Sunday, 18 November 2012

How easy is it to create a TV station?

This is the year long journey of the development of our TV Station for five year old students. It has been a very powerful experience and has helped me to consider new ways to empower learners and provide student voice opportunities while capturing moments of brilliance happening in the class without me. 
Our problem
There have been an increasing number of children arriving at school with moderate to severe speech difficulties. Our news board and oral language programme was effective however it was controlled by me and the children were passive in their learning. I needed to find a way to empower these children and allow them to gain confidence in their own abilities and improve or extend their oral language development. 

The mission which I chose to accept….
–ways to make it manageable in time and effort
-Cost effective
-Uncomplicated and simplistic for children to use.
-Empowering and purposeful
-improve speech and oral language skills
-Develop a sense of community and belonging
-Empower a 5 year old with a voice
-Develop questioning and answering skills
-Develop listening for information skills
-Roles and responsibilities
-awareness of the purpose of an audience

Why it works
Learning is much more effective and powerful when a student is actively engaged in the learning process.  I embrace a constructivist approach to learning where children build on their existing ideas and prior knowledge through authentic and purposeful contexts. Our TV Station allows students to reflect on learning processes and experiences with a real model of where they are at and to explore where to next.  The students develop their own understanding of effective communication at a pace suited to them and their style of learning. Our TV Station project is holistic and engages every level of thinking while embracing diversity and celebrating learning in a community effort towards engagement and motivation. We are able to integrate all curriculum areas, values and employ all areas of the key competencies.
Children enjoy watching themselves online
Share their learning experiences with their family
Reflect on their learning and develop next learning steps
Co-construct new ideas – Kids lessons
Teaches me how to teach them.

Providing my class with the opportunity to direct their own learning and controlling the direction of the TV station we now have evidence of ….
                -children with speech impediments improving in oral language
                -speaking with clarity and confidence,
                -children taking more risks and trying new things
                -collaboratively developing ideas,
                -creating a community of learners who support, encourage and treat one another as equals.
                -scaffold each other through questioning, encouragement, support and celebration

Technology skills specifically taught
-camera views
-filming and still
-equipment management
-using a microphone
-viewing film for developing next steps

Learning skills developed and scaffolded
-reflecting on their learning
-talking about their goals in learning effectively on film
-developing new ideas collaboratively
-language of and for learning
-turn taking
-listening as an audience
-reflective practises
-negotiating next steps

Oral Language skills developed
-speaking clearly
-speak with confidence
-speaking for an audience
-making eye contact
-explaining thinking
-taking risks
-being creative

Hauora Development
-sense of belonging
-collaborative knowledge building
-community of learners inquiring
-risk taking
-self confidence and belief
-provides them with a voice
-etiquette of conversations

Teacher friendly …
                -Planning is done with the children not independent of them.
                -The filming is done by the children independent of me
                -Reflection and evaluation becomes the specific teaching point and is done by the children but facilitated by me.
-develops thinking skills and creativity to make interesting viewing while incorporating learning goals

These five year old new entrants to school now experience a sense of belonging not only in class but globally online, extending the learning beyond our classroom. They get excited about their learning and have feeling of success when sharing their learning with a wider audience. This project is owned by the children and my role is facilitating the collaboration to higher levels and putting the film together at the end of the week to upload online. I am constantly inspired and impressed by the learners I am surrounded by every day. Our TV Station provides EVERY student with the opportunity to shine and become empowered with a voice.

Getting started
These things have worked well for us.
Your challenge will come soon to co-construct a programme for your class.

Set up studio
Black background with name
Wireless microphone
Laptop with webcam for kids to film themselves.
Camera for filming and photography
2 seats for filming and interviewing
Books, finger puppets and fuzzy as props for building language.
Try to keep it available for freelance filming too. This is where I get the most information about their thinking, leaders and questioning skills.

Specific teaching points…
How to listen
Ask questions
Use our voice
Speak to an audience
Set goals
Reflect on achievements
Critique film footage
Share ideas and develop new ones
These are all recorded in a meeting book to refer back to

Exemplars and good models
Newsflash sesame street
Weather reports use of voice
Our own t.v. shows

Some ideas to get you started
Writing practise
-reading back their writing
-writing for an audience
- Science
- Language
- Environment
- statistics                 
Te Reo
-          Recognising one of our languages
-          Teaching others
-          Consolidating learning
-          Practises vowel pronunciation
Did you know?
-          science
-          Inquiry
-          Consolidating learning
-          Sharing knowledge
-          Teaching others

Thinking about thinking
-          Key competency focus
-          Developing language for learning and reflection

Interviewing skills
-          Sense of community
-          Learning from others
-          Questioning skills
-          Listening skills
-          Body language

Make our own lessons for other kids to learn from us.

Tips and Tricks
When starting up I spent many hours trying to get programmes working.
Keeping it simplistic and manageable was my biggest challenge
These tips are my reflection of what not to do
1-2 minutes otherwise its not manageable for you.
It takes too long to upload and parents get bored.
Manage your data
Create a folder on your desktop and label with date for movie
Import all files needed for movie into this one file.
Use an SD card in your camera for easy loading into laptop
Camera use this for as much as possible. Easy, small and portable great for the kids
Easy speak
Video camera
Any resources to encourage talking

Accepts any file type.
Easy to add voice overs with easispeak
Can edit length of music to fit images
Can move items around to order and sequence
Clearly if you are experienced in other movie editing programmes you would use what you are familiar with.
For ease of use, cost and manageability and you are just starting out this may be a preferred option to get you going.

Free legal and unlimited music published under cc licenses which enables the artists to promote their music while protecting their rights.
Royalty free music downloads
Easy to use
loads to choose from

To upload and convert all the files for me.
Can easily access an embedding code to put in blog
Created our own channel to keep all episodes together.
Is made public so I can embed into my blog and others can view.
Could be kept private and link provided to all parents.

Cyber safety can be a concern and searching you tube is not ideal so I use a blog to present each episode linked to my class blog
Invites comments that can be moderated.
Easy to use
Must educate parents how to comment and why we comment on blogs.

Word of Warning
-          Be careful with copyright laws with music and photos
-          Be careful that you have written permission to put each child’s photo online

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