Sunday, April 30, 2017

Value of Video

Kids, teens, and adults alike spend numerous hours watching videos. Random conversations surround the various topics from fun loving pets to tutorials on drones. There isn't a topic that isn't covered via video these days. When I give students a video assignment their priorities are:  attracting an audience first and then displaying the learning. I found that kids would just create a video to get it done while possibly providing a smidgeon of entertainment. They knew this wasn't going beyond classroom walls so the entertainment value was decreased as was the personal effort. I wanted to change that. I want my students to see the value in videos and understand the importance of this visual art that is comprised of much more than just shooting a scene and regurgitating information.

Enter the Movie Critic Elective for grades 6-8. I have 15 students taking this elective which is turning out to teach me much more than I thought! My plan was to have students examine and critique  short clips to recognize the elements that make a good movie or short video. I wanted the kids to understand the job of a video is to evoke emotion on some level. Thanks to Jesse Sherman, and his inspiring visit last year, my students are being exposed to the following video components.
~Angle ( How do you show fear, happiness, power, intimidation, conflict, resolution?)
~Story   ( Can you create a short movie with depth, meaningful characters, a message?)
~Lighting ( How does different lighting effect the shot?)
~Music     ( Why background music is important and how it plays a part in feelings)

Below is a clip playing with angles.
We watch clips, discuss what we see, play around with video ourselves, and then gather together to critique the creations. This is visual art at its best. Through conversations, the students are beginning to see the importance of video and realize the pieces that make them such valuable resources. This is an art that has tremendous potential for the classroom. Outside of class, kids share their discoveries with me such as, "I watched a movie where the background music was off, it just wasn't as good as it should be." "I saw a shot reverse shot in the video I watched last night." They are learning to look for the components, share them, apply the knowledge to this task, and create something better. This is higher order thinking that is relevant and meaningful to the student.

So the next time your children sit down for a YouTube marathon, why not ask them "How could this have been done better?'

Let's meet kids where they are...
Noisy Librarian

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