I will have to investigate the source to see if I can use it for my workshops.
Archive for the 'Digital Literacy' Category
Shades of “Big Brother”….. If you think that the internet has given you more freedom of choice, you might want to think again.
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
I am just being bombarded lately with intersting articles about the future of reading and even the future of relationoships in the digital age.
From the latest in a SLEW of titles.
Digital Demands – The Challenges of Constant Connectivity
Sherry Turkle: What I’m seeing is a generation that says consistently, “I would rather text than make a telephone call.” Why? It’s less risky. I can just get the information out there. I don’t have to get all involved; it’s more efficient. I would rather text than see somebody face to face.
There’s this sense that you can have the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. The real demands of friendship, of intimacy, are complicated. They’re hard. They involve a lot of negotiation. They’re all the things that are difficult about adolescence. And adolescence is the time when people are using technology to skip and to cut corners and to not have to do some of these very hard things. One of the things I’ve found with continual connectivity is there’s an anxiety of disconnection; that these teens have a kind of panic. They say things like, “I lost my iPhone; it felt like somebody died, as though I’d lost my mind.” The technology is already part of them.
For this, and MANY other fascinating articles, check out this link (a list of articles from my Instapaper account).
This has been the most satisfying couple of weeks of my career. Our 9th grade English teacher said – “I’d like the kids to come in and pick out a book to read. Do you think they could each make a book trailer about their book?” As it turns out – neither one of us had the first clue how to do this. Since we are both either a.) brave or b.) out of our minds – we said “How hard could it be? Let’s do it!”
Kudos to Kathy, our intrepid AV/library clerk. She immediately leaped into the fray to teach herself how to use ShowBiz – our movie-making software. Once she was comfortable – she taught me. I wrote up some directions for the first part of the project and gave them to the English teacher. As time went on, we began to think that we MUST be out of our minds.
Here is how we are building that airplane…..
Day 1 – Choosing Books & Project Introduction
Before the kids chose books – we showed a book trailer page I put together. We started with Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz. That one REALLY gets the kids interest. Then we showed 2 versions of Afterlife by Gary Soto & Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. We spent some time talking about the different “feel” we got about the books, depending on a trailer’s use of images, music and words.
The kids reaction? They were excited – but many were scared. ”But…..we don’t know how to make a movie!” they said. To which we replied “Don’t worry – neither do we. We’ll figure it out together!”
Day 2-4 – Producing Book Trailers
Fast forward….. The students have read their books, and done a little storyboarding in class. They have the step-by-step directions I’d put together for the first part of the project. We did a “test-run” with the honors class, watched them fall through the gaps, edited the steps before the next group arrived, tried it out with that class ….. and then went through it all again with the next part of the project.
Students used a “copyright-friendly” web page I created to find images, sounds and video clips, and learned the preliminary steps for using ShowBiz. Lots of resistance here. I am afraid most of them went to Google images anyway, knowing that means their trailers can not be posted anywhere on the web. Oh well….
The third day, we taught them more about ShowBiz and the fourth day was a work day.
After every period, I updated the instructions to make them better.
Next year, we might actually board a fully funcional airplane to take this ride.
How about the finished book trailers? We’re not there. Next week is “show time”. I’ll let you know whether those planes fly!!
In spite of some ups and downs, Joy, Kathy and I would recommend the project to others. It was interesting to see the kids have to THINK. Creating a video is motivating to kids in and of itself – but having to think about what images and sounds best expressed a feeling, a mood, a character – in addition to telling a story, was very beneficial for their communication skills. Not to mention having to choose just the right words to move the story along without giving away too much.
Anyway – here are the directions for creating a movie using Showbiz. The directions could probably be modified for whatever program you want to use: Creating a Movie With ShowBiz
Pages 1-3 deal with copyright and citation issues.
Pages 4-6 deal with the mechanics of ShowBiz.
I also shared this project with the rest of my teachers, in the hopes I could encourage someone else to give it a try. I was able to rope in another teacher that way. One step at a time…..a thousand miles begins with one step….and all the other cliches you can think of! Creating Videos for Dummies.