Another week done and closer to graduation! It was a less busy week for sure, but there was still a lot going on between work and school. Today I worked at Winterlude at our university. It's a festival that the university has in the winter (this is its second annual one) and invites staff, students, and the community to come together in a fun day. I wasn't able to go to last year's Winterlude as I worked at my other job, but this year I got to and had a lot of fun working with the other student ambassadors and the staff from student services. They definitely did an amazing job organizing and putting in countless hours to make a fun day for everyone!
This past Friday I attended a PD put on my by friend and fellow student colleague, Tyler Letkeman. He is likely the most talented individual I know when it comes to technology. He always finds great ways to include it in the classroom. I like that he finds meaningful ways to use technology in the classroom, as I think there needs to be a purpose for technology if we're going to use it, and not just use it for the sake of using it.
Tyler gave us a lot of great facts about the use of movies in today's educational world, and why it relates better to students. Some of the facts he gave us were that there are 8 years of video uploaded to YouTube every day. I could barely comprehend 8 hours of video, let alone 8 years! The next fact he gave us is that on average, the Canadian adult watches 1500 hours of television and watches 2800 commercials a year. As an avid television watcher, I can definitely see that this would be true.
Some of the information that he gave us that I found extremely interesting, especially as an English teacher, is how even literature has taken its place in the world of the media. Tyler gave the example of searching for Pride & Prejudice. When typed in to google, more of search results that he got back were for the movies. The same is true for The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. All of literature's classics and greats are slowly but surely being transformed into movies. When I think about the books I'm reading now, which are Life of Pi and War & Peace, both are movies. All of the Shakespeare plays we read in high school have been made into movies; one of my favorite novels that we read in high school, Brave New World, is being into a movie; even The Great Gatsby is scheduled to be released this summer (although there is an older version made).
A lot of people, myself included, have said that movies ruin the books. Either they change a character from how we imagined them in our heads, they change the plot, or leave out important details. Media is making literature more available to all students, however. In most cases, a student is more likely to head to a theater to watch a movie than pick up a book. In a lot of cases, students enjoy the movie so much that they want to read the book after. This was the case with the Hunger Games. When I was in a grade 7 classroom this past spring, we took the students to see the movie, and afterwards, almost all of them wanted to read the book.
Tyler also lead us through how to use Windows Movie Maker, which is the program that we will most likely be using in schools. There was just a small group of us, so he was able to help us with all the problems we encountered. All of us being new to the program, there was many! I didn't get a chance to make a full movie while we were there (although we did film one, using the shot information that he gave us), but I have been experimenting with it this weekend.
I can definitely see myself using movie making in my classroom. I think it will engage students and also create a new way for students to find success in a classroom since they won't be just writing essay's and papers, which are definitely over-used in English classrooms. Thank you so much for all the great information Tyler! To check out Tyler's blog, go to his blog.