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Making the Film: Reflections by Jennifer Shaw

View the Film:

Part 1
The class starts a strange journey into the past.

Part 2
Exploring the Train

Part 3
Pioneer Home

Part 4
Pioneer Fair

As a student teacher completing my internship in a 2/3 classroom, I began my practicum with a vision: To create a project, which integrated technology with writing and acting. I decided that a movie was a perfect combination of the three elements, but I did not know where to begin.

Picture of girls sitting and working on the computer.Within my first week at Dr. Morris Gibson School, I met with Barb Martin and Richard Gaskell of the Galileo Educational Network. I explained to Barb and Richard that my background was based in Drama and English and that I was looking for a project that would integrate my Language Arts program with Technology. They were interested in hearing my ideas and described how Galileo could work with me to help design and create my project. Barb helped to form the storyboard for the movie "Journey into the Past" and offered her assistance with any of the classroom lessons and activities. Barb and Richard were in our classroom whenever we needed them, providing their knowledge, experience and support. Galileo helped guide us from the process of script writing, filming at Heritage Park and at the school to the process of editing.

"Making a film is different because you are doing the past not reading about it. You are acting it out. If you read about the past you wouldn't know how they really did things. If you did it with your bodies you would know how they moved and drove the wagons and rode the horses and how to travel on a train in the past," Chris (grade 2 student)
Chris' interview. 450 KB mp3 file. Chris' interview in a 312 wav file

"We didn't just let other people do it for us. We didn't just sit there and watch, our class actually go to do it. We actually got out there and went to Heritage Park, the house, the trains and we actually said this how we should do this or this is a good idea and we made the decisions,..." Allison (grade 3 student)
Allison's interview in a MP3 file. Chris' interview in a 312 wav file

Students video editing their film.As the filming of our movie reached completion, Foothills ICT provided our classroom with a computer and the program, "Pinnacle Studio Seven". Jill Tanghe, a multi media student from Lethbridge Community College, who was working with Galileo for her final practicum, used her expertise to guide the 2/3 students through editing the movie. Students were thrilled with the opportunity to use the computer to edit. The 2/3s became experts at choosing their favourite movie clips, "clicking", dragging the images and placing them sequentially on a timeline. They were able to edit sound, add text, shorten or lengthen clips, as desired, alter colour and create transitions between scenes to produce a finished texture to the movie.

"We filmed then we saved it to the computer. We took the film to a timeline, picked the title and picked a picture for the title. We had some problems because we wanted the clip to stay longer but we fixed that. After that we looked at some things that we should change and some things that would make it more interested and we changed things..." Allison (continued)

Because of their involvement with every stage of the movie-making process, students achieved an authentic sense of ownership with this project. Each member of the class had an opportunity to write, to participate in the filming, to act and to edit the movie. Galileo helped to transform technology from a weekly trip to the computer lab to a dynamic, essential part of our learning journey.

"Now that I have learned something new and I know it I can still learn new things. I could make my own film sometime or just tell stories. I liked taking my own ideas and putting them with the group ideas," Bethany (grade 2 student)

"It was very cool how we got to think about what we had already done like problem solving where we have to use the strategy to work backwards. We could write down our script while we were acting it or after we practiced over and over again. I think that the class really concentrated and took it seriously," Coleman (Grade 3 student)
Coleman's interview in mp3 file format. Coleman's interview in wav file format.

As a student teacher, Galileo Educational Network was an invaluable resource. Barb and Richard were a constant source of support and knowledge and were able to guide me through the technology involved in creating our story on film. Through the project, the 2/3 students achieved a remarkable ability to understand the power of technology. While discussing the process of creating this film, one of the students remarked how, "Creating a film on computer is a lot like sewing. We are stitching the different parts together." Agreeing with her friend, a second student remarked, "It's just like how pioneers would create a quilt but instead of using different pieces of cloth, we are taking different pictures, and sewing them together to create our story." Because of Galileo, my students have formed their own connections between events and experiences of the past with their own, very modern lives. Technology became not just another subject to master, but a way of expressing, experimenting and creating.

More interview quotes:

Dannica: "I didn’t really know how to really do it and I learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know before how to like film my own movies sometime or tell stories with a movie."
Dannica's interview in mp3 format. Link to Dannica's interview in wav format.



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Copyright © 2002 Galileo Educational Network Association (GENA™)