Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Editing Film for Young Students

Yes, film is an area of literacy we'll have to think about with regard to elementary school students.

Unlike a written report or even a Google presentation, film is a more public medium, and the delivery has to be done with greater care.

The written report has text, images and sometimes diagrams.  The Google presentation adds animations, video and all that the written report has, but film has voice and music too, and it's much easier to share with a wider audience.

As I edited student films tonight, I learned a lot about the medium.  I also caught a few errors that I had to erase--ones I had missed during the busy classroom editing time when I met with one student at a time while 21 others were busy crafting presentations and setting up museum displays--not the ideal editing forum.

As I continue down this endangered species project path, I realize that films are much better when they are a collaborative effort.  The recent math films that students made had far fewer errors and greater "punch" due to the fact that students' provided checks and balances as they created the films with a team.

I like what filmmaking does to the brain. You can feel your brain working as you synthesize music, image, voice and sound effects always with the intent forefront and the audience in the back of your mind.  It's a wonderful medium for students to learn and explore at a young age. However, as the editor you're always making decisions about students' choices of image, music, humor and fact--you want accuracy and a polished piece, but you also want to retain a child's voice, creativity and intent.

Tomorrow students will share their exhibits, Google presentations and films. Each film has a unique flair and areas of competence as well as challenge.  I've added a couple below for your review, should like to to take a look.

Today, we have so many mediums available to students for communication and self expression.  I'll be thinking about how we want to match those mediums well to the many learning projects and focus areas we have so that students are learning and sharing their knowledge with skill and understanding while also utilizing 21st century tools.

Do you make films with students?  What process do you use?  What are your most successful film projects for young children? I am interested in learning more about this process.