Multimedia for Social Change


Aprendamos – Summer Updates 2 by jlipshin
June 15, 2011, 11:10 am
Filed under: mm4sc, Reflections

Aprendamos Week Five and Six Updates

These past couple weeks have been extremely busy, but I think very productive. There were a number of highlights:

–       Last Monday, Miguel and I began talking about gender, homophobia, and bullying.

  • We began with the gendered advertising remixer, which was a great success just like it was in Grecia’s class last session. The students really found the tool to be funny and it was very useful in starting to talk about gender stereotypes. After taking turns playing with the tool, we filled in a chart detailing what was “boyish” and what was “girly” about each ad, and then proceeded to think of examples which broke down these stereotypes (i.e. female superheroes). They liked the remixer so much that the students had me show it to students from Bernadette’s class the next day during their break.  🙂
  • After playing with the remixer, much of our subsequent discussion began with students saying things like “that’s gross because that’s gay.” However, by the end of the discussion, I think the students seemed to really comprehend the consequences of homophobic slurs and bullying. I showed them the video of the ten year old who refused to say the pledge of allegiance because of the lack of equality for LGBT people, as well as a short news clip featuring Cheryl Kilodavis’ children’s book My Princess Boy. I think that seeing boys their age who liked to dress up like girls and kids who were committed to the rights of LGBT people was a new experience for the students, and afterwards their answers to my questions were (on the whole) much more sensitive.
  • I also showed them the ACLU video featuring the mother of Seth Walsh, one of the gay teens who committed suicide last year. Although it’s usually difficult to get the students to be quiet when they are watching a video, they were absolutely silent when watching this one. I really think that they grasped the gravity of the issue. Juan even recounted to me one of his cousins who was gay and who was bullied in the same way, and amazingly, Angel even confessed that he has been mean to “boys who act like girls” before. It was a really, really awesome moment to say the least.

–       Since last Tuesday, I have also been working with students one-on-one to create personal videos about their friends and families.

  • Using the pictures they took with IDEPSCA’s cameras, the students learned to order their pictures into a coherent narrative argument. We discussed the notion of editing and montage, and how making a video is just another way of writing a story (i.e. it has a beginning, middle, and end).
  • Before recording the voice over for their videos, I had the students write out what they wanted to say for each of the pictures and memorize it. Framing this activity as constructing a “script” made them much more excited about the writing process – most of the time, it’s hard to get them to jot down more than a couple sentences, but when they know that the writing will go towards the making of a movie, they were willing to write whole paragraphs!
  • Overall, I think the videos have been coming out pretty well. I’ve been noticing that most of the voice overs have been filled with comments like “this is ….”, but I’m really encouraging the students to be more descriptive by using phrases such as “I like this, because ….” instead. Also, Joselyn has been very creative and poetic with the way that she took her pictures, so I’m curious to see if her video will turn out to be different than all the others.
  • Here are links to all the individual family videos I’ve done so far. Included is also a link to a video/drawing activity that Miguel did with the students (I’m assuming he already discussed this at one of the staff meetings).

–       Finally, here is a link to a video that I made with Bryan last week. He wasn’t pleased with the video he made with Miguel, so he told me that he wanted to make a new one that was more like a “real movie” (presumably, a Hollywood feature film.) So here’s his animated story about a roller coaster monster, complete with credits and him doing the voices for multiple characters. He even wanted me to make a trailer for the movie, but I said that probably wasn’t necessary for a movie that was thirty seconds long. 🙂

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