Blog: Through Testimony

Three Tips to Get Started with the IWitness Video Challenge

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:00am -- deanna.pitre

Contributor: Deanna Hendrick

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:00am

Help your students find their voice as they explore testimony in IWitness and find inspiration to create positive change in their own community.

The IWitness Video Challenge, which will award $10,000 in prizes overall, invites students to positively contribute to their communities, and complete an IWitness activity that involves submitting a short video explaining how they were inspired through testimony to make a positive impact.  

As an educator you might be thinking how to get started with the IWitness Video Challenge. How do you encourage your students to make a difference? How do you incorporate video editing? 

Well, we have the answers to these questions from actual IWitness educators. During a recent Twitter chat, #IWitnessChat hosted by Discovery Education, teachers shared how they use the IWitness Video Challenge in their classroom and how to get their students inspired to make a difference. Explore their insights and tips to help you get started with the IWitness Video Challenge. 

1. Encourage students to create positive change in their community  

  • Students must feel that they have a voice and thus will be empowered to make a difference.
  • Bring in real-world, current events to show how connected the past and the present really are.
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses and survivors of genocide in IWitness helps show how small steps can have a big impact. 
  • Pose reflective questions that require active responses.
  • I focus on all the good they are already doing and show them opportunities to share more.

Tip: Download the “Getting Started” guide

2. Integrate video editing into your classroom

  • I teach ethical editing to help students realize the importance of retaining the truth and intent of the original testimony.
  • Our students didn’t receive any formal training other than what they teach their old teacher. Opportunity is presented and students naturally are pulled in.

Tip: Login/Register for IWitness and go to your dashboard to watch the Ethical Editing in the Connections Video tab. 

3. The positive impact of the IWitness Video Challenge:

  • In my students I saw an increase in teamwork and leadership potential and more commitment to exploring a life of activism.
  • The impact was school wide, the efforts to connect and make others feel welcome changed atmosphere for all. 
  • Students become more aware of their personal responsibilities to their local and global communities.

Tip: Watch the winning student videos from previous years.  

Now that you have heard from fellow educators explore the IWitness Video Challenge. Make sure to follow IWitness on Twitter and join us for #IWitnessChat every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. 

Posts are contributed by individual authors. The opinions are solely the authors’ and are not necessarily a reflection of the views of USC Shoah Foundation.

About Deanna Hendrick

Social Media Marketing Specialist Deanna Hendrick joined the communication team at  USC Shoah Foundation in July 2013.  Deanna graduated cum laude with a BA in Journalism and a Spanish minor from California State University, Long Beach. In 2017 she received a Masters in Communication Management at USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

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