Sunday, October 19, 2014

Making Movies to Learn and Share

An image from the boys' service learning film. 
I spent a couple of hours this morning editing students' service learning video presentation.

The students, filled with great ideas, simply ran out of time to create a video that matched their vision and expectation with regard to time, humor, message, and more.

Yet, their initial two-three hours of invested time resulted in many wonderful clips, a great message, and a worthy presentation.  I just had to splice a bit and add some music to jazz it up--all things they could have done if given more time.

This event made me realize once again just how powerful movie making is for the learning process. Movie making has the following ingredients which develop solid learning:
  • Clarity: Students need to think a lot about what they want to say, and craft a clear message.
  • Visual Literacy: The set, models, facial expression, and movement all have to relay the message.
  • Mood: Music, body posture, tone, pacing present mood which in turn highlights what's important, and draws the audience in both intellectually and emotionally.
  • Rehearsal and Practice: To get it right students have to practice again and again which solidifies the message in their minds.
  • Share: The share spreads the learning and invites feedback and conversation which extends the learning.
  • Synthesis: When making a movie you are synthesizing voice, image, music, and message. This synthesis creates deep learning.
Soon, I'll engage the whole class in math movie making. I'll do this related to a deep math concept--one to be chosen soon.  The activity will take on the following steps:
  1. Create like ability groups.
  2. Choose a question to explain from the differentiated topic menu.
  3. Craft a script using a collaborative Google docs table. Remember that you want your script to be both entertaining and informative. Engage your audience 
  4. Create models that illustrate your explanation.  Models can be 2-d or 3-d.
  5. Practice your script a lot.
  6. Film yourselves acting out the script.
  7. When you've created a film you really like, show and edit with a teacher. 
  8. The teacher will collect all the films and produce one collaborative class film on the topic.
  9. The film will be shared with family members and others. 
We'll likely use a range of tools including the following:
  • WeVideo
  • iMovie
  • PhotoBooth
  • KidPix
  • Google Apps including Draw, Table. . .
  • Explain Everything
  • Screencasting Tools
  • ShowMe
  • and more. . .
We may also follow up this project by completing a similar project with our kindergarten buddies as they teach us about a concept they are learning.

If you haven't made movies with your students, I suggest you do.  It's a wonderful way to share the learning!