This week my Grade 10 students completed their Cold War Mashup projects. I will include two of the 20 final projects here as samples. I learned a lot from the students by teaching this project.
I had planned for students to turn in their final project on blank DVDs so that I would have a reliable copy. That turned out to be time consuming. Not all of the file types (.mp4, .mov) would play on my Mac, so that slowed my ability to assess and report back to students. Next time I would give the students a window of two or three days in which to have the projects uploaded to the school’s Vimeo account. From there I could embed or save a copy to my own drive.
I also learned that I could use reliable DVD-ripping software. Students usually began with video files downloaded from Youtube or Quicktime screen capturing. The results were sometimes not as clear as they might have been if they could have started with their own video file. I have started to ask for software suggestions.
I will have project premiers in class this week. It will be valuable for students to have their videos screened for their peers and receive feedback. I would also encourage everyone to upload to Vimeo and generate traffic so that more people can respond to their work.
I will also want to continue to coach the selection of text font, subtitles when needed, colors, and including establishing shots. Most of these projects could be improved with some refinement in one or more of these areas.
Finally, when I assign this project again, I would include one lesson in which we watch a short movie. It might be Chaplin or Mickey Mouse. The purpose would be to note the ways in which directors use film to tell a story.
Overall, I was pleased with the results and the skills that students practiced while I coached in a flipped style. I look forward to doing more with this in the future.
Garry Leroy Baker