Film makers and guests had a great time at the fifth annual Connecticut Student Film Festival. In the clip below, event organizer and Digital Media and Movie Making Program Manager, Matthew Worwood, is joined by the winners of the 90-second film challenge.
Here at the Center for 21st Century Skills, we love reaching out and working with new districts, and the annual Digital Learning Day provides us with an amazing opportunity to do so. Last February, we had so much fun exploring mobile apps, film making, and storytelling with Pre-K and elementary school students on the first-ever Digital Learning Day. We wanted to do something just as special for 2013.
This year, our digital learning specialist Emily Wasley loaded up our mobile iPod touch lab and brought it to Mr. Wasley’s 8th grade Science classroom at King Phillip Middle School in West Hartford, Conn. The Mission: Storyboard, script, and film creative, informative, and scientifically accurate short films about energy transformations using iPod touches and the iMovie mobile app.
Developing a successful digital media project requires a lot of planning and preparation, so Mr. Wasley introduced the Emerald Team students to the challenge the week before DLD2013. Working in small groups, students in each class made storyboards for their short films and prepared props (toasters, puppets, coffee makers, stuffed animals, and ramen noodles, to name a few) and costumes (everything from a pair of sunglasses to a muscle suit!) for their projects. Although the planning took place in class and over the weekend, every film was shot and edited in one 45 minute period!
By the end of the school day, each class completed 5-6 short films ranging from 20 seconds to almost 5 minutes in length. From an incredible rap song to a new rendition of the Wizard of Oz, these KP 8th graders really brought their A-game to complete the challenge.
There were 29 films created over the course of the day (WOW!), so we chose one exemplar film from each period to showcase on our YouTube channel. Every group worked so hard to create a unique and creative film.
A special thank you to all of the students, to Mr. Wasley, and to King Phillip Middle School for helping us celebrate the importance of digital learning.
Enjoy the films!
Did you do try something new for Digital Learning Day 2013? Share your experience below, or tell us on our Facebook page!
Here are some of the top films:
Hannah B, Hannah M, Ethan, and Caroline:
Annie, Dan, Kevin C, and Haley:
Alex T, Kyle, Merrill, and Ameir:
Bryce, Hannah, Eva, and Sam:
One of the creativity challenges we like to use at Center for 21st Century Skills is called the 30 Circles Test, developed by Bob McKim and more recently popularized in Tim Brown’s 2008 TEDTalk: Tales of creativity and play. This is a great challenge that can be adapted to suit people of any age in any setting. It’s quick way to get creative juices flowing, break the ice, or team build, and all you need is a sheet of paper with 30 circles, a pencil, and 3 minutes.
- Writing implement
- 30 circles template
- 3 minutes of free time
So how do you play?
Each participant grabs a pencil, pen, crayon, marker, etc., and the 30 circles template. When the timer starts, each artist has 3 minutes to “fill” as many of the 30 circles as they can. The goal is quantity, not quality. Patterns, doodles, shapes, animals, plants, words, and objects are all fair game, as are drawings that incorporate more than one circle.
Administering the challenge is fun, especially once you’ve done it with a few different groups, but it’s really important not to give your participants hints and suggestions as to what to draw. The key to the challenge is to encourage users to draw anything and everything they can conceive in the 3 minute period.
We’ve developed a few variations of the 30 Circles Challenge. Many of these variations were developed based on circumstance—maybe we had a particularly quiet group, maybe we were short on pencils. Adding and changing the rules makes for some interesting results, and it’s a great way to shake up the challenge for participants who have done it before.
Theme:The facilitator of the challenge identifies a theme at the start of the 3 minutes. The theme could be anything—a color, a certain ecosystem, a book title, a food group, etc. Each artist should try to incorporate that theme into their 30 circles.
Partners (with a twist!): Each set of 2-3 participants receives one sheet of paper and one writing implement. They still have 3 minutes to fill in as many circles as possible, but with one additional rule: The person with the pencil can’t draw their own idea. Instead, those in the group without the pencil must dictate what the artist should draw. If the person with the pencil comes up with an idea, they must pass off the pencil to someone else and instruct them as to what to draw.
Score keeping: Whoever manages to fill all 30 circles wins.
Reflection and debrief
Debriefing the 30 Circles Challenge is another great opportunity for facilitators to engage participants. For example, if one artist has a page covered in snowmen (a common theme in winter), ask if anyone else drew snow people. Try to discover commonalities. Participants can also work together to discuss who came up with the most unique design. Reflecting on the challenge as a group can yield some interesting results and realizations.
