#7 Looking Glass (Part II)

Unexpected Learning:

Over the course of this year, I have had many points of unexpected learning. It has been such a full year for learning, so some of the places in which I learned deserve some recognition. One of the main places in which I have learned is communication. This was harder than any of us in our group would think, at least from Bill to us.  Many times, we had issues with email not working, and since our school has blocked Google Hangouts, that option was taken off the table. It took a huge amount of troubleshooting, but we finally figured out that the best way for us to contact was first by phone call, and after the call, emailing each other. Another place in which I have grown is video editing. WeVideo was very different form everything that I had used before in the film creation area, and was simply, quite difficult of a program. This lead to problems when a video would not line up with another, or when our text slides all glitched out to not even show the second line of text. That second problem was the subject of many hours of frustration, but we found that the solution was, in the end, just to publish the video and watch it in better quality. Additionally, a problem involving our documentary’s behind-the-scenes work is that none of the music files, which Miles or I wrote in other programs such as Noteflight or Sibelius, and the Sibelius pieces would have all of its instruments switched around, or simply missing. Adding on to that, it was not even in a file type that Google Drive would store. We ended up fixing that with translation of file type, which still ended up with some of the musical instruments switched, but at least we could all hear the music. A final problem had been retrieving release forms from the people we interviewed. One of our interviewees, the first one we interviewed, lost her release form and didn’t respond to any emails I sent about printing out or receiving a new release form. It took until early May to finally, but we finally received a release form from her. Another interviewee put us in a similar situation: not responding to emails, losing the initial release form, and not giving a release form to us until early May. Those were fairly simple, in the end, but some of our interviewees could not even be contacted in person, instead having to communicate by email. One of them, even after numerous emails to her asking for a release form, was simply not on email enough to receive any of the emails that we received all the way to almost at the deadline for having all of our forms in. Through these three experiences, I have learned that it probably would be smart to get alternative methods of communication with our interviewees, as to prevent further incidents like this from happening. On the more positive side, I learned some things without failure or problems involved. The main thing I learned in this way is the power of a network. Networks led us to getting all of our interviews, which means that our film would definitely be different if we didn’t have those networks. Also, the WtS network provided us with all of the perspectives that we were striving to show, including the perspective of someone that was bullying another person. All in all, this year in What’s the Story? has had many learning moments for me that don’t necessarily fit under the four life-long skills.

Theo Ellis Novotny

One Response to “#7 Looking Glass (Part II)

  • Dixie Goswami
    5 years ago

    “The main thing I learned in this way is the power of a network. Networks led us to getting all of our interviews, which means that our film would definitely be different if we didn’t have those networks. Also, the WtS network provided us with all of the perspectives that we were striving to show, including the perspective of someone that was bullying another person. All in all, this year in What’s the Story? has had many learning moments for me that don’t necessarily fit under the four life-long skills.”

    Theo,
    Thanks for my unexpected learning that came from reading your reflection. I’ve never seen in any textbook or article a more useful description of the technical problems you encountered and had to solve to make the technology work for you. There’s an urgent need for you and your working group (with Tim?)
    to write about your experience – write directly to other students and especially to teachers. It’s time we listened attentively and learned from students about the reality of becoming media producers. A five-minute doc would be an even better way to get this scenario out for others to use and adapt. Think about it, please.

    Again, as a networked teacher struggling to also be an effective social justice activist, I’ve heard many many claims about the power of networks, but never from students who could detail and describe what exactly being networked enabled them to do and what it meant to them. I want more from WtSV students. Thank you…thank you so much. Dixie

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