Wrapping Up Your School Year, Virtually!

By Daman Arora | April 22, 2020

As we near the end of April, everyone is getting ready to wrap up the 2019/2020 school year. Unfortunately, this year will be different than any other for almost every school worldwide! The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted everything online, regardless of how prepared we may or may not have been. From year-end celebrations to graduation, schools are doing all that they can to continue offering students and families with the experiences they have planned, but now it just has to be virtual.  Here are a few ideas to engage your community in Vidigami. Now more than ever, students and families would love to see photos and videos celebrating their experiences from the school year! 

Annual Photo Drive: Your Year. Your Photos. Our Memories. 

Let’s recap this school year visually.  Every student, parent, or staff member likely has photos they just haven’t had a chance to share yet sitting on their phone.  The yearbook team likely has thousands of photos to share now that yearbook production is complete.  
Take this opportunity to remind your community that their photos are important in helping capture all the great experiences they’ve had this year and encourage them to share.  For example, last year we collected 10,000  photos to visually document our 2018-2019 year.  Let’s see how many we can collect this year! 
Promote and reinforce this message via all your communication channels.  Feature the “most liked” photos in your year-end newsletter, magazine, school website, and social media.

Counting Down 2019-2020: How do we want to remember this school year? 

The last weeks of schools are full of fun moments where memories are made and recognition is awarded. While it is difficult to replace the in-person school experience, engaging students in creative digital experiences and showcasing them online can help boost students, staff, and parent morale. 
To get started, create a new group in your school Vidigami account called “Our Year-End Celebration”. Here are some fun weekly events you can kick-off.  Then invite your participants to share photos and videos of these events.

  • Virtual Dance Party – Have teachers host virtual dance parties through their online teaching tools and record the session. Then they can upload the videos to Vidigami.
  • Our Pets – Have students and teachers upload photos of their pets at home.
  • Baking Challenge – Get your students to work with parents (optional) to bake something fun and have them share the photos of the finished project.
  • Talent Show – Get your students to take short video recordings of them performing their talents and upload them to Vidigami.
  • Virtual Show and Tell – Get your students to take photos or videos for show and tell. Amazing all the cool things people know!
  • Visual Projects – Art-work. Animation. Robots. Maker’s Club Projects. If they made it. Show it!  Have your students upload the projects they have worked on.

The ideas are endless.  Encourage people to vote for their favorite image by having them click the ♥ Like button! This is a great way to run a contest for things such as the Talent Show where the student who’s photo or video gets the most ♥ Likes wins a gift card or another prize of some sort. 

Graduation for the Class of 2020

It goes without saying that the Class of 2020 will be sadly missing out on the graduation they envisioned but you can help them create and capture a digital experience that is uniquely theirs; one that celebrates their accomplishments and showcases what is unique and special about their graduating class.
While the suggestions in the previous section of this blog post can also apply to your seniors, we recommend making a private “Graduating Class of 2020” group in Vidigami where only faculty, staff, and the graduating seniors have access to the group. This creates an exclusive space for the graduating students of 2020 and gives them a sense of community as the senior class. Here are some specific album examples you can create for the graduating seniors and review how you can strategically roll it out.

Some Example Albums

  • Who’s That Graduate?! (Baby Photos)
  • Graduate Selfie Snaps
  • Seniors Art Showcase
  • Favorite @ Home Activities
  • Faculty to Graduates (short video messages from teachers to students)
  • Grad Spirit
  • Grad Highlights of the Year
  • Promenade of Graduates
  • Throwback Album (Old school photos of current graduating students)
  • Grad Event(s)

Strategic Rollout

Instead of opening up all the albums to your graduating class, start with a few each week. If possible, get some key users to populate the album with photos and videos before you even promote it to your graduating students and staff. By doing so, you’ll help build the momentum and give people something to look at from the moment they jump in! Now, as you think about which albums you want to start off with, also consider how you want to roll out your remaining albums over the course of the next few weeks.
Creating a content calendar of some kind will make this whole process much more streamlined. Start by working backward from the last day of school or your school’s graduation date.  Turn the content into a year-end grad slideshow or video, or a grad-book and invite your grads to come back at any time to reminisce as alumni. 

Final Thoughts

The last weeks of school can often be hectic for every staff member. By having a game plan, you can easily make sure that nothing is missed from your to-do list. Photos and videos play a big part in helping people stay connected as the year wraps up and even into the summer months. This year, especially, people are relying on visual media to be connected to each other. By ensuring that all your media content from the year is being uploaded into Vidigami and by providing fun activities where students, parents, and staff can upload fun new photos, you can be confident that you’re doing your part to deliver the best possible end-of-year experience to your entire school community.

About Daman Arora: Daman has been as a Customer Success professional for almost 10 years, working with some of the largest companies in the world, such as Salesforce. He has also been a part of a 3-person startup! Now, he is managing the Vidigami Customer Success and Support team, sharing his years of experience to provide the best possible service to each school that uses Vidigami.