Today during a study hall, two students came to me to make a video about Georgia. I turned on the Mimeo, so one of them could draw on the board while the other talked through their text and typed when necessary. It’s a cute video, about two minutes long, and their third take was the one they went with. By that point, they’d figured out how to use the “undo” and “redo” commands to manage what the Mimeo did; Jing’s ability to record videos of what happened on the screen allowed them to make a quite respectable little video on the colonization of Georgia and the settlement of Savannah.
And then the legal ramifications sank in. I can’t post the video to YouTube without the permission of both their parents. They’re essentially child actors — doing voiceovers, obviously, and not shouting their identities or their addresses to the rooftops — but I don’t have the legal right to post their stuff.
Making videos opens up a whole series of cans of worms — a regular mess of copyright laws, protection-of-minors laws, etc. etc. — and I just caught myself in the middle of it.
But the truth is, every kid in my classes should learn to do this. They should learn how to do it with a basic model — a video on an American state, say — and learn to manipulate the Mimeo, and to work with Jing or with similar programs. And then, they will need to sit down with parents and teachers and admins at my school, and figure out if they can post them to YouTube or to other services, or keep them, or display them around school. It’s a crazy new world where two students can make a three-minute animated video on American history in fifteen minutes.