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About MovingVoices

The vision for MovingVoices is simple. Students around the world can use the power of digital films to move and educate others around the world. The films can be rich, authentic resources for learning. They can contribute to increased understanding of our neighbors in an evermore interdependent, culturally diverse world.

With the increasing availability of powerful, low cost technologies for digital filmmaking ‚ digital camcorders, computer-based editing systems ‚ and the promise of increased worldwide access to broadband Internet distribution networks, .
The project seeks to:
  • Support the charter group of MovingVoices teachers and students as innovators and trailblazers who will show the way for others who follow.
  • Demonstrate that the capacities to make, upload, and download original student films is sufficiently in place around the world.
  • Enable digital filmmaking to become an ongoing part of education: To use the Internet and other new technologies to enable young people to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world, goals in line with the mission of iEARN.
  • Use the filmmaking process to advance local teaching and learning goals in different countries across a range of curricular studies.
  • Take advantage of the role collaborative online discussions can play in realizing the project's opportunities for teaching, learning, and increasing cultural understanding.
  • Explore ways to make finished student films available to be shared and used by schools and other audiences anywhere on the planet.
How the Movies Were Made
During a nine-week online course, each of the MovingVoices teachers help their students develop unique cinematic responses to a common inquiry, such as"What We Want the World to Know About Our School." which was the one year's theme.î

Roughly half of the course is spent developing the story the students wanted to tell through a progression of evermore detailed planning documents - from the basic idea in a sentence to a film "treatment,î then script, with accompanying story boards and production plans.

In the second half of the course, teachers use iEARN guidance to organize their classes into production teams. Students use mini DV camcorders to record the sights, sounds, scenes, and subjects called for in their scripts. They use computer-based editing software to sequence and pace the unfolding of their stories.

Throughout the pilot phase, teachers as well as students are able to get to know each other and share ideas via the course's interactive online forum.

The resulting digital movies provide revealing glimpses into each school community. There are important distinctions and commonalities, such as the value they place on education and their hopes for the future.

What Teachers Do
Teachers use the online course to gain skills in digital filmmaking. They use online forums to reflect together on the teaching and learning challenges that go along with student-filmmaking, including:
  • how the process advances learning goals in specific curriculum areas
  • how to organize and manage their classes
  • how regular online collaborations helps participants reflect upon their own cultural identify and gain a clearer understanding of their peers around the world
  • how to assess student accomplishments in new ways
At the end of the project, teacher and student participants are asked to submit evaluations to detail how they benefited from the project, the practical hurdles they had to overcome, and their recommendations for how MovingVoices can be improved and expanded.

Lessons Learned
Facilitation by experienced educators in the online course is critically important. Throughout the course, teachers rely upon real time access to iEARN facilitators to help solve the wide range of problems that may naturally arise in such an ambitious undertaking. Whether the issues are technical or pedagogical, the facilitators are available to make it all add up to a richly rewarding educational experience for all involved.

It comes as no surprise that students can and will do creative educational work when given tools, guidance and responsibility. The finished productions form the debut offerings of an online educational repository of original student films. Teachers and students around the world are being invited to download and use the films to enrich their coursework in social studies, second language acquisition, language and visual arts, to name a few.

After working together during the video production, students want to have continued contact with the students in the participating MovingVoices countries. This is encouraged. In recognition of this desire, viewers of the videos are able to and are given suggestions for delving deeper into the culture of the country of the movie and provided with opportunities to interact with students and teachers in these countries through the global iEARN educational network.

Most importantly, the participants of MovingVoices help establish a methodology that enablse other teachers and students to learn from their experiences as they avail themselves of today's digital filmmaking and distribution technologies.

Join MovingVoices
The projectís goal now is to create an ever-growing, searchable library of digital videos for use in classrooms worldwide. We urge you to join MovingVoices so that the creativity and perspective of your students will be represented.

  © 2007 iEARN

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