Kanopy Streaming: Movies & Documentaries

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UWCSEA East recently got a subscription to Kanopy Streaming – and what a treasure trove it is! (UWC Teachers, click here; everyone else, try this link). If you have never heard of it before, let me tell you a little about it.

Kanopy began selling DVDs to universities in Australia, but has moved with the times to deliver a video streaming service to education providers worldwide, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale. They have over 26,000 videos available currently, which are added to regularly.

So why should you care?

It is no secret how much students love learning through film. Kanopy has an incredible range of documentaries available: from  BBC’s Shakespeare Collection or its Planet Earth Series, through to Gravitas’s Food Choices: How Our Diet Affects the Planet, there is – quite literally – something for everyone.

A lot of the content is more suited to older audiences, but there is plenty in there to support Elementary learners. We’d encourage Elementary teachers to search Kanopy for a subject/unit they have upcoming, and preview the content before use with students.

One of the features that we love is the ability to clip and share a section of a video, so students don’t necessarily watch the whole video, but a pre-selected segment that most closely relates to what they are learning.

Teachers can also create playlists of videos and share those. For more details on this process, check out this help section on the Kanopy website.

If you are a UWCSEA Teacher who wants to watch at home, you just need to log in with your Google Account, and you’re away.

If you would like further information about Kanopy, just contact one of the DLCs, or have a chat to our friendly Librarians!

[Cross-posted at GreaTechxpectations]

Technology + Musical = Awesome

We are up to our necks in rehearsals for our Grade 6 musical, Once on this Island, but I had to share the role of technology in making the musical run smoothly. Honestly, I don’t know how we ever did a musical without it. Here’s what we’ve been doing so far:

Choreography

YouTube now provides us with access to other schools/theatre groups who have performed the same musical. The Director (my husband Miles) and the backstage crew have trawled the web for the best examples of choreography for each song, and we have ‘borrowed’ the bits we like to supplement what was already in our minds. It has saved a lot of time, and we can watch the videos as many times as we need to get a particular set of moves down.

Video Trailers

Every Grade 6 student has a role to play in this musical, and we simply couldn’t do it with our backstage crew. A couple of them have created video trailers for the show to promote interest, and one student is producing weekly videos for our school newsletter to keep the community informed of our progress. These have proven to be engaging and above all, entertaining, for the grade 6 students and our school community. We have used iMovie extensively for this purpose.

Screen shot 2011-06-03 at AM 09.40.45

Filming

Our talented backstage crew are also helping out with filming rehearsals, and assisting our Digital Media Specialist in manning the cameras for the actual performances.

Google Apps

The backstage crew have created surveys using Google Forms to source costumes, and have used Google Docs extensively to organise and share resources. A spreadsheet was created with a cast list and costuming needs, as well as documents with videos for choreography (including how to learn to waltz for one particular scene), images for face painting ideas, and a list of props needed for each scene. The shared editing feature has been invaluable for backstage organisation.

Screen shot 2011-06-03 at AM 09.41.10Tickets & Posters

Students have produced tickets and posters for the show using Pages, which have helped publicize it around our school.

I am proud of the way students are taking ownership throughout the show, including taking on the roles of stage managers, lighting, sound and PR. This is what we want our Middle School students to be doing, and technology is helping them along the way.

Film Scoring with Public Domain Videos

P1030458Our fabulous music teacher Maggie Hess has been brave enough to start working on a really neat project with me – composing film scores for Public Domain Videos.

Today, Maggie is wearing a button on her shirt which says, “Do one thing every day that scares you” (Eleanor Roosevelt), which sums up how she’s feeling as we embark on this project!

Firstly, she asked the students to go to http://pdcomedy.com/ to choose a video that they wanted to create the background music for. She recommended the cartoons and the silent movies on the site as the best for our purposes.

Students downloaded a video of their choice, then added them to Acid Music Studio 7.
(This is the composition programme we have on the lab PC computers, however you could do exactly the same thing in GarageBand with a Mac.)

From there, they decide on loops and sound effects which will complement their film.

The kids are absolutely loving it. I hope to have some samples to share with you when they are finished.

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Singapore International School Film Fest 2010

It was a great privilege to attend the awards ceremony of the inaugural Singapore International School Film Fest last night. Singapore is certainly home to some talented, creative and artistic students – watch out Peter Jackson!

Established to offer students the chance to showcase their creative ideas, talent and skills through film, the SISFF received more than 100 entries. Films were entered in one of four categories – Public Service Announcement, Video Art, Narrative and Documentary – across Primary, Middle and High School age groups. Students came from a range of international schools, which gave them a unique opportunity to share and exchange great ideas while being immersed in global and multicultural experiences.

I had the pleasure of working on the committee, and through my involvement got to meet a whole lot of new and interesting people. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait to get going on next year’s festival.

I am proud to announce that one of my Grade 5 students – Jean-Luc – won the technical award for Best Animation, which, considering his entry came from a project I considered one of my failures, was the icing on the cake for me!

I hope you enjoy the top 3 winners as much as I do:

Best in Show

1st Runner up

2nd Runner up (reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords)

I have to also include the winner of Best Cinematography, as it’s such a visually stunning film

And last, but by no means least, Jean-Luc’s winning entry for Best Animation

Singapore International School Film Fest 2010

It was a great privilege to attend the awards ceremony of the inaugural Singapore International School Film Fest last night. Singapore is certainly home to some talented, creative and artistic students – watch out Peter Jackson!

Established to offer students the chance to showcase their creative ideas, talent and skills through film, the SISFF received more than 100 entries. Films were entered in one of four categories – Public Service Announcement, Video Art, Narrative and Documentary – across Primary, Middle and High School age groups. Students came from a range of international schools, which gave them a unique opportunity to share and exchange great ideas while being immersed in global and multicultural experiences.

I had the pleasure of working on the committee, and through my involvement got to meet a whole lot of new and interesting people. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait to get going on next year’s festival.

I am proud to announce that one of my Grade 5 students – Jean-Luc – won the technical award for Best Animation, which, considering his entry came from a project I considered one of my failures, was the icing on the cake for me!

I hope you enjoy the top 3 winners as much as I do:

Best in Show

1st Runner up

2nd Runner up (reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords)

I have to also include the winner of Best Cinematography, as it’s such a visually stunning film

And last, but by no means least, Jean-Luc’s winning entry for Best Animation