How a GoPro Got My Students Excited to Learn

One teacher recounts the transformation in learning, collaboration, and creativity he’s seen after adding a GoProgopro-racecar

Rewind to May 2007. . .

I had not planned to purchase a GoPro while out shopping. However, it was on sale, I had a coupon, two gift cards, and two weeks in the Florida Keys was just a moon phase away. Needless to say the summer spent fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking in the Keys yielded very few incredible pictures. I had purchased the Digital Hero 3, the first GoPro with sound. After that experience my GoPro stayed packed up with all my kayak gear and did not see the light of day too often.

Fast forward to August 2013 . . .    

It was the start of a new school year and I found myself teaching six classes of eighth grade technology and one class of TV Production. I was intimidated to be teaching TV Production and having to produce a daily news show for the school. I was not a stranger to project-based video projects, but a daily TV show was a different monster.

The first thing I did was dust off my old GoPro, purchase a remote control car, and a bag of adhesive mounts. The TV production students started using the remote control car and my old GoPro to drive around school and film different events. I am not sure what was more exciting for the students, to see themselves on the morning announcements or to have them jump in front of a remote control car running down the hallway during class change.

This setup worked for a while, but as with any type of older technology, there were limits. I had to find a way to get a new GoPro that had Wi-Fi capabilities, so the entire production would be simplified. Significant time was spent looking for ways to upgrade our equipment and I had my eyes set on a GoPro Hero 3 Black+ camera. After meeting a sales rep for GoPro at FETC 2014 and entering an education contest, I won a GoPro Hero 3 Black+ with accessories for my classroom. In a matter of days the GoPro started to reshape my technology classroom in many positive ways.

(Next page: Photo and video projects inspire students)

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