Saturday, 13 July 2013

Student Film Festival

Student Film Festival 
I recently finished a really fun project that I thought I would share with everyone. I wanted an end of the course activity that would engage students in their learning and put them in charge of it. We recently finished a visit to a school for children who come from low income families and have refugee status (I'll do a separate post about that). Here's how I did it, but I am sure it could be easily adapted for any other situation. 

Step 1
I told my class that they would visit a school to be teacher assistants and to interview a few of the students to find out more about their situation. In the briefing I told them to take pictures and from this moment on they should take pics, video of everything from the school visit to the meetings they would have after it.

Step 2
After the school visit, I told the students to collect all their pics and video and to turn it into a documentary. The video gave the students the chance to reflect on what they had learned during the project. They could talk about:

Festival M.C.
- What they did?
- How they did it?
- How they felt?
- What did they do well?
- What would they do differently next time?
- What was their best memory?
- What did they learn?

Step 3 - Filming
All most all the students had smart phones, so they used those to interview each other and record the spoken sections. The nice thing about recording themselves is the fact that they could re-do it  if they were not happy with the first take. 

Note* Advise the students to find a well lit room which is quiet. This helps the picture and sound quality. 

Step 4 - Editing
All the students had not edited video before, so I introduced some useful and easy to use online tools. The first is Animoto. This is an easy to use tool, where students can upload pictures and video and put a sound track to it. There are a number of themes and it is very student friendly. The second it Smilebox, which is similar to Animoto and equally student friendly. Finally, if your students want to do some fun remixing, they can use Popcorn, which allows students to remix videos after they have been posted to Youtube. 

Step 5 - Organising the festival
I spilt the class up into different groups such as food, invitations, advertising and room layout. The students decided which department to enter and then decided on a festival leader and deputy. 

The aim of the festival was to give the control to the students. They were given a small budget in order to give them responsibility over the running of the festival. Each team had to submit their receipts and spending plans. 

I really had no idea how this event would go. In the end I was more than impressed. I gave my students full control of the event to my students and they really out did themselves. They were organized, took pride in the event and came together as a class to make it happen. 

It was also a great way to end the term and a chance for the students to showcase what they had done. I also feel it gave the students a new sense of ownership as it was their responsibility. They stayed late, held meetings and only came to me when they needed money or to ask a question. I learned that the students are very capable if given a challenge they can engage with. Because of its success, I am thinking about asking the students to put on a TEDx event next term. I have a feeling that it will go very well. 

Below are some pictures from the event. 




Documentary creators and event organisers 

Thanks to all my amazing students for all their hard work!

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