Visual Grammar

     I have always loved language. From my earliest exposure to reading, spelling, phonics, and diagramming sentences (a lost art!) to my later studies of “foreign” languages and a career as a Spanish teacher, I have been fascinated by our innate ability and desire to communicate. It was that fascination that eventually led me out out of the classroom and into the rôle of a multimedia facilitator and fan of digital storytelling. For years I have preached about the parallels between making videos and writing, but I had never heard the connection so eloquently made until I spent a couple of days with a number of other STAR DEN Educators at the American Film Institute up on a hill overlooking Los Angeles. I was almost up and out of my seat when AFI K-12 Screen Ed Associate Director Frank Guttler made the connection between sentences and film shots, long pans and zooms (as in your typical birthday party video) as run-on sentences, and a well organized series of shots/sentences becoming a scene/paragraph. But you don’t have to take my (written) word for it. Here’s a thirteen minute podcast with Frank just as we were winding up the two days of “Lights, Camera, Education!” training. Download GuttlerVisGrammar.m4a

     You can get a feel for the program and watch some video at AFI’s website. unitedstreaming subscribers can see all the Sean Astin narrated videos and download the “21st Century Educator’s Handbook” from unitedstreaming.


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