In my 3D Design/Video Storytelling class, we are exploring a new website. That website is called HitRecord.org. It is a site for an organization founded by none other than director and actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. HitRecord is all about encouraging individuals to explore their creative passions, and see others' as well. You can upload your own creations onto the site, including categories of animation, photography, screenwriting, cinematography, and more. My personal comfort zone would be in photography and cinematography, but there is so much more I want to explore and become better at.
When you first get into HitRecord, it can seem so overwhelming. Overwhelming because there is so much stuff going on, not in a bad way though. It is organized and pretty (and neat). Joe [Levitt] has little opening clips of him enthusiastically explaining to you what different features are and how you can use them, so that is really helpful. It is just so awesome to see how passionate he is about his site and how he is so determined for people to express themselves, maybe even making some cash along the way.
There is a page specifically made for The Project Developing Slate. This chart contains different projects that you can get involved with. Concept Development are just some projects being developed are still in the first phase. The second step, Advanced Development, are the projects that have been further developed and picked up by HitRecord. In the last step, there are Funded Projects. It is exactly what it sounds like. You can join that project, contribute your work, and get some money! All three phases allow you to contribute to them.
I am always drawn to the photography projects. It’s just something I love doing on my downtime, and something you can always get better at, especially in my case, being an amature and all. Sometimes I love editing the picture just as much as taking it. I would love to say that I take good pictures or that my editing skills are pretty relevant, but the truth is: I am still just a beginner and I have so much more to learn. I hope to grow out of solely snapping images of plants and my animals because I am a pro at that by now. I want to take great breathtaking shots where even I am surprised at myself.
My teacher told me last year that she thinks I am blessed with the skill of editing. I had never ever heard anything related to that be said to me before, let alone, it be about a digital media class. In fact, was replying to a video I had edited with mostly Windows Movie Maker. I had never thought of digital media as a class that would interest me. To be honest, I never really thought it would be in my career interest, even though at the time I hadn’t the slightest idea of what I wanted to do. Now that I somewhat have an idea of what I want to do, I am grateful for taking the class and improving all my tech skills.
Movies have always been great ways of communication for me. I take them to heart, and when I deem them important, it will be on non-stop repeat on-screen and in my mind. The scenes that always stick to me are the empowering, self-discovering moments that send shivers down the spine, and chills throughout the body. This being said, I know now that I want to work in film. Behind the scenes, making the magic come alive.
HitRecord is a great resource for me to launch my passion for photography and film. With practice and patience, I know I will get better. I am so excited and busy with so many things to do. So here it goes.
It's official. We've kicked off 5 weeks of personalized learning for my Level 3 Digital Design students. They are working on HitRecord.com, choosing their own challenges and projects to work on within an online collaborative production company. The company is run by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who starred on Third Rock from the Sun and 500 Days of Summer. Students are working on everything ranging from voice-over work to animation to creative writing. It's exciting and scary, not just for me, but for the students as well. Here's one student's short blog post on the idea of learning in such an unstructured, student-drive way.
Can you say "100% engaged?" I'm incredibly eager to watch this unfold. I can already see that certain students need help staying focused and getting down to work during each class period, but they are in the minority. Out of 19 students in the class I would say this is true for 2 students. I am telling them the most successful people in life, the busiest, the CEO's of the world, do so well because of a process called "Time Chunking." So, instead of chastising them for goofing off, we talk about ways that we can learn the skill of time chunking and what advantage they have when they put their focus on one task for an extended period of time. Efficiency goes way up and so does knowledge gained.
On the first day of independent work time today, they came in, opened up their computers and dove right in. Students are at different places in the process, but all or working.
Three Strategies for Creating Structure
The first document I provided for my students was a Template of the document I used this summer when I was doing my own independent learning on HitRecord, called "Choosing a Project." I also provided the example of my own document for them, so they could understand the kinds of information that would be helpful in the document.
The second document is a template for creating a Personal Learning Plan (PLP), a process I was asked to do during my Master's studies in Innovative Learning this summer for Touro University. Here, again, I provided the example of my own work for students to examine.
The third strategy comes in two parts, an ongoing blog to document their work and thoughts, as well as weekly one-on-one meetings with me to assess how they are progressing, what they are learning and how they feel about their work. I plan on creating a template to help facilitate the conversation so that we can arrive at assessments for oral and written communication (10% of the grade), collaboration (10%), agency (40%) and knowledge and thinking (30%). Notice that Agency is a huge part of the grade for this project because of how student driven it is.
Interestingly, most students are picking projects that they know will challenge them. When students choose projects that they feel would be too easy for them, they seem to be bringing that my attention when we look at their PLP together, as if they want me to push them harder. The moment I ask if that will be too easy for them, they change their minds and begin looking for a new, more challenging project. The very real consequence of being bored with the work sits squarely on their shoulders, a motivating factor that should not be discounted.
The very real consequence of being bored with the work sits squarely on their shoulders...
I'm really eager to see where this takes each of them and whether this will be a meaningful journey. My gut says that this could be quite amazing. I wonder what we will learn!