Changing the Perception of Young People using Green Screen Technology In Education
Most people associate Green Screen with TV weather reports or big hollywood block busters set in outer space, but the idea of using of Green Screen technology in education is actually much more accessible than you might think. Because it’s nature is so versatile, the application of Green Screen technology within education makes for some of our most fun and engaging projects. Recently we worked in conjunction with one of Cheshire’s ‘safer schools’ police officers – PC Jane Tetlow and several teachers from Wade Deacon High School, to help deliver an assembly session that challenged the perception of young people, by asking the students to think twice about how they could appear to others, depending on their actions and the situations they choose to put themselves in. Read on to find out how the use of Green Screen technology in education helped to raise engagement levels by turning a normal assembly into an interactive activity.
What is Green Screen Technology?
Basically, Green Screen Technology provides the tools required to replace the background of a scene (in both still images or video) with a different image – removing the colour green and replacing it with any still or moving image that you see fit. How does Green Screen Technology work? Well the technical term for what happens is called keying or chromakeying. Keying is the process of isolating a single colour of an electronic image (in this case bright green) and then using special software to make that colour value transparent. This then allows us to digitally place another image or video behind the subject to replace the affected keyed areas.
Why Use Green Screen Technology in Education?
The use of Green Screen Technology in education environment goes far beyond the realms of the media studies department. With tools and tech that are accessible and easy to understand, the learning goes beyond understanding how the chromakeying process works and focuses more on what can be achieved by using it. Levels of engagement that are unparalleled in most other circumstances, as well as producing assessable, fun and sharable media output upon completion, green screen tech really is a fantastic tool to have in any teachers toolbox.
After a few ice breaking rounds of “The Name Game” using our Green Screen (we place a character behind our volunteer and they have to guess who’s behind them by asking yes or no questions – great fun!) the students were relaxed and ready to start.
Using Green Screen Technology to Challenge Perceptions
By working in conjunction with Cheshire Police Officers and Teachers from Wade Deacon High School, we devised a scenario based workshop that was to be delivered during a school assembly that called upon members of the audience to be placed in various scenes, scenarios and places while they went about their everyday business as a normal student. By changing the backgrounds it gave the audience a chance to see how they might appear to others students, teachers and members of the public. We asked the audience to think about what other people might think if they witnessed the varying scenarios across a multitude of locations and the results where quite profound – for example; a small group of students sharing sweets in a park in broad daylight looks fairly innocent, but by simply changing the background to a darkened side street put a completely different spin on an otherwise innocent exchange. Despite the students protesting that no foul play was taking place, they began to see how in certain circumstances, even innocent acts could lead to unwanted consequences.
Ultimately, we staged a scenario where an unsuspecting student was caught in a situation that led him to be questioned by the police. Using the green screen we were able to take him through the varying stages of police processing based on the decisions and reactions that he chose to take. At each stage we prompted the audience for their thoughts and suggetsions on what they would be feeling and how they might react. The results were extremely powerful as the live process combined with the green screen images made it a much more active demonstration for everyone involved.
Other Practices of Green Screen Technology in Education
At Mako, we like to think that Green Screen technology can be used throughout the curriculum. In the past we’ve used it in creative writing lessons where pupils read out their letters home during World War I, whilst stood in a trench during the battle of the Somme. We’ve had Geography students report live from the scene of a Tsunami and History students re-enacting a live slavery auction. We’ve also used Green Screen Technology as an assessment tool, where art students have peer assessed their classmates work in front of the finished pieces and we’ve had Science students explaining their processes and findings in front of video footage of their experiments.
For more information on how MakoEducation can help you utilise Green Screen Technology in your school or organisation please click here, alternatively please feel free to contact us here.
If you would like more information on the Cheshire Police Safer Schools and Young Persons Partnership please click here.