The children had been creating photostories and presentations at home and we were finding it difficult to share their work on any scale in school. We decided to install screens around the place and scheduled the children’s work to play at key times during the day. The children are used to the screens now and look forward to seeing their work being broadcast around school but I can still remember the look on thier faces when they were first installed.
I often tell the story of a disenchanted pupil in Y3 who with the support of an enlightened teacher learned to use photostory. He persuaded his mum to come along to one of our parents’ workshops and less than a week later he was producing photostories for his maths and other films to support different areas of learning. He loved seeing his work around school and it had a profound impact on his attitude to his learning. Not only that, his friends saw the potential and got in on the act! Soon we had children bringing in their own projects for us to broadcast across the school.
As with anything new, when we fitted the screens we weren’t quite sure of where we might go with them. We began to test and stretch their capabilities and eventually felt we needed something more. We were fortunate to meet CMS, a local media company who agreed to fit a green screen studio for us in school. This gave us the opportunity to put the sceens to much better use. To not only share the children’s work, but also to create their own in-house films, adverts, vodcasts and more. Some of the early projects were great fun and the children immediately saw huge possibilities With the aid of twitter, an early advert made as part of a Y6 literacy lesson was used by a school in Bradford as a stimulus for a Y3 writing lesson! The children quickly turned the green screen into a roller coaster, a newsroom, the beach, a playground, outer space, you name it!!
Current projects include ‘Hawes Siders’ our school soap, ‘A story from School’ our answer to Cbeebies’ Bedtime story and the teaching and learning group are making a film about how children feel about marking – this is for staff and will be used at our next professional development meeting after Christmas. The children find the green screen easy to use and it supports their basic skills development giving them plenty of opportunity for speaking and listening, reading and writing (planning, scripting and autocue feature as much in any project as filming and presenting.) The green screen studio has enabled us to explore further possiblities in the use of technology to support learning, the screens enable us to share this learning. We also use a scrolling RSS feed on the screens to advertise class blogs and relevant information. Custom widgets also allow us to screen house point totals, birthdays, awards, sports news and much more. Live broadcasting is our next step, beaming in-house offerings across the classrooms and screens around school. The learning will be televised!