David S. Gran, a technology specialist, reported in Digital Directions, using i-Movie and Web 2.0 technologies, now as many as 2,600 students and teachers from 40 countries around the world produce collaborative movies. Patricia M. Fuglestad, one of the teachers, commented of her fifth graders: “Complex software is not intimidating to my digital natives….They just need to know where to click.” Citing an example, she referred to three trail-blazing girls who worked on their animated film by drawing "75 frames for their 15-second animation...making one or two frames each day.” She added that digital media creates “a surprising motivation level when it is connected to an authentic audience, even if it requires tedious work.”
Fuglestad reports she that she observes "a consistent spike in student enthusiasm when her students know their work will be shared online….When a group of her 5th graders made a movie called Young Sloppy Brush about a paintbrush that is destroyed in the hands of a careless artist, she tracked the progress of the project on her blog. Fugelstad recalls that on the day the the movie was uploaded, "we had over 800 views.” To help her students understand the extent of their audience, she “printed out a world map and put push pins in places where they received an e-mail or some feedback.” The movie went on to win a top prize at a local film festival and to be entered in three international film festivals. Fugelstad finds moviemaking: “teaches countless interdisciplinary skills....When students make a movie, they learn so much more than the content of the film…They learn to frame a shot, express and capture the appropriate mood from their subject, articulate their words to better communicate, politely critique, work together, take turns, be fair, and share.”
Another teacher, Kristine M. Fontes, who participated in the global moviemaking project, commented that although the moviemaking proces is "complicated, students are eager to learn and often master the software easily....They enjoy the responsibility of creating a project with so many layers and can’t wait to show me their work each day....The entire process is so engaging that it is difficult to get the students to log off their computers and go to lunch.”
Fontes has posted her students work on her website my Web site and burns their movies to a CD for them to keep. She reminds us, “The world is no longer as big as it seems, and their moments of shared creative expression are no longer limited to the four walls” of the classroom.
Use these immediate hyperlinks to view Fuglestad's students' Young Sloppy Brush, Fugelstad’s blog, and Fontes my Web site, explore. Direct links below connect to the web pages of some of Fontes' students for quick access to their movies. Enjoy.
Werewolves of London
Let us know how you see the technology and the moviemaking empowering young and older learners alike by engaging them in the learning process and expanding their horizons. What is your response to these new moviemaking forays? Do you believe these kinds of filmmaking experiences belong in the school curriculum?
Source: Ash, K. (2008, June 5). Digital tools cast student moviemakers on a global stage. Digital Dimensions. Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2008/06/05/04art_web.h01.html
Image from: www.mrssabol.com