NOTE: Apparently I can’t embed the video. Never had that happen before. Strange. You’d think Vimeo would remove the option instead of leaving it there so that people end up with stupid looking posts like the one you’re reading.
This is an interview with Wiley Hunnicutt who discusses a unit she did on tolerance with 8th graders at Byrd Middle School. This particular version is for a PTA night there having that focuses on 21st century skills and technology integration.
Wiley1 is an amazing teacher and speaks passionately and intelligently about this unit. I’d be happy to have my children in her class.
The sound is all jacked up. We had to shoot this in a room with multiple servers running and it was incredibly noisy. I tried dropping it out but the result is pretty tinny and slightly mechanical sounding. Additionally, I learned that if you edit the audio after clipping the video it won’t apply across clips and you’ll have to edit each clip individually. I do not recommend this.
It’s not bad for one camera man (me) shooting from two cameras but it’d be nice to have some B roll to mix in. I didn’t spend as much time as I should have balancing the look of the two cameras either. The levels are not the same and that’s irritating. One of the issues is that any time I do anything to the clips shot on the 5DMKII I have to re-render and that is incredibly annoying and time consuming. That’s one reason I went with black and white. It was easier to get similar looking colors and I figured it was appropriate given the somber subject. I worry that it’s a little melodramatic though.
In the end what I really want is to splice student work, classroom shots from the project and interviews of the teacher and students into a more complete picture of the unit. That’s our next step with these videos. We’ll then put them on the web with student work samples and tag them so they fit in with our 21st century skills modules.
1 For those who’ve been around since the Bionicteacher days, Wiley was one of the teachers who did the Richard III blog with me back when I worked at Byrd and actually saw students occasionally. The other teacher was Jim Coe, who used to write on this blog before retiring.
These are not the voices you want reminding you of where education is headed.
Centralized pacing guides, centrally created lesson plans and myriad of other choices are moving teachers into the role of trained chickens with little choice and less say about what happens in their classrooms. Standardization is great for planning and scaling but haven’t we proven over and over again that learning should be individualized?
If we can’t trust teachers to pace their own classes, to make their own lesson plans then there’s a serious problem with the people we’re hiring as teachers. Providing all the processes and structures in the world won’t fix that.
This is a pretty interesting video tool from HBO. It’s an interactive 3d framework that shows a story from 4 distinct perspectives. Each one gives you a different amount of information. In order to really understand what’s going on you have to see the story from these different perspectives and then combine the results into a “big picture” kind of understanding. You can watch two perspectives at the same time, which is interesting1.
The key here is that you can’t understand the full story from just one of the views. It really takes some processing to figure these stories out in their entirety.
It extrapolates nicely to the idea of perspective in terms of personal bias, both historically and in writing2. Questions like . . .
How does perspective change a story?
How does perspective impact history?
Can you write a narrative without perspective?
There are ton of stories to browse through. They’re short but some, of the few, I’ve been through would be questionable for some classrooms.
Lots of possibilities for student projects on perspective branching off of this using text, images or video.