An Oscar Type Moment

What started out as a lesson on the use of green screen and Chroma key ended up as a Google commercial during last night’s Oscars Ceremony.
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What started out as a lesson on the use of green screen and Chroma key ended up as a Google commercial during last night’s Oscars Ceremony.

During any talk or presentation I give I make sure that people can reach out to me to share a story, ask a question and even challenge me. I value the ways in which we don’t need to let a one time presentation but a one time presentation.

Recently, someone shared a great story and I thought I’d pass it along here. It’s a story about gratitude, joy and storytelling, three of my favourite things.

I was a PETE&C this year where you were the keynote speaker. I just wanted to let you know that Joy still exists, at least in my school.

This is one way I used technology in my classroom. Not a lot of teachers would voluntarily video tape their lesson and post them on YouTube. However the good news is that when Google needed an example of someone teaching a technique for a commercial they were going to air during the Oscars, they scoured the internet and found my classroom.

The following is the email I sent to my friends, and attached is the press release the school sent out.

As I was watching the Academy Awards last night and was sitting through the long acceptance speeches that seemed just to wander off, well off topic. I said to myself, “If I ever win an Oscar my speech would be a simple thank you to Mr. Fetterman.” Mr. Fetterman or “Fetts” was the faculty moderator for the stage crew and TV production crew at Maple Newtown Sr. High. I thank him every day for the lessons he taught me, not only in video production but in life. Mr. Fetterman made me who I am today.

Presently I am a teacher at Mother of Providence Regional School in Wallingford, where I try to be to my students, what Fetts was to me. A teacher, a friend, a moral compass.

Funny that I was thinking about Fetts, not knowing what was to happen after I turned off the TV. What started out as a lesson on the use of green screen and Chroma key ended up as a Google commercial during last night’s Oscars Ceremony. Google aired a one minute spot called “We’re all Storytellers” narrated by Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, director of Wall-e and Finding Nemo. (Yes we are talking about Preston and Pixar in the same sentence.) That commercial featured a clip of one of my students, Grace in front of a green screen, pretending to fly. I filmed that clip while producing a series of videos on the use of Chroma Key in my classroom.

As I tell my wife and biggest supporter Kim, “You can never spend too much on electronic or LEGO’s, good things will come of it.”

One of the things that Mr. Fetterman always said was to “Do it right the first time.” I think that this falls under that.

There are two versions of the commercial. They both feature my clip, one ends with the Google logo, and the other ends with Andrew Stanton.

Here is link to the story and video on Pixar Times.

Here is a link to the original video that was produced in my classroom.

And if you’re really bored, he is a link to whole series.

Thanks to Preston Tyrrell for allowing me to share this.

cross-posted at

Dean Shareski is a Digital Learning Consultant with the Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada, specializing in the use of technology in the classroom. He lectures for the University of Regina and is the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN or Discovery Educators Network.



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