored the most. How neat is that?

You are probably also wanting to know more about what students think of their spaces!

All of the teachers are raving about inclined student interest, and I can second that from being in the classrooms myself and from experiencing flexible seating with my former students as well. As far as the “most favorite” or “least preferred” seating arrangements goes, it depends on the individual learner. The only commonalities between grade levels thus far are overall the hokki stool is a favorite while sitting at the desk in a regular chair is the least favorite. But, there are always exceptions to the general rule. There are a few students who do prefer sitting at the desk above all of the other seating options. Even so, additional student favorites are the bungee chair and standing table.

Are you ready now? Here is a sneak peak into their warm and inviting classrooms- Take a look:

 

Ms. Angie Clarke’s 4th Grade Class@ClarkesClass

Check-out her beginning of the year tour of her designed class here!

I love the energy of Angie’s class! One of my favorite spaces in her room is the reading area that you see below; It feels like a living room that you want to lounge in for a lifetime. There are plenty of comfortable chair options, background drapes, dim lighting, and faint classical music playing in the background!

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Mrs. Cara Cahill’s 3rd Grade Class@CahillCara

Cara has an enormous variety of seating options in her classroom that students love (and I do, too!). Cara’s students are having a blast with the bungee chairs that Cara purchased for her kiddos. The lap desks in her classroom are also a fantastic alternative to clipboards. I also love the bright colors that Cara chose for her classroom; It gives the space such a lively feeling!

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Ms. Lauren Montgomery’s 4th Grade Class@TeamMontgomery4

Lauren is only a second-year teacher, but she already is becoming a pro with flexible seating. I am so impressed with her willingness to try new things! Lauren’s area is very organized, with many caddies to place learning tools. Many of these caddies can be purchased at the dollar store! Lauren is excited to continue experimenting with flexible seating as the year goes on.

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Ms. Molly Ritts 4th Grade Class@MsRittsClass

Molly has been doing marvelous things with flexible seating! I love her collaborative arrangements with the student tables. Molly also has pillows with removable sleeves/covers that the students often use for workspaces; The removability of these pillow cases makes it easy for Molly to toss them into the wash for regular cleaning. Students always look so comfortable in this space and they enjoy having choices in their learning.

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Ms. Jordan Shawhan’s 2nd Grade Class@MsShawhan3TE
Although Jordan’s classroom is smaller in size, she has done a marvelous job of giving her environment such a personalized touch; It is very impressive to see what she has done! Jordan has organizational caddies (as you see below) that are fantastic resources! I love the caddy organization with handles for easy mobility of supplies.

Ms. Shawhan's Class

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Flexible seating is not just about chair accommodations. The overall environment, lighting, temperature, and other factors contribute greatly as well.  Moreover, it is really about empowering students to make choices in their learning journey. When students are encouraged to make meaningful choices to impact their learning, it can build into change that will transcend beyond the classroom.

Another huge BRAVO to the daring ladies featured in this post! Join them on their continued learning journey this year by following them on Twitter. At the end of the school year, I will write a follow-up post so you can view their reflections on flexible seating. Stay tuned!

Until then- Best of luck in your flexible seating journey,

Kara Welty

Build a Mobile Green Screen for $10

Do you want to build a green screen for next to nothing in cost? I hope I can shed light on a few ideas to make your wish a reality.

The process of making a green screen seems overwhelming at first, but the creation can be as simplistic or elaborate as you want. Likewise, you can pick your price on a green screen. For example, if you only want to spend ten dollars and make your own, you can do that. There are also a variety of other cheap remedies, like constructing a green screen with pipe cleaners. While on the other hand, you can spend $100+ and buy a ready-made kit for you on a website like Amazon.

At my school, we are in the search for the perfect spot for our Makerspace. So in the meantime; I wanted to create a “mobile” green screen that I could easily take with me from class-to-class since I am regularly collaborating with our K-5 teachers. Another important piece was that I wanted this green screen to be low-cost. Since we plan on building a fabric green screen in our future Makerspace room, I wanted to create something that would fit the bill of a mobile and easy-to-use unit that would be accessible to teachers and myself in the present day.

Therefore, this green screen was born.

But, before we get started, many people ask me “why” we use the color green in video making. To answer this, the green screen, and blue screens are often go-to colors because they are the hues that differ the most from the majority of human skin tones. Other uniformed colors can also be used, but green and blue are preferred.

In my opinion, neon/lime green is the optimal choice because it is unique and will contrast most clothing as well. Since blue is more likely to be worn, that particular combination not ideal. To paint the picture, if a student is wearing a blue shirt with a blue screen; Their upper torso will disappear.

Now, here is picture overview on how I built my easy green screen:

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Green Screen Blog Post

To give a little background, our 3rd-grade teachers are in the initial stages of a climate and weather unit. I thought this green screen would be perfect for “Kid Meteorologists.” Today, I taught several students in 3rd-grade classes how to create green screen videos. In the very near future, they will venture out to teach their students and teachers, too.

Here is one of the awesome videos we put together; We had the best time creating!

“Kid Meteorologist”- Weather of the Day
Other thoughts to point out:

  • To be honest, it does not matter what side you add the tape to when you are taping the posters together; When you create the video on the app, the green tape will disappear, just like the poster. But, I decided to add the green tape to the sticker side of the poster (for aesthetic reasons), while making the opposing side tape and label free.
  • Since I work with K-5 kiddos, I chose four pieces of poster board. But, I did buy 10, just in case I decided to add more to my base. Feel free to do what sounds best to you and your students.
  • I have been using a few pieces of the green duck tape to attach the green screen to the wall. I roll the pieces and put it behind the green screen. I have liked this idea since I want to be able to make any wall into a green screen at the drop of a hat.
  • I must say that my favorite green screen app is “Do Ink.”
  • I love using iPads for green screen video creation, so that is the device we used for this particular activity.

As I mentioned above, we will be building another green screen in the future for our Makerspace Studio. We are considering other ideas for green screens in the classrooms as well. Stay tuned!

Kara Welty