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Posts Tagged ‘star wars

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I appreciate both the final product and the insights into the processes behind that product.

If only more schools and educational institutes invested in portfolios that would do the same. We would then have insights and measures on student learning.

I do not wear my Star Wars fandom on my sleeve, but it it evident in my pocket. My family will be watching The Rise of Skywalker in a few hours today.

While some cynics might decry such entertainment, I am drawn to the 40-year-old Star Wars phenomenon that sparks passion and creativity.

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Passion and creativity were evident the video above. While we got glimpses into the process, I have no doubt that there was a lot of effort and failed attempts.

We might marvel at the final product, but we should never forget the processes that created it. This is a principle that applies in entertainment and in education.

You cannot miss the headlines that the latest installment of the Star Wars saga is generating.

The movie is impressive and I watched it and its ecosystem as a fan and an educator. There were many creative efforts and here is a tiny sample.

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From my vantage point, I saw lessons for educators on remixing, reinventing, and recreating. These free lessons can be learnt by analysing the videos, or better still, by letting students take the lead.

I was able to catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens early. I hung on to a set of vouchers I received almost a year ago that let me have seats that were difficult to get. Patience paid off.

I do not have to worry about spoilers and I am not about to offer any.

But that does not mean I cannot share some creative efforts Jimmy Fallon and Paint.

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How do I view this phenomenon through the lens of an educator?

The latest Star Wars movie is a monster hit with a massive following and a rabid marketing (fuelled largely by the following). Fallon and Paint knew that as entertainers and capitalised on what was happening.

Do teachers do that in every thing that they teach every day? Or do they prefer to dwell in the safety of a curriculum and plan designed a year or a week ago?

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This is the original movie trailer for the highly anticipated Star War: The Force Awakens movie (SW7).

Here are just two of many remixes.

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The first one above used the SW7 trailer soundtrack over a trailer for Batman vs Superman. It is impressive how it works and it could be used to point out how formulaic trailers have become. Students could be asked to critically and creatively deconstruct the trailers and decipher what its components or themes are.

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The second borrows from reaction videos and patches snippets from Pixar’s Inside Out over the SW7 trailer. There could be lessons about contextualizing or decontextualizing events, and meaningfully transferring concepts from one situation to another.

What is the lesson for teachers?

They need not try to create something new to show how much they know. There is very little that is really new, so the effort is futile.

Instead they might be inspired by how those two YouTubers reused existing content and remixed it to create something different. To do this requires deep knowledge (e.g., of the different trailers, the possible connections between them, the segments to use) and immaculate skills (e.g., splicing and dicing precisely to tell a story).

Teachers should take care not to create Frankenstein monsters as they do this. That sort of reusing and remixing is unethical and unattractive to learners. It pushes them away. The good sort pulls learners in the same way good YouTube videos do. They are short, entertaining, and teach subversively.

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That is Star Wars episodes IV, V and VI told in about two minutes with stop-motion LEGO. Impressive, no?

If something twice as long and rap music is more to your taste, then perhaps the video below might appeal.

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I enjoyed the videos for their creativity and entertainment value. I also wondered if education could be more like that.

Consider the opportunities to learn the skills required to summarize, sequence, script and storyboard. Consider the traditional, media, technology and social literacies needed to make the videos work.

A Star Wars education. I just hope (A New Hope?) that it does not take a long time to happen and in a galaxy far, far away.


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