Tag Archives: video

I Hate Grades

I recently gave a 2-minute nano presentation at 21st Century Learning’s Hong Kong TeachMeet, entitled I Hate Grades. It was a pleasure to be able to speak openly about something very close to my heart, and the reception from the assembled teachers was really positive. Unfortunately the event was not recorded, and one of my colleagues commented that he was said to have missed it. So, as the next best thing, I have done a Photo Booth recording of essentially the same content. Whilst it’s hard to be quite as dynamic and engaging in front of a laptop, the video still gets the key points across.

A broader view of my approach to assessment and curriculum, and how it compares to mainstream education is available in my previous post, The Educator’s Delusion.

Movie Trailers

Suspicious JoeyTo round out three years of ICT & Media studies, I recently asked my Year 9 students to study the art of movie making (you might have seen our Zombiefest work, which was a practice exercise for the students). As their final piece of work, students had to produce a trailer for a fictional film. Whilst the trailers were produced individually, they were based on a collective set of scenes which students designed, scripted and shot themselves. The result is an unusual combination of individual and collaborative, with some crazy results.

Presented below are the three best videos, by Coco, Emma and Owen (congratulations ; ): I thought the students did a great job, and any areas where things are a little rough around the edges can be blamed on the teacher for not giving enough time.

Credit: Thumbnail image of Suspicious Joey shared by students 9.1 under CC BY-NC-SA. Thanks to CogDog for introducing me to digital storytelling, narrative and so much more.

Remix Examples

Remix is one of my favourite contemporary art forms, and something that all of my students study. What could be better than making something new out of someone elses media creations? If you get into remix enough, you even find yourself starting to agree with Kirby Ferguson’s assertion that Everything Is A Remix.

Today I was updating my remix playlist, which I show students at the start of year. I thought I would share some of my favourites. Please feel free to add suggestions in the comments section:

If you are interested in the legal side of remix, you might want to watch Copyleft: A Teacher’s Guide To Sharing (of course, remixing with Creative Commons is the best way to go, but sometimes fair use has to be invoked if we want to critique companies and governments.

2 Minute Warning

Earlier this year I asked my Year 8 students to record a 2 minute warning to their parents, aiming to highlight risks which they might face online. This piece of work followed several smaller tasks (such as Me vs Me), and lots of discussions, regarding digital citizenship, what being online means and how we can stay safe. Of all the excellent pieces submitted, I was most taken by work of Chloe, who I believed manage to convey a lot of meaning in an easy to understand message:

Chloe runs a nice blog where she posts some of her other work, if you are interested in taking a look.

Old Hong Kong

Causeway Bay 1955The older I get the more interested I seem to become in the history of the place where I grew up: Hong Kong. Having read a few books on the subject (Hong Kong, History of Hong Kong, Diamond Hill and Gweilo), I am always delighted to find video footage to put images to text. Despite not being born until 1980, I feel a strange affinity for images and footage from the 1950s and before. Recently, my father-in-law (a Hong Konger from way back) shared the presentation below with me, and I thought it was worth sharing:

Whilst searching for an embeddable version of this file online, I also found the videos below, which are very interesting. Sadly, the two best videos, could not be embedded, but you can watch them here and here.

Credits: a big thank you to Michael Rogge for curating and sharing this amazing archival footage. Thumbnail image of Hong Kong by Shizhao on Wikipedia, under Public Domain

Copyleft: A Teacher’s Guide To Sharing

This short movie, introduces copyright and sharing from a teacher’s perspective. It is aimed at students and teachers, and will hopefully help viewers to understand copyright, and inspire them to create and share more. In making this film, I remix Brett Gaylor’s “RIP!: A Remix Manifesto” to produce something similar but different.

If the video won’t play within this page, try it here on YouTube. If YouTube is giving you copyright warnings (ironic, no?), then try and watch it on Vimeo.

