Recently, my high students in Introduction to Music Technology participated in a Bright Ideas grant-supported project (Community ConneXions). In an effort to connect multi-generations (high school students and the Greatest Generation), students performed A/V recording using their personal cellular phones.
The project required students to develop appropriate interview questions, make contact with their grandparents generation and to learn about this generation’s growing up years. This project was very scary from an instructional standpoint! Cell phone technology varies astronomically. In just a quarter of a year, OS, camera lenses, etc. get better. For example, one student used a two-year old camera to interview his grandfather. Another student, a Freshman, used a 2nd generation Droid (Google OS) to perform the interview. The video quality was dramatically different to say the least!
Using an iMac (OSX 10.6.6), students attempted to import videos (various extensions) into iMovie. The learning curve begins! IMovie said, “No!” Students and teacher began the typical collaborative journey to determine how to make it happen. We learned that Open Source software (free app’s) such as MPEGStreamclip and Perian converted cellular videos into importable movie files in iMovie.
End result? Students used 21st century learning tools (digital tools) to engage in meaningful learning in the classroom. Students were proud to share their work with their peers. It all began with using something that most every students possesses – a cellular phone.
Funding. When $ isn’t available in our schools, look no further than the pockets and book bags of our students. What is most interesting to them is already in their possession. Now…let students use their cellular devices in constructive ways– in school.