Digital Media as a Vehicle For Expression and Reflective Practice

Program Description:

Come learn how your students can use free or very low cost software tools and digital video to document their learning processes and products. Reflective practice is a powerful tool for learning, communication of educational progress and teacher development. Technical hints will be shared so you can get up and running immediately.

Session Description:

Digital video offers numerous opportunities for student expression through all kinds of storytelling across the curriculum. Personal stories, skits, plays and recreations of historical or scientific events are all possible. Fictional stories may be depicted and mathematical models may be explained. The editing process allows for enhancing the storytelling.

Video offers unprecedented opportunities for students who need to express themselves and their ideas. The obstacles associated with writing and oral presentation make it too difficult for many students to convey their creativity and knowledge. Video and the ability to edit that video lowers the bar on communication. This communication now has a limitless audience available via the web, CD, tape and DVD.

Kids engaged in the production of school news programs, interviews and even commercials gain first-hand knowledge of the ways in which media may be used to manipulate us. Media literacy concepts of bias, point-of-view, propaganda and advertising take on new meaning when kids are behind the camera and the editing process.

You may engage the community in the life of the school through the repurposing and publishing of school events. Tapes of classroom productions may be broadcast on local cable, sent home on CD/DVD or even made available in local video shops for free loans. These efforts keep citizens abreast of the activities in your school and may increase community support for your efforts.

Students may use video cameras and digital editing to document their learning process in a variety of ways. Video is used to tell the story of how they learned, what they did, as well as the finished product. This enhances metacognition, exhibits student knowledge and communicates the learning activities of a school with the community. A good example of a video documenting student learning may be found at http://www.pencilsdown.org/lego.

Educators may also enhance their professional practice through digital video. Lessons may be videotaped and used to share best practices with colleagues. Similar video may also be used as a vehicle for collaborative action research. Educators can view carefully edited video case studies as an invitation to dialogue about teaching practices and learn new classroom strategies. Raw video may be used with innovative tools like those offered by LessonLab (www.lessonlab.com) as a forum for educators to discuss their own practice and that of colleagues. Examples of adults using digital video as a vehicle for reflective practice may be found at http://www.stager.org/imovie/virtcamp.html.

Come learn how your students and colleagues can use free or very low cost software tools and digital video to document their learning processes and products. Technical hints will be shared so you can get up and running immediately.