I am always searching for better ways to engage students in authentic collaborative group-based learning activities when trying to build media literacy skills. So I was excited when a friend of mine who teaches at UCLA invited me to deliver a Tabletop Moviemaking workshop in here civics engagement class. She felt that the method lent itself to a multi-disciplinary approach to arts integration across subjects. And since we were using iPads as a central part of the process, we were also able to add an exciting layer of building media literacy through media production.
I wanted to share her reflection with the Edutopia community on the workshop experience because I think there are some valuable insights for teachers who are interested in different approaches to PBL. I think she offers an articulate response from the perspective of a university lecturer who is trying to expose her students to civic/arts education in k-12 education. Her most salient point centered on the importance of placing students in the author's chair to create their own original artifacts in response to issues in their community. You'll find that the movies created during the class were on the silly side which I actually encourage as a first encounter with moviemaking because it should be fun. But I think it is easy to see the potential to create more serious movies that focus on more serious issues.
I was able to document to workshop with loads of pictures and I added captions explaining each of the five main verbs used in the process: write, build, shoot, edit & share. In the span of two hours her students were able to create 4 short movies which are also embedded on the site.
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