It all started when a teacher friend of mine at Bel Aire Park Elementary (Tere Charney), shared some of her student portraits on Facebook. The portraits were beautiful and, in my mind, begging to be animated. I asked if she would like the 9th graders at New Tech to take a shot at animating the images and then it became clear that we'd need to actually DO something with the animations when we were done. More meetings, more brainstorming and voila, we came up with the idea to have the 3rd and 4th graders talk about what is important to them in the world, so we could help give them a platform for their voices.
We collaborated by having the elementary students record themselves on an online recording app called Vocaroo and send us the links to their recordings. They also sent us the original artwork and we scanned them in and got to work in Photoshop, creating GIFs of each student with different mouth positions and stringing them together.
We were also lucky enough to have the chance to have the 4th graders visit our classroom so that the 9th graders could teach them some basic photoshop skills. You could really see that having the 4th graders in the classroom really engaged the high school kids in an authentic manner. We got to talk about how you work with all different kinds of learners and used that to reflect on their own learning styles. Many of the 4th graders are now eager to attend New Tech High School when they get older. The videos will be previewed at Bel Aire Park's open house happening next week.
The Digital Design students learned many techniques in this process, how to use the puppet tool, how to animate frame by frame, how to use the clone stamp tool, how to edit in Premiere Pro and how to craft a message that maintains the viewer's attention through use of music, zooming in and out, and editing an engaging script. We are hoping to make this collaborative project a tradition for years to come!
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!