Cold War Mashup Projects: The Results


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

6 thoughts on “Cold War Mashup Projects: The Results

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  3. Great project Gary! I’m sure the students learned a lot from this project. I was curious to see how the work was divided, and I liked how credits were shown at the end of each segment.

    I also enjoyed watching the animations students chose, rather than watching their own reenactments of events. I thought this medium was very effective.

    I wish you every success for your next project!

    • Thanks for watching the students’ projects.

      As for the dividing the work, students worked in pairs collaboratively. Usually, one student did the research while the other uploaded video clips and edited. There was a lot of discussion of what clips to use, sequencing, and music so the roles overlapped frequently.

      Are you considering trying this project, or something like it, in the future?

  4. Well done! These examples are great! I love the creativity and diverse products that have been created all around the same theme. I can imagine some of the students who created these projects, because they are able to show their personality through the video clips and images they chose to include. I definitely think an introductory lesson mashups and film techniques will help produce even better work. So would looking at examples from the previous year. Usually in my class, we look at good examples and then make a criteria list of what needs to be included so that every student is very clear on what a quality product looks like. This idea could work for you too – you could do something with an actual film to get the idea of storytelling, and then look at some good examples of remix and mashup to see how the “experts” combine stories together. So exciting!

  5. Dear Tim,

    Thank you for your comment. This project, followed by a reflective writing exercise, has worked well in the past. I can share a copy of the project and rubric with you. Let me know if you try it and how it goes.

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