Julia Breen, who won an Innovative Educator Award at the 2011 New Zealand Partners in Learning Forum, doesn’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to innovating in the classroom.

After being told her plans to bring television studio technology to the classroom were out of reach, the Physical Education teacher secured low-cost resources to meet her objectives. By using the free Microsoft Moviemaker software, the students own mobile devices and a green sheet with a spotlight, she created a technique called "green screening" to assess leadership skills.

Breen’s year-12 students recorded each other leading year-9 students in team-building exercises. They then recorded evaluations of each other, and using green screens, added the critique on top of the raw video. This helped students who were uncomfortable with giving and receiving criticism and taught collaboration and critical thinking.

The results speak for themselves, with “Excellence” grades increasing to 33% from 21% the previous year.

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