Press Pause Play

Press Pause Play is a feature-length documentary that is part inspiring, part demoralising and all stunning. Using a patchwork narrative, it explores the constantly evolving landscape of digitally-empowered creativity. A lot of amazing new work is set against the views of industry veterans, who spend a lot of time bemoaning the demise of creativity as the domain of the cultural elite. A typical tale of freedom and choice pitched against the profitable machine. The juxtaposition of hope and inspiration played against maintaining the status quo, was extremely powerful. In my opinion, creating, as an active endeavor, is generally more fulfilling than consuming, and I see nothing wrong with a world full of individuals and groups creating in earnest. In the end, the best talent will still rise to the top, as there will always be plenty of consumers with an ear and eye for what is great. After all, being a producer does not prevent me from consuming: rather, I think it makes me a more thoughtful, engaged consumer.

Thanks to David Dworsky and Victor Köhler for producing such an entertaining and thought-provoking piece which will hopefully lead to a lot of interesting conversations within education.

Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change

I’ve been a committed believer of climate change for at least 10 years, but I have to admit that in the last few years I have started to have my doubts. The reading that fixed my mind in the first place (The Weather Makers, Boiling Point, etc) has diminished in my memory, the movement seemed beset by scientific scandal, and there seems to be a fog of FUD obscuring the issue. This video provided a timely reminder of the urgent need for action if we are to avoid destroying ourselves and huge parts of the world around us. It is important to focus on the message provided by the science, and in the strength of the scientific method, which is, after all, one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal.

Stop Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony, head of Uganda’s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), is responsible for the abduction, sexual enslavement, multilation and militarisation of thousands of African children. Although he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court, he remains essentially invisible to the world’s media, governments and armed forces. Kony2012 is a massive online and real-world campaign to push for the capture and prosecution of Joseph Kony this year. Watch this video, share it, and take action.

My current thinking is to bring this to my students in the hope that they will be inspired to take action.

Edit 09/03/2012: it seems like this story is taking the world by storm. When I watched the video it had 40,000 views: two days later the figure had jumped to 49,000,000 and within the last three hours it has accrued a further 3,000,000. This really attests to the power of social media, although of course there are years of grassroots campaigning behind this seemingly spontaneous combustion. I guess Malcom Gladwell’s “tipping point” should be invoked here. As is to be expected, a huge number of critics have surfaced regarding all manner of issues to do with the operation and methodology of Invisible Children. It is nice to read a level headed response to these, and whilst they need to be acknowledged and dealt with, let’s not lose sight of the fact that this movement shows that a huge swathe of humanity are willing to stand up for their less fortunate brethren. I think the critics need to take a good hard look at themselves and ask if their negativity is due to a lack of personal success in this very same sphere.

Networked Society ‘On the Brink’

Ericsson, having been partly consumed by Sony, are no longer the mobile handset powerhouse they once were. However, they are still a force within other areas of the telecommunications industry, and as the video below shows, seem to have developed a powerful understanding of what high technology is doing to us as a species:

As inherently narcissistic creatures, we often believe that we are the summit of human evolution and achievement. Obsessed as we are with our sparkly mobile devices and lightening fast communications networks, we often simply fail to consider where the future might be taking us. This video provides the refreshing perspective that we are merely at a single point in a long journey, and as far as ICT goes, that journey has only just begun. In particular I found meaning in the suggestion that whilst we have all this technology, really we are only just learning what we can do with it and what it might do to us. I find many of my students, having grown up with ubiquitous computing power, simply have no idea that they are in the midst of a serious upheaval in the way that we live, work and play. At the same time, most teachers and parents have no idea either, simply because they are not equipped with a big picture view of technology. Just as with previous revolutions, be they industrial or political, we have unleashed an unstoppable force that is going to drag us kicking and screaming into a brave new world.

On a final note, comparing the video above with the one below (from a younger Ericsson) provides an interesting porthole into change over a short period of time. We see evolution in action, not only in the thinking at Ericson but also in our collective ability to comprehend and articulate what is happening to us.