Delegates had the opportunity to take part in two hands-on, Creative Workshops. These workshops built on the work from the Critical Practice Day and allowed delegates to explore the creative potentials of digital video.
Putting Pacman in the Classroom
Computer games are now more widely available than ever and present a massive opportunity to grab our pupils' attention and engage with them in a new way.
You may have introduced games as a learning tool, but wouldn't it be great if you could make your own computer games? You could tailor them to your pupils, your subject, the areas you want to make more interesting or accessible. What if your pupils made their own games, demonstrating their learning or playing each others' to learn more? This workshop gave you practical experience in games design using free software. Don't we all learn better when we're having fun?
Karen Anderson is Head of ICT at Queen Margaret's School, an independent girls' school in York. Previous to this she taught in state schools, most recently in a sixth form college in West Yorkshire where she successfully introduced a Games Design course into the curriculum. She is a passionate campaigner for games in education, both as a teaching resource and a career aspiration for pupils. She has co-written several educational textbooks and is involved in writing specifications for exam boards. Currently she is on the team writing the ICT GCSE for Edexcel for teaching in 2010.
Image & Sound
This workshop used the affordable but powerful editing programme Final Cut Express and asked delegates to edit to the rhythm of music, learn the basics of 'compositing': layering and combining images and text, and add motion, effects and transitions.
The workshop looked at some examples of film title sequences and how they combine images, text and sound. Delegates were given the text of a poem, some still and moving images, and some music and sounds. Their task was to put them together using montage techniques.
Tom is Director of Media Education Wales, www.mediaedwales.org.uk, a Cardiff-based non-profit organisation which supports media and moving image education and filmmaking with children, young people and adults. He has run projects and workshops and delivered training in all four countries of the UK and beyond. Tom is particularly interested in ensuring that children's filmmaking is informed by an understanding of film language, and using non-mainstream and non-traditional film forms to encourage creativity and extend children's awareness of moving image culture and heritage. Recently Tom has led several projects in areas of social deprivation which have linked filmmaking to creative writing, music-making and poetry.
Reading & Editing Film Trailers
The Primary Framework for Literacy recommends the analysis of film trailers as persuasive texts. In a short space of time, a trailer can establish genre, mood and atmosphere and give suggestion of character, plot and key themes.
Film trailers are ideal moving image texts for Primary literacy, as they can be watched in one sitting and read as a whole. The power of editing, sound and language combine in a trailer to excite and influence audiences. Trailers are narrative constructs as well as persuasive texts. During this workshop, after an introduction on moving image analysis, delegates edited their own engaging film trailer with transitions, voiceover, music and sound. I also demonstrated how the activities present valid opportunities for assessment for learning. This workshop was most useful for those working in the upper Primary sector, or who are responsible for the transition stage between Primary and Secondary.
Julie Green is an Educational Consultant for Film Education and a practising Primary school teacher. She has written widely on film and moving image education, specialising in developing visual literacy resources in the Primary sector.
Having spent many years as Director of Education at Film Education, Julie took time out to raise her young family, and she now divides her time between her teaching job in Henley-on-Thames and her post as advisor at Film Education. Luckily, the two roles complement each other.
Julie is responsible for developing Film Education’s Primary Picturacy® series, that focuses on film and moving image work on an Interactive Whiteboard platform.
Sound & Light
Many promising student video productions are marred by poor (or no!) lighting and indifferent sound.
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this workshop considered these two important elements of the creative process, focusing on the expressive effects which can be achieved even with the simplest equipment. Participants will worked in groups to devise their own son et lumiere.
Martin Phillips was Director of the DCS Digital Media Education Team; He has also been Chief Moderator for A/AS Level Media Studies and is currently an Assistant Principal Moderator for AQA GCSE English. He has written a variety of books and articles on English and Media Studies teaching, most recently GCSE Media Studies for Heinemann (2004). Martin has directed more than forty video/DVD resources for secondary schools on Media Studies and Art.
Tim Arnold is Adviser for Digital Media Education for the Devon Learning and Development Partnership and Manager of the Digital Media Education Centre in Exeter. Tim co-wrote “Videoconferencing in the Classroom” (2002 and 2004) as part of his work for the DES (now DCSF) Videoconferencing Project and “Videoconferencing Across the Curriculum” (2009) for Becta. He currently manages a videoconferencing project for the TDA linking schools in the UK, France and Germany, and is a consultant for the TDA’s Collaborative Technology in Languages Initiative, developing the use of a learning platform across six schools in Trafford, Niort and Granada.
Supporting Literacy with Animation
A hands-on session exploring the basic principles of stop-motion animation. Working in small groups delegates created a short animated adaptation of a favourite myth or legend. The session gave helpful tips and tricks suited to the classroom and the confidence to get animated!
Oscar Stringer has been working in schools all over the UK teaching animation to students of all ages and abilities for 12 years. During this time he has developed methods of approaching and using animation to suit the educational environment, supporting key areas of the curriculum. He works for the BBC as a freelance trainer and facilitator, using ICT as a creative tool to empower people of all ages. Oscar has also worked with the British Council, Institute of Education, eTwinning and Apple Computers. When not teaching and training Oscar makes his own short films, which have had screenings on TV and film festivals all over the world. To watch his short films and animation projects made in schools visit www.oscarstringer.co.uk.
This workshop will look at the idea of the camera frame - how you actually decide on what type of shot you can film (the aesthetic possibility).
For the last 20 years I have been moderating students' practical work and one thing still remains patently clear. They know what they want to film but are not sure how to go about it. How do you convey exactly what you want to convey through a shot? How do you edit shots together to make the impact that you desire? And how do we make our students think about the endless possibilities of the filmic shot? Through an exercise which combines both shooting and editing material we will explore the visual possibilities with regard to the selection of possible shots and different ways of editing these shots together.
Before founding Film Education in 1985, Ian taught English & Media at Holland Park comprehensive where he was a head of department. Over the last 23 years he has worked on a wide range of projects, including educational resources on hundreds of feature films. Ian is the winner of two BAFTAs and speaks on issues relating to education, media literacy and film all over the world.