Rethinking Video Announcements

touchcastscreenMany schools are producing a live video stream of their daily announcements. However, if you are comfortable pre-recording your announcements, this may be the solution for your school. It’s simple, easy to configure, and the results will captivate your audience.

TouchCast is a free iPad app, complete with a built-in teleprompter, green screen screen capabilities, and widget-like tools called vAPPS to further enhance your announcements. These tools function together to allow schools to pre-record announcements for later viewing, usually prior to the first recess or nutritional break.

Minimal setup and equipment are required: an iPad with the TouchCast app installed, a tripod with an iPad mount attached, a green tablecloth to act as a green screen, a small group of willing students (each granted parental permission to have their photo/video taken), and a microphone that plugs directly into the iPad. One end of the microphone cord attaches to the student announcer, and the other end plugs directly into the iPad. (More information about equipment provided below.)

Once your video announcement has been recorded, how do you get it to play in each classroom? First, save the video to the Camera Roll on the iPad. To do this, tap My TouchCasts, then ensure that Save to Camera Roll has been toggled on, finally tap on Save. (See diagram below) Then, when it’s time to get the video from the Camera Roll to the big screen in each classroom, share the file to a folder that each classroom teacher can access. 

When the video is finished, select My TouchCasts, ensure that Save to Camera Roll is toggled on, tap Save, and the video will be saved to the Camera Roll.

Equipment Information

  • iPad with free TouchCast app installed
  • Tripod – The Cameron T100BH is a good choice. It can be ordered through Henry’s.
  • iPad mount – The site has a variety of cases that will fit minis or full-sized iPads. Click on the Cases tab, then select an appropriate case for your iPad. The case will mount to your tripod.
  • A green tablecloth for a green screen
  • A microphone that can be attached to the student announcer and plugged directly into the iPad. Go to Amazon and search for the following: Rode Smartlav Lavalier Microphone – If more than 5 feet are required between the iPad and the student announcer, then search Amazon for the MUHSMF2M 2m 4 Position TRRS Headset Extension Cable. This adaptor will allow for an additional 6 feet.

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