May 21, 2007

If you go down to the woods today...

I'm having as much fun as the kids at Ross High, Tranent, today as they learn how to animate with Oscar Stringer. Speaking with a couple of the art teachers here, and having just caught up with my Principal Teacher English pal Claire, I'm seeing loads of links between the two subjects which technology can help foster.

Creativity is at the root of the two subject areas, one visual in terms you can touch and feel, the other visual in terms you can imagine in your mind, both encroach on each other's take of visual, too. So I've brainstormed a few ideas that I think might work. If you have any you can add, please do so. This will all go into the pot of what English and Art (and any other subjects that come to mind) might be able to meld together for their own Excellent Curriculum:

Analysing computer game texts, such as the half-decent ones in Hotel Dusk; how could they be improved

Creating basic "flight of fantasty" games (using hyperlinked notes on Flickr like this or Scratch) - non-linear writing - Update: Primary schools are already getting down to this - great stuff!

Illustrating story or poetry through photography, artwork - publishing online.

Visual dictionary work using Flickr searches for adjectives, adverbs...

Individual learning (b)logs to improve student writing (look at PinkyParky) - writing little but often, two stars and a wish commenting from peers, parents, teachers.

Journalism - create a real newspaper with real news online - use a blog, take real pics of the action

Create quick online plans on a wiki such as PBWiki ; allow simple sharing of good plans

eTwinning - collaborative projects

Flickr camera clubs & competitions

Quicktime vids / virtual tours (video) of artwork

Film festivals to celebrate outcomes (link with potential Enterprise event)

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So, at the risk of repeating myself, you guys have to get education authorities to unblock flickr!

By changing the settings of your DS, Hotel Dusk can also be watched and played in French ( or other language available ). I am now trying to find a way to integrate it in the classroom...

If you get round to using at all, Erwan, I would love to know. As well as the interest in technology I would love to see the MFL application, obviously. Maybe we could commission you to do something for the MFLE on that, even? Anyone else doing similar things?

Isn't Oscar Stringer simply the most motivating of tutors? I am priviliged to be able to call him a friend and that man works wonders with any group that the comes into contact with. The delight on fellow adults faces as he delivers his training is priceless. It makes me wonder if his training sessions wouldn't be better for our young criminal fraternity, instead of banging them up in prisons. Its like the work of self-styled Funmeister, Bernie De Koven (another friend) www.deepfun.com .

Is there a way to erase string from animation in i can animate if we want to make something fly?

p7 animation class

Try using a matchstick stuck into the thing you want to make fly and hide it off the top of the screen. That might do the trick. Flying is really hard to do with string.

I am seriously planning to leave my higher Spanish students to work out the Hotel Dusk story for a few periods. That should be quite an interesting experience.

I've not had any luck taking these kind of ideas into the MFL classes in my 'hood, so do keep blogging about your exploits!

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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