Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Filmmaking Lessons from TIE Conference

At the Technology In Education Conference keynote presentation this morning, Dr. Jason Ohler discussed the value of incorporating digital storytelling in the classroom. The Adams 14 Global Learners are no strangers to the Adams 14 Film Fest and our shameless promotion of digital multimedia use in the 21st Century classroom.
Four things I take away from Dr. Ohler's keynote today:
1. You must start with a good storyteller, not a good computer technician. Every child can learn both of these skill sets, but the story is the most critical element of creating a good product. Anyone can learn the technical skills, and no amount of technical ability or tricks will make a terrible story any better.
2. The suggestion that a fourth "R" (remember Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic as the three R's?) is now a critical skill for success in the digital age: aRt. Students who have access to a well-balanced education that incorporates art will be successful in channeling their right brain in creating digital media for the world (see "Art Becomes the Next R"). Adams 14 celebrates the arts in our schools, and we continue to promote and expand these programs. Our new high school/community college (yes, it's happening) will offer students a Fine and Performing Arts academy.
3. The third lesson, and the most technical, is that you can do chroma key green screen work in Movie Maker. Just out of curiosity I searched for tips for this during Dr. Ohler's presentation, and here is the result. I challenge teachers who have interest in digital filmmaking in the classroom to incorporate this technique into your productions and post your results online.
4. And finally, Dr. Ohler suggests that the best way to teach students to avoid copyright infringement is to encourage them to create their own artwork. We have great examples of this with the Adams 14 Film Fest - claymation, legomation, paint animation, etc. With the ability to do green screen work in Movie Maker, students may now tell their stories oncamera with their own original artwork behind them. Great stuff!

Your ideas of incorporating these thoughts into your classroom?


Joseph Miller said...


Thanks for the post. The emphasis on storytelling is important in the 21st century. The ability to communicate your message has never been more important and students can no doubt learn this in the context of movie making.

Emily Taylor said...


I accept your challenge...just give me a little time! I went to a session today about digital storytelling. The focus was on storytelling. Here's a site with many resources: http://web.mac.com/digistoryteller/DigitalStorytelling/Home.html
It was great to listen to Dr. Ohler talk about it and go to this session. It's also good to realize that even when you are familiar with something it is always useful to seek out other perspectives on the topic and always keep an open mind.