Saturday, February 6, 2010

Visual Ventures

The ability to create a story, demonstrate mastery or understanding of a concept using images and video is now a basic skill that all students require. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are just not enough. By the way, I like Chris Betcher's list of basic skills for the 21st century (touch typing should be added).

As I became more experienced in teaching digital storytelling and film making, I gave up on using video cameras and ended up using the most basic tools available to many students, digital cameras and mobile phones. I also now demand that student videos be no longer than 60 seconds in length. I have no problem with students preparing a 3-5 minute film to show at a class film night (yes popcorn included) but for video assessment items, less is more and saying what you need to say in 60 or even 30 seconds is a great discipline for students. Video also allows some students to really shine. I have seen this with New Arrival and ESL students. They can really surprise you when English is no longer a boundary to their expression.