Lights, camera...learning!

Teachers get in front of the camera to share their expertise in Perkins eLearning’s short videos

Ira getting her makeup done in front of a green screen.

Perkins teacher Ira Padhye gets camera-ready before shooting a segment on tactile calendars for Perkins eLearning’s “Teachable Moments” video series. Photo Credit: Tory Germann.

It takes less than five minutes to watch one of Perkins eLearning’s “Teachable Moment” videos, which demonstrate a classroom activity for teachers of students who are blind or visually impaired.

Production is another matter.

A behind-the-scenes visit on a February afternoon reveals exactly how much time and work it takes to create that short video.

The filming takes place at Last Minute Productions in Needham, Massachusetts, where co-founder Jay Dobek is behind one of two cameras. He’s shooting a close-up of props that Ira Padhye, a teacher in Perkins’ Deafblind Program, will use in her segment on tactile calendars.

Dobek’s partner, Gary Gillis, talks Padhye through her script. A make-up artist hovers in the background. One of the studio’s five dogs, an aging Shepherd-mix named Remy, wanders in and out.

Once the shoot is underway, Educational Resources Manager Mary Zatta watches as Padhye describes a tactile calendar she uses to help students manage their daily schedules. Between takes, Zatta reminds Padhye to tell viewers how they can make their own calendar using a few simple materials.

“We know teachers are always looking for ideas of things to do in their classroom,” Zatta said. “These videos are kind of like a show-and-tell for them: ‘Here’s what I did and how I did it.’”

After 30 minutes of filming, Dobek is satisfied with the footage. Padhye steps away from the studio lights and takes off her microphone. “It’s just like they do in the movies,” she laughs.

Watch this and other Teachable Moment videos at www.Perkinselearning.org »