After facilitating a number of 30 Circles Challenges, you will probably get used to seeing lots of suns, flowers, eyeballs, and stereotypically round things. It’s not a bad thing! But you’ll never fail to be amazed at some of the unique ideas that seemingly come out of nowhere.
Have you done the 30 Circles Challenge with your group? Have you developed your own twist? Post your 30 Circles submissions to our Facebook page. We’d love to see your results!
Expo teams – remember that your proposals are due on January 31, 2013. For more information, click here.
Project Managers at the Center have put together a new course on our Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) website. Guests can view one unit from each of a selection of our courses. Find a link and directions by clicking here.
Check out our new video library for TEDx Talks by our staff and slideshows of our students.
Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences:
Responsible Design Challenge Request for Proposals
Center for 21st Century Skills at EDUCATION CONNECTION is requesting proposals from high school teams participating in the 9th and 10th Grade Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The 2013 CT Student Innovation EXPO Challenge is an opportunity for Academy teams to showcase unique skills in science, technology, mathematics, digital media and communication. Teams are challenged to create and implement a new initiative, campaign, product or technology that addresses the theme of Responsible Design.
Center for 21st Century Skills will accept project proposals until January 31st, 2013. Complete proposals consist of a one-page written document and an original 60-second video.
The following elements should be included in the written proposal:
- Team Name
- A brief summary of your problem and discussion of how it can be rectified through Responsible Design.
- A brief description of how the project addresses the required science content:
- For E3 – Conservation or responsible use of one or more natural resources
- For Bio21 – Nature-Inspired Design
- A brief description of how the project addresses the required math content:
- For Alg21 – collection, representation, modeling, and prediction using relevant data
- For Geom21 – collection, representation, modeling, and prediction using relevant data and analysis of a geometric element of the project
Submit by January 31, 2013
9th grade project proposals should be submitted to Kerry Macfarland
10th grade project proposals should be submitted to Emily Wasley
The top two proposals will receive a $50 gift card to further the development of the project. The remaining proposals will each receive a $10 gift card provided that proposals were submitted on time and meet all criteria.
The 2012-2013 Academic Year is well underway, and we’re happy to have everyone back. For all of the newcomers to our programs, including those of you enrolled in the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, welcome aboard!
This year, Center for 21st Century Skills is implementing innovative science, technology, and math programs in 30 schools across Connecticut:
- Bethel High School*
- Bridgeport Aquaculture School
- Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk
- Brookfield High School
- Crosby High School in Waterbury
- Danbury High School
- East Hartford High School*
- East Haven High School*
- Engineering and Science University Magnet School in New Haven*
- Farmington High School
- Hillhouse High School in New Haven*
- Hyde School of Health Sciences and Sports Medicine in Hamden
- Joel Barlow High School (Region 9)
- Kennedy High School in Waterbury
- Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven*
- New Fairfield High School*
- New Milford High School
- Newtown High School
- Pomperaug High School (Region 15)*
- Northwestern Regional High School (Region7)
- Shepaug High School (Region 12)*
- Simsbury High School
- Stafford Springs High School
- Stonington High School*
- Terryville High School
- Thomaston High School
- Wamogo High School*
- Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven*
- Windsor Locks High School
- Woodland Regional High School (Region 16)
*Schools participating in the 9-12 Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
Our course catalog this year includes the following programs:
- 12th Grade Academy Capstone
- 3D Modeling and Animation
- Digital Media and Movie Making
- Earth and Energy Essentials
- E-Commerce Entrepreneurship
- Foundations of Health Science and Technology
- Public Health
- Regional Internship Program
- Research, Design, and Development (Mobile App Design)
This semester is filled with incredible experiential event opportunities for our students. Head over to the event calendar to check them out!
The first-ever TEDxLitchfieldED will be held on June 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the IBM conference center in Southbury, Conn.
The theme this year is Innovative Education: College Ready, Workforce Ready. The event is open to educators and business professionals!
There is a $30 registration fee and lunch is provided.
Some of the presenters include:
- Jonathan P. Costa, Sr., Director of School/Program Services at EDUCATION CONNECTION and author of Digital Learning for All, Now: A School Leader’s Guide for 1:1 on a Budget
- Frank LaBanca, Ed.D., Director of Center for 21st Century Skills
- Albert Schneider, Director, IGA Services Delivery and Transformation Programs, IBM Global Technology Services
- Matthew Worwood, Digital Media Specialist at Center for 21st Century Skills and Apple Distinguished Educator
CEUs are available to those who attend.
See you there!