Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Longfellow 10

For a few weeks this Spring I tried an experiment in my classroom. One of my sections joined the super hip student-run Longfellow 10 Productions. The LF10 is a loose confederation of unknown students in undisclosed locations in cyberspace looking to promote awareness of important literary terms (and Science Concepts!) through absurd stop-motion films. Check out our Longfellow 10 movies here. For information on an upcoming film festival, click here.

Mr. Mayo and one of the LF!0 give valuable advice via Skype.

Instead of doing the usual assignments, labs and activities we got into groups and began working on stop-motion movies around science topics and concepts. Each group got a piece of butcher paper for story-boarding, a bag of materials and a topic. Five class periods later we posted eight new videos to the LF10 site.

LF10 member (MN faction) shows off storyboard for Orographic Cooling

One of the coolest parts of the project was a very valuable 15 minutes of advice from from the Maryland faction via Skype. It was the first time I skyped in classes but I instantly realized the value of this tool. We learned that there were lots of bumps in the road, that it took a lot of time to make a good movie and music and sound effects are critical for quality movies. The students saw other students being successful and caught a glimpse of the classroom of the future. I'm looking forward to finding authentic reasons to incorporate Skype next year.

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