Binumi gives you a chance to bring video creation into the classroom. You’ll probably have to pay to get the most out of it, but it provides a motivating, worthwhile experience.
Using Binumi might be a steep learning curve – creating video with it is sometimes not instinctive, and there were some minor glitches when I was testing it. You can use Binumi via its website or via an Apple or Android app. I found using the app versions on both phone and iPad the easiest, but for some features you will need to access it via the website. The apps are especially simple to use and allows you to quickly and easily take photos, and make video and audio recordings to include in your videos.
The best thing about Binumi, for me, is that it makes a huge number of stock videos, photos and audio tracks available on its site and app, for users to include in their videos. The range of content topics is amazing too, even including clips of natural wonders from around the world.
To get the best experience from Binumi, you would probably need to choose a paid version. There are different levels of licensing available for individuals, for ‘business and education’, at different costs. The first step is to just register (it’s simple) and see for yourself all the features.
Language level and skills.
Binumi is all about content creation and curation so there is no specific language link. In fact, you might be thinking ‘why bother making video in class?’. Organised properly, making video can be a fun and motivating way to build on a topic you’re covering, or can signal a move away from the syllabus for a bit of creativity. If working in pairs or groups, students will need to use language to manage its production and discuss the content, and possibly to record audio. So, there is plenty of speaking and listening practice.
Language learning content.
Another advantage of a video project for pairs or groups is that there’s a need for communicative use of functional language, e.g. ‘What do you think?’, ‘Do we need music here?’. This is something you could highlight and practise when using Binumi.
Another plus is that in making a video in English, learners can do multiple recordings until they get a version of video or audio they like. This should encourage them to think carefully about using the right language.
The free version of Binumi has limited storage for files, but you can create videos and share them on social media. With a licence, you could create a video version of a story, or a presentation ... anything really! You could ask learners to make a video about their daily routine or even part of it and then share their videos on social media or your learning management system (LMS).
It’s worth noting that learners can give feedback on their peers, which, if managed carefully by you as the teacher, can be a very rewarding experience for everyone.
Learning through language.
Developing skills beyond language is Binumi’s strength. Depending on the age of the learners, these could be simple motor skills or more advanced editing skills. Because video is everywhere now, it feels a very relevant medium to bring into the classroom, to challenge – or maybe replace – older and perhaps less relevant ones, such as writing letters or postcards.
With Binumi, learners can create a storyboard, choose content from the library – any mix of video, audio and image – and then add some of their own content. They can add text, effects and transitions, easily edit the content, create their finished video, and finally share it with others.
Supporting teaching and learning.
These days you can ask your learners to pick up their phone, point it at something and then just film: it seems simple, but it brings with it a number of classroom management issues. You really need to have clear guidance and rules before you begin, which can be difficult as you go through the different stages of video creation with a group of excited learners. Because Binumi provides ready-made content, it helps make the whole process easier.
There are storyboard templates to help users get started on projects and guide them through the whole video-making process. As a teacher, you can even set tasks for your classes which relate directly to UK and Australian curriculum topics, among others.
Technical: user safety and data security.
Binumi has safe and copyright-free content for you to use with your classes, and this is one of its strengths. Remember though that whenever there is the option of adding images, audio or videos recorded by a student you should have clear rules of what is and is not acceptable, especially as the final versions of the video can be shared.