Over the weekend, two stars rotated into conjunction. Not up in the sky, but here on Earth. One, my colleague who runs the multimedia (video creation and editing) program here at school also makes the term-end sports highlights reel for our school assembly program. She asked me to take a school-owned Flip video camera and tripod to our Friday fencing match and record a few students competing. So I did.
In the process, I managed to get digital video of every single kid who fenced, at least twice. Lo and behold, these videos are not only not terrible, but they’re good enough to show kids what they’re doing wrong in footwork and bladework. Given that our kids lost MOST of their matches, it’s pretty useful to be able to show them their errors, and how their opponents were much more capable.
The second star that came into alignment was another colleague who asked me to show her how to use the school’s digital projector to project student slide shows from Keynote during classes this week.
AHA! I thought. I’ll have students make slideshows, and record their presentations, and combine those two pieces of assessment into a single assignment.
These kinds of technological jumps — integration of tools — take a long time to figure out. We’ve had the projector for a long time, and we’ve had the Flip cameras for a while too. The tripod is a holdover from the old chemicals-and-film photography program, but it works with the new gear just as well.
Seeing all three of them functioning together, in conjunction with student scripts and student effort, though… I wonder why we (I) didn’t think of it before. It’s not like other schools don’t do it; some people on my RSS feeds like Mr. Jackson, have been doing it for a while.
Some times, I guess, you just need your nose rubbed in it. Or for the stars to align.