#8 Final Reflection

Four life-long skills:

Self-direction:

In the beginning of What’s the Story? when we were thinking of ideas we wanted to pursue for our videos, I knew I wanted to do something around education, and grading reform. Once my partner and I found that we were both interested in the same topic and formed a team, ideas started to come out left and right, and I realized we had all these great thoughts and questions, but not a specific thing that our video was going to be centered around. It took us a while to figure out the main idea of our video. Once we had video footage and were ready to start editing, we had to stop and really discuss where we want to take this video and how. This challenge really helped me practice identifying questions and pursuing questions, because I always had questions about which footage to use, are we staying with our vision statement, what is our audience, etc. Throughout this, communication was key, and I think our group did a really good job communicating with each other over Slack or Google Hangout to make sure we were on the right page, or if we had different ideas, how to incorporate them. This connects to feedback, because it is important when working in a group to communicate with each other and work with each other so everyone is happy with where the project is going, but it also connects to initiative and responsibility, because you have to push yourself to ask questions and talk with your team when there is a problem or when you have an idea. In the future I hope I continue to ask questions when I need to and communicate with my team members in order to get things done.

Responsible and Involved Citizenship:

Throughout WtS my partner and I revised our vision statement many times, to better match out vision, which was always changing. many times we would have a great team discussion and realize we had this vision statement, but we had all this video footage and had been working on something that wasn’t really following it. When we changed it sometimes it was the whole thing, sometimes it was just a few words, but each time we did, I always felt re-energized, and ready because we felt like we were heading to the right track. I always liked looking through our video footage as a group because we would discuss what this person was talking about and what they might mean. I think this helped me get a better understanding of the topic we were pursuing because I didn’t know everything about education reform and so the footage really gave me a better understanding. During WtS we have done a lot of reflection on ourselves, our team, and our project. WtS has definitely helped me grow as a team-mate, who can communicate and talk things out when there is a problem. Towards the end of WtS I think that my team’s productiveness slowed down a little, and I made sure to continue using slack or text messaging to see where our team was at and what needed to be done, and make sure I had done my part. This connects back to teamwork and self-awareness, because I knew what I needed to do, and I worked with my team to make sure we were still progressing. In the future, I hope I can be aware of myself when I am working in a group and can reflect on what I am doing, and what I need to do.

Informed and Integrative Thinking:

When we were ready to start creating and editing our video I struggled a bit because there were lots of decisions to be made about what footage goes in, and its placement, and it could be stressful. To try to help with this, my team made a storyboard and laid out all of the interviews, which ones we are going to use and where, how many times each person is in the video, and made it so each section of the video was organized. This really helped me feel more organized and allowed to analyze the footage which I could see more clearly now, and pick out certain parts that would go great in the section we were in, and know which interviews would be the best for each section, This storyboard really helped me improve my informed and integrative thinking, and I hope that in the future, when I am stressed about something, I can lay it out which could help me analyze and pinpoint things in a more organized way.

Clear and Effective Communication:

One of my jobs while creating our video was to listen to the interviews and find the clips that we wanted to use, which I would then give the times to my partner who would put them in the video. This has helped with my Clear and Effective Communication skills because I was able to practice listening. For example I would listen to a clip of a principle talking about Proficiency based grading, and then I would hear a teacher talk about it and could be like “oh, these two clips would go great together”. This not only helped with my active listening skills, but also my storytelling skills because I needed to place clips together in a way that they would tell a story. One thing our group struggled with was deciding on what audience we were reaching towards. Since our topic was education reform we didn’t know if our audience should be students, teachers, parents, or all of the above. we decided that it could be all of them, but we had to make the video in a way that everyone could follow along. This challenged my purpose, context, and audience skills, but by the end I think we organized our video in a way that was for all audiences.

Unexpected Learning:

During my What’s the Story? experience I think I have learned how to become a better communicator. When I learned that we would be using Google Hangout I was worried at first, because I was pretty quiet and didn’t talk a lot and I didn’t know how it was going to be over video communication. But I soon realized that this was a great way to be connected to my team. Usually after a weekend retreat my teammate and I would each leave with something to work on and we would also schedule a Google hangout in the following week to see what progress we had made or if we had run into any problems. This worked out great, because if I did end up having a problem I knew that in the next few days I would be having a Google Hangout where I could explain my problem and ask for ideas. I remember when we were organizing our Carol Tomlinson interview we wanted to use a recording website that would allow us to record the Skype conversation we would be having with her. we were all a little nervous about it because none of us had ever used the website before and we didn’t know if it would work. So, we set up a Google Hangout and practiced with the recording website to see if it would actually record the video chat we were having. Knowing that we had a way to communicate our concerns and actually be able to work them out over this communication resource was really helpful, and helped us feel organized. I think for the most part my group had a Google Hangout once a week, which really helped us stay connected with each other and pushed us to keep working and get things done. Slack was another form of communication that we used during WtS. If something ever came up we could just message on Slack to let our group members know, and we could make a plan on what to do. This also helped me become a better communicator because it helped me become more comfortable with asking questions when I needed to. Going in to college I know there will be times where I will be working in a group and I will need to communicate with them effectively and not be afraid to ask questions or share out ideas when I have them. Even when I’m not in a team, if I’m just in class it’s important to communicate with the teacher or students around me. I think throughout the year I have been more willing, and have felt more confident, in sharing my ideas, which have helped move our group’s project forward. So, in a year from now I would come back and tell you that What’s the Story and helped me learn how to communicate better and to take risks with ideas and ask questions, because they really do make a difference and can really help whatever kind of project you are doing.

jgingold

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