Friday, January 30, 2009

Videos - a reflective learning medium

HabĂ­a nevado, disparaba al reflejo de la torre...Image by berpala via Flickr

The videos we are taking as part of our iTeams work are intended to help us observe, reflect and share our learning processes. We hope to develop a cadre of skilled videographers who can explore and support the use of video as a reflective learning medium. While the video we took yesterday needs quite a bit of refinement, students seem to be sufficiently engaged by the potential to commit time and effort to the project. Two reactions to the activities convince me that we are on the right track:

First, I reminded iTeam members that we will need to collect permission from parents (release form) before we can proceed much further with the project. I thought that I would have to find a suitable form, copy it, and distribute it to students. Jacob interpreted my reminder in a much more exciting way. While other students worked on creating the prototype video, Jacob spontaneously opened a blank document and created a form asking parents of iTeam members to give permission for their students to participate in our video project. Then he submitted an iTeam Activity Log entry describing his work:
1/29/2009 10:55:11
Rough Draft Release Form
iTeam members
I created rough draft for a release form so videos can be showed to the school board.
Jacob helped me understand additional ways that members can contribute to our collaborative work. I thanked him for his initiative and encouraged all members to consider this as an example of skills, processes and culture that we are trying to develop. I also gently pointed out that we may need to get help to include legal issues that the district will want to see, too.

Second, two students asked if they could return after school to work more on the video project. Shortly after the regular school day ended, four students came to the media center and we reviewed the raw video clip and discussed how we could improve the quality and effectiveness. They are already considering multiple cameras, ways to improve the sound quality, and "stage" presence.

While helping students learn to use the new iMacs in the Media Center, an iTeam member and I noticed the adjacent iMac importing video from one of the Library's cameras. He asked me what I thought it was. While I didn't watch much, it seemed as if the subject of the video were a classroom and a teacher working with students. I know that the NBPTS certification process requires that teachers take such videos of themselves and submit them as part of their portfolios of evidence. Was the video we saw being transferred yesterday related to that process? If so, then we should explore whether iTeams can help with support for that kind of activity.

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