Get in on this…

Looking for a way to integrate video making in your
classroom without sacrificing your core curriculum? This past weekend about 30 DEN members came
together for a fabulous weekend at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Hollywood. Joe Brennan writes about his perspective of it here
in his blog
. Personally, I found it
to be very valuable because the entire training was essentially set up like a
mock lesson that would be done with students.

If you have not had the good fortune to attend one of these
two-day workshops, it seems the best way to sum it up is this: we teach students the writing process to help
them acquire a well-rounded perspective of writing. Likewise, this digital storytelling workshop
didn’t simply cover video-editing, but rather the entire process of film making
in the classroom and how to implement these ideas.

Stay tuned for information on any AFI events TBA, as they
are sure to fill up fast. In the
meantime, you can find additional ed tech resources on the Den wiki.


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  1. Deborah Dotson said:

    I certainly enjoyed producing “The Door” with my colleagues at AFI. We’ve already started production in my second grade classroom on an article from the Time for Kids newsmagazine. It’s called “Bad News for Bees” and we will film it over the next four weeks. I’m really surprised at the storyboards that they’ve created. (Of course I will have to remember to remove the lens cap from my camera since I didn’t in our AFI group picture. 🙂 ) Can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!

  2. Brett Harvey said:

    For those of you who have completed the AFI training, I stumbled upon a ‘no-brainer’ idea for integration today.

    I was showing a UnitedStreaming clip today to my
    AP Biology class on sourdough bread makers in San Francisco (Title: Understanding Bacteria, clip: The Staff of Life). In an interview, a bread-maker is listing his 5 best things about San Francisco and mentions “the bread, the fog, the bacteria . . .” (it’s a funny clip). He somehow forgets to mention the Golden Gate bridge – the landmark everyone thinks of when they think of San Francisco!

    I pointed this out to the students and we discussed how they would deal with this interview footage if they the director. We re-watched the clip to see that the filmmakers cut in a shot of the Golden Gate bridge (with fog in background) with the breadmaker’s soundbite plays over the shot. A small detail in the film but it had an effect – one student pointed out that the first time he watched it he had thought the breadmaker mentioned the bridge – the visual had tricked him. The kids did one of those Ah-hah moments and started asking questions about filmmaking – most of which I couldn’t answer but hey, we were all excited to learn.

    Then I had an Ah-hah; why not use video clips from UnitedStreaming in my class to teach the elements of film-making in the AFI ScreenEd program?? Every film technique is there! And while they’re looking for elements of filmmaking they’re also watching science content.

    Now, I’m sure many of you quicker minds figured that out a long time ago.
    Brett Harvey
    CVHS – SoCal

  3. Dave Kootman said:

    Thanks for the anecdote Brett. That’s a good strategy for incorporating all kinds of VAPA into core curriculum.
    Keep ’em coming!

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