Privacy versus Publicity

One of the things I constantly struggle with as an administrator at a junior school is the issue of privacy in social media outlets. We want to promote our school via these social networks, but we also want to protect the privacy of our younger students.


For now, we have chosen to only publish student photos on our school website. Instead, we post images of teachers, alums, school buildings, field trip sites and student work on our social media sites.


But, photos of student work and buildings get old, and we want to keep things interesting. Knowing the hierarchy of weight when it comes to video versus photo versus link versus plain text, we also want to share more video. So how can we create photos and videos that show our school and what we do in a creative, stylized manner, while also being effective and informative in our message?


I’m always asking my teachers to share student work and recently, one of the math teachers came to me with an idea. He wanted to make a video showing off some work that his fifth grade students did using graphs and compasses to create flower-like images. When we put these images into a video format, transitioning from image to image, we discovered that some spinning action appeared (sometimes) as one image morphed into the other.

Acknowledging that our first attempt is rather rough around the edges and needs some finessing, we were nonetheless excited about the possibilities for expanding the project. We want to take the initial video further and create an animated flower that grows, blooms and spins/morphs into the other flower images.


Using my Bamboo Stylus, I can easily draw the stem and petals, but I have yet to find a quality program (that doesn’t cost the same as tuition) to capture the action real-time and allow me to place the flower files (which I plan to turn into .GIF or .PNG files with transparent backgrounds) on top of the stem and petals. We’ve toyed with ideas of making PowerPoint or Keynote presentations that utilize transitions and finding screen capture programs or using old-fashioned stop animation or even drawing apps, but none seem to be exactly what we are looking for, particularly if we want the students involved in generating these animated creations.


So, here’s my question — how do I make these ideas a reality? Does anyone know of programs or even iPad apps that will allow us to easily combine images and real-time drawing/animation into one video? Apps or programs that are suitable for middle school students to create these types of videos themselves? I’m on the hunt for creative, simple, innovative and student-friendly applications – share your thoughts and ideas, and I’ll share our end results!

Stacy Jagodowski

Stacy Jagodowski

Director of Communications at Cheshire Academy

Stacy has worked in education for more than 10 years, including positions in communications and admission at both boarding and day schools in New England, Virginia and California. She currently serves as Director of Communications at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Outside of work, she is an aspiring photographer.