Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bialik's Video Project - Technical Overview


Hello Everyone -- Jesse Gold Here -- IT Director for Bialik Hebrew Day School. We're beginning a film project in our Jewish Studies Curriculum and we'll be piloting it with Grade 5 & 7 classes.

Our Project focuses on relating Jewish History (both Biblical and more recent) to a modern context -- students will use video to explore these themes.

We are using a framework for Video projects called "The Director in the Classroom" by filmmaker Nikos Theodakis. This framework helps keep student projects on track by following the same process a filmmaker would need to get his or her film produced in the real world. Additionally, the framework gives all students a task so no-one feels left out, problem solving skills are embedded throughout.

We will be creating 10 "multimedia bundles" to break our projects into small groups of 5 students each x 2 classes. Each bundle will consist of a camera, portable rugged hard drive and accessories and will be entrusted into the care of a group. Half the bundles will include a basic Flip Video HD "pocket" video camera for basic shots, the other half will include a more traditional video camera with optical zoom, etc. Classes will switch equipment partway through the project so all students have access to both types of equipment. Both classes will also receive one set of extra equipment such as one tripod, dolly, to share between all groups.

The pocket cameras have arrived and we are anxiously awaiting the rest of the equipment. We envision this being a fairly lengthy project, taking a good portion of the school year. Mini projects (such as a unscripted documentary-style footage) will likely be inserted along the way as part of our "feedback loop".

Two more planning and PD meetings will happen in the next couple weeks with our Principal of Jewish Studies, Simona Dayan, and the teachers involved, to ensure that the project is properly embedded and aligned with our curriculum for these grades. Students will be introduced to and begin working on their projects in early November.

More information on the project specifics, curricula-wise, will be posted by other involved staff in the next couple of weeks.

We look forward to feedback from the community and would be happy to answer any questions.

1 comment:

brendafayerman said...

Jesse,
How do you find the Flip Video cameras for use by kids? Do you recommend it? What age students are using them? Is it easy to transfer the files to a computer for editing?

Brenda Fayerman
IT Director, JPPS-Bialik
Montreal, Quebec