Digital video – with the help of Apple's iMovie – has gone where traditional teaching methods couldn't: it's inspired and interested school children.
The Engaged Learning Project was organized by ICT advisory teacher Jenny Hulme. She gathered teachers and budding filmmakers from a number of schools in Stoke-on-Trent to take part in a project that aimed to "enliven even the disliked bits of the curriculum."
Primary school children were let loose with cameras and digital editing equipment. The teams created movies using Apple's iMovie editing software according to a report in the Guardian.
Hulme told the Guardian: "It was such a thrill to watch the children so quickly grasp how to handle the technology in a creative way. DV is a great leveller."
Deputy head of Christchurch primary school Sarah Thursfield said: "The process got them thoroughly immersed in their topic. They made a film exploring the differences between solids, liquids and gasses – this is a topic that is hard to put across interestingly in class. But through film-making, they came into their own - teaching each other and working well as a team."
Hulme added: "The Christchurch team proved to me the power of DV in helping children get to grips with topics they don't much like. I'm sure they will pass their SATs in this section brilliantly - by the end they knew every fact by heart. Not only did they have to speak it to a camera, but they heard the material over and over again during the editing stage."
IT coordinator at St Luke's Jean Coker said: "Film has a wow factor. The boys involved were proud, though it was telling that their accounts of the project to parents emphasised the film-making over the poetic subject matter of their movie. For me, this is teaching as I have never taught before. It is essential to keep youngsters excited, and DV has that capacity. It may be something new for teachers to consider, but it should not be regarded as an extra burden but a tremendous tool."