Monday, August 12, 2013

Mattawan Tech Camp 2013

Woot, woot! It's that time again! I love invading visiting Mattawan for the annual tech camp. The opportunity to attend high quality professional development and network with colleagues, especially right before the school year kicks off, is wonderful. This year, I am honored to be presenting on film production in the elementary classroom. This hands-on session will be fast-paced. We will follow a very condensed model of how I present film production to my students: through deconstruction and construction using iMovie on the iPad. (I love it when we get to play during professional development!!).

Below are links to some of my favorite resources for teaching ad implementing film production in the classroom. I come from a media literacy perspective, so many of these are tools that help students learn about the tools and techniques in the film industry. These tools and techniques serve as important building blocks, just as allegory, sentence structure, and personification are foundations in writing. Students who receive instruction in film basics will be able to produce higher quality films that better address the content (the real reason we are making videos with students!).

Film Production in the Classroom presentation

Adobe Youth Voices: (free registration required) Adobe Youth Voices is a program designed to empower students with digital tools to give a wide audience to their voices. AYV's Essentials curriculum is a fabulous tool that combines projects, units, and Adobe tutorials into a fabulous collection designed to get teachers and students creating media productions. I love the mini lessons and "cheat sheets" that teach students the visual literacy basics in quality film and photography.

"Lights, Camera, Action!" Teaching Ideas theme page: This page is perfect for getting resources for teaching young students about film production. Script prompts, templates, and storyboarding resources make this a perfect way to get students excited about all that goes on in Hollywood. I use Teaching Ideas' 4-panel storyboard for all film productions. Students in my class must complete a storyboard and have my initials before they begin filming (and receive an iPad to work with!). I also love their Who's Who document that gets students thinking about all of the different jobs that are needed to create a full-scale production. Students who are camera-shy should realize that what they do as producer (camera operator) is just as important as what happens on camera with the actors and actresses.

NaNoWriMo's YWP Elementary Workbook: NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Sponsored by the Office of Letters and Light, this fabulous program that helps people overcome the fear of the blank page and ridiculous word counts also features some amazing resources for teaching how to craft a story. Regardless of genre or media, I find their Plot Rollercoaster (pages 60-1) and accompanying explanations (pages 49-59) absolutely must-have tools for crafting great stories.

Youtube: Make a channel (perhaps using your Google Apps for Education account) of the best public service accouncements, lip dubs, commercials, and Harlem Shakes that you want to show your students to serve as exemplars. Just as we teach poetry writing through reading (or any other genre for that matter), we should start with video production through analysis. Pick videos that are short, easy to break into parts, and ones that offer a clear pattern or message. Some of my favorite videos for analysis and emulation include: "Talent Show PSA""Red Bull Paper Wings flies around the globe", "Shorewood Lip Dub", "Sound of Music Antwerp Flash Mob".

Vimeo Video School: (free registration required) Check out the growing collection of video lessons on Vimeo that teach the basics of film production. These videos are great tools for educating students as well as teaching the teacher!

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