Those Goofy #DENnyAwards Videos

IgniteISTE.001I’ve been a longtime fan of this quote. It’s this premise that gives me permission to try new things. It’s with this quote that I took on the task of promoted the DENny Awards. The DENnys are Discovery Education’s way of recognizing and acknowledge a variety of community members and the great work they’re doing. It’s not an official award so and there’s no voting or lobbying for winners but just a fun way for our team to say thank you to great teachers and leaders in education.

My teammates asked if I could make some videos to get folks attention about the event. Earlier last year I found several apps that allowed you to clone yourself in a photo. I wondered if something like that existed for video. I found Split Lens Pro 2. With it you could place your iPhone or iPad in a stationary position, set the timer and record yourself up to 4 times using a variety of framing options.

It took me a few tries to get all the settings right since I wanted to put them on instagram which meant keeping the videos to under 15 seconds. I recorded the clone part, reversed it in an app called Rotate and Flip. Normally this wouldn’t matter but many times there was text involved. I also created an bumper video for the ending using Keynote. Keynote allows exporting to video which I often take advantage of. I bring both these videos into iMovie on my phone and simply stitch them together and trim them to 15 seconds.

You can view all 13 videos on flickr.

While I fully acknowledge the silliness and goofiness of the videos, they do challenge and force me to be creative. The ability to create rather quickly in this short format means failure is cheap and fast. I failed lots. John Spencer often talks about the constraints that lead to increased creativity. With all the great choices and options of tools, constraints become important in order to focus and actually get stuff done.

Adding split lens to you and your students toolkit is yet another way to pursue creativity and storytelling. I’m sure you and your students can find ways to make more fascinating and interesting than I’ve done with the DENny Award videos. I’m no longer surprised when “stupid” fuels my creative juices. I’m not sure that we always appreciate or understand that.



  1. Lindsay Foster said:

    I cannot wait to try this app out with my students. The classroom applications are countless but I am thinking of some of the following:
    – Have a debate about a topic with yourself
    – Use persuasive argument (think devil vs angel on your shoulder)
    – Point of view of various characters in a book or text
    For special needs students who have difficulty with reading specific body language or facial expressions, I think I will just use the DENny promo videos and have them identify the emotions (irritation, frustration, exasperation, joy, boredom, disinterest, etc.) that are showed on the SAME face! I can’t WAIT to put this into use… and I see an SOS strategy tied in with this!

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