Norfolk Primary School
Date: January-July 2013
Partner: Locality C
Goals: To embed technology and multimedia into general teaching, and guiding the skill on equipment to purchase.
Although the school was passionate about technology and held a yearly film festival which all the school took part in; they were unhappy at the technical and creative quality of the work. Also, the school wanted technology to become a part of general teaching – as children become more and more used to modern technology and touch screen devices, the school felt it was important to use this to engage them within the curriculum.
Through consultation it was discovered that due to previous experience with equipment and software the teaching staff had become to dread, and even be afraid of technology and creating multimedia; it was also noted that creativity could be improved – so not just to make a film, but be creative with it.
– stop teachers from being afraid and daunted by technology
Use the schools ipad in fun, simple ways. Hour long workshops on simple software – comic books, using the ipad camera, filming, editing etc. They were then given tasks to make something using the software with their own class which was then showcased at the next workshop. There was an immediate positive response to these workshops – simple and fun.
one of the problems was the equipment and software the school used was overly complicated and unstable. We looked at what they had, looked at the computers and laptops and advised, according to their budget, new software and camera equipment that used the same simple, touch screen philosphy as their ipads
make high quality films
although they had some experience in making films, they just dove in made them with no training – this not only added to their negative feelings towards it, but also produced poor results. The school wanted to fix this. We decided to break it down step by step, alongside introducing ipads. We did a workshop on comic book creation, not only a great tool in itself, but also a great starting point to think about storytelling visually; we then followed this up with some excellent film trailer making software on iMovie (iPad) – this provided a template for a trailer, allowing the staff to tell a story with the moving image, but still controlled by the software. After this using imovie to edit short clips – so full video recording and editing, looking at shots and storyboarding. Each if these steps slowly gave them more confidence and understanding in the filmmaking process.
The staff then made a film from start to finish with Blueprint, looking at everything along the way – scripting, scheduling, storyboarding, using the main camera equipment, lighting, more advanced filmmaking techniques; there is no better way to learn, then to do it. The finished film also delighted their students, seeing their teachers in a film and brought a great sense of optimism and exciting in moving forward.
improve the creativity within the teaching staff and how to transfer that to the children
however much you know about making comic books, or radio plays or films, it means nothing if the content isn’t right. Workshops were done on storytelling, working with a professional writer who has had work showcased all over the world and has taught at level from primary to masters, universal storytelling was looked at which is transferable to any medium. Giving an advanced understanding, but with a simple structure with which to create story. Work was then done to then create story out of any stimulus – a character, a location, a theme, a newspaper headline etc. And then create complex stories from this quickly and easily. This proved a very liberating and powerful tool which proved effective immediately in their story ideas for their films. If you understand storytelling you can then see what is missing, what is needed and ask the right provocative questions to yourself, to your peers, and most importantly to the children to develop stories
creating a legacy for the work
more advanced training was delivered to the school technicians, who will act as a go-to point for the staff
detailed handouts were created and distributed on all aspects covered in the project and more. These will act as reference points and also training manuals for future staff
work was done on how to use technology and the creative workshops in day to day curriculum activities; how making a comic book of Ancient Egypt can create a more exciting opportunity for children to research the content, how their new storytelling and creation can bring new life to themes, and films and radio-plays can give a lasting legacy and excitement to the children’s work. This alongside developing the children’s interpersonal skills – team building, leadership, organisation, confidence etc and creative and technical skills into the future.