Round One Draws to a Close

We concluded the first semester Synergy Projects.  To celebrate each group completing a short film, we had a mini film fest where the students watched their film and their peers films.  Students were expected to to complete the following self-reflection as well as feedback for their peers using the following:

Synergy Final Assessment

Film Fest Feedback

Things that we learned:

  1. Clear guidelines prior to starting the project.
  2. Team building and scaffold skills for designating roles for each team member.  This would be to encourage equitable work loads and an opportunity for each team member to participate in all aspects of each project.
  3. Use the project as a vehicle for fostering the Curricular Competencies (design thinking) and Core Competencies.
  4. Provide opportunities for developing technical skills required for editing and capturing footage.

Tech Tools

Tech Tools for the Synergy Project

As we embarked on our journey of film making, we turned to Youtube to learn from others.

In many cases students chose to capture film using their own devices.  To support this we went over some key points:

Shooting Video with an iPhone

Further, we discussed the importance of holding your phone horizontally.  Here is a funny little video to hit this point home (I think Robin and I found this to be more funny than the students).

Students did experiment and capture footage with the Go-Pros (in fact, the Hero 5 Sessions captured some great footage of chickens in the chicken coop)  Again, for Robin and I, Youtube saved the day!

How to use the GoPro Hero 5 Session:

How to use the GoPro Hero 5 Black:

How to use iMovie:

We watched the videos to learn how to use the tech, then we supported students with our new found knowledge.  We did post the videos to the Google Classroom for a resource for the students, but did not show these in the classroom.

Luckily, our Yearbook class allowed us to borrow their Canon Rebel T5i cameras with a microphone jack.  This allowed us to capture video, especially when there was wind, that had better sound quality than what we would have got using the Go-Pros.  Through this project students had to assess what footage they were hoping to capture and select the technology that best suited their needs.

In terms of adding music to the films, we asked the students to only use music from the audio files included in iMovie to avoid copyright infringement.

Our Tech Cart

After some pondering on how to manage the transfer of the Macbooks to and from the foods classroom and keep them charged, we came up with the above set up. This has been an useful way to keep the tech together and fully charged so they are ready for each class.  Note: we re-purposed an old overhead cart.

Fostering Creative Thinking

I have been reading the book, The Genius Hour Guidebook, to generate ideas as to how we want to structure our synergy project.  I came across a creativity rubric.  This aligns with the Core Competencies beautifully.  Additionally, it provides vocabulary to support our students with articulating their abilities on a continuum of creativity.  I feel that the qualities listed in this rubric are  the soft skills that I hope every student works to develop as they move through their school and career path.

Check it out:

Creativity Rubric

Krebs, D., & Zvi, G. (2016). The genius hour guidebook: Fostering passion, wonder, and inquiry in the classroom. New York: Routledge.