Get creative with ICT
"We all have a creative spark that can be fostered by the use of digital media," says David Baugh, whose own spark came to light when he brought a digital camera into his classroom. Soon his classes were recording narratives to accompany photographs and venturing into the world of animation. David's latest joy is music: "I am the most unmusical person in the world, yet I can create digital music - it's a revelation."
David is now ICT adviser with Denbighshire, and runs the acclaimed Digital Video in Education project. He is one of the inspired professionals behind Creativity in the Classroom Using Digital Media, an innovative package of free resources that makes it easier to promote creativity through ICT.
This week's Apple sponsored cover CD includes a great bundle of software, matched by excellent online training and quality free materials. It pairs with the DigitalCreativity Suite hardware competition in today's TES Teacher magazine. On the CD you'll also find the winning entries from this year's Becta Digital Video Awards, plus a track from the world-renowned percussionist Evelyn Glennie. There are also tips on using Apple iLife software and copies of iTunes and the QuickTime Player for Mac and PC. Best known as the jukebox software used to support the Apple iPod MP3 player, iTunes is a versatile tool for supporting creativity with music and the spoken word and can transform a classroom computer into an audio content management station, serving listeners anywhere on the school network.
The CD also includes a link to an online course, specially created by Digital Video in Education, to help teachers explore creativity through digital media. Step-by-step tutorials use free resources, including software, audio books, images, music loops and sound effects. All the resources can be downloaded and used in educational projects.
Our previous cover CD, Picturing Literacy (Feb 2002) inspired Oxfordshire's ICT team to nurture a wealth of creative activity in their schools.
Bob Evans, a key stage 3 consultant in the team, says: "We had seen a demonstration of digital video (DV) a couple of months before, and believed it had great potential. Then the CD came out, and it included the QuickTime Pro software we'd seen in the demo. We thought: 'What a great resource!'
The CD was the catalyst for us to take DV further."
The team set about building a support programme to help schools make their DV debut. This included courses followed up by support from consultants working on projects with individual schools.
Apple loaned a set of equipment - including an iMac and iBook, each with cameras. In return for a two-week loan, schools agreed to provide footage of their work, to help share good practice. "The first examples are available on our website," explains Bob.
At Fitzwaryn Special School in Wantage, a group of KS3 pupils first developed their skills by filming an event in a French cafe. "We worked as a group, taking turns to film shots and then evaluating the results. Pupils were swapping advice on filming techniques, and the exercise just flowed along," says deputy head Barbara Harker.
The group followed up with Anansi the Spider, a five-day film-making project. After an initial brainstorming session on how to screen the Caribbean tale, Bob Evans returned two days later to find that the inspired pupils had designed and built an entire set and finalised the cast list, which featured a plastic spider, a toy monkey and a teacher's pet tortoise.
After editing, the children recorded voice-overs, working enthusiastically to meet the Friday deadline when the film was to be screened to an audience of parents and pupils. "They all contributed, they achieved the target and the results were fantastic," says Bob Evans.
At Oxford's John Radcliffe hospital, young patients undergoing chemotherapy, worked on video projects, proudly presenting the results on CD to their families. Some feature their days in hospital, others document their work with an artist in residence, or make plasticine models to star in screenplays. "It boosts their morale, and gives them a sense of control over their lives," says Sue Austin, ICT co-ordinator for the hospital.
David Baugh has the last word on digital creativity: "Children need building blocks.And they should have some choice in how they put the blocks together. Rather than being too prescriptive, I prefer a mediated approach that helps pupils decide what to produce, and also what they want to communicate to people."
ON THE CD
* Becta Digital Video Awards 2004 - the winning entries, together with documentary footage explaining how they were made and details of next year's competition
* iLife in Action - video tutorial on Apple's iLife suite of digital media authoring tools. Plus ideas for using the software and links to iLife resources
* DV in Education Training - a link to the online course, Creativity in the Classroom Using Digital Media
* Software installers - installers for QuickTime 6.5 (required to view the content on the CD) and iTunes 4.2, plus information on the software, including system requirements. There is also a link for downloading Adobe Reader.
SIGNING UP FOR DV TRAINING
Click on the link on the CD or go to www.dvtraining.org.uk. Click on course title. In the next window, read section titled "Is this your first time here?". Click on the "Start now by creating a new account". Fill in your details, choosing a username and password, then click "Create my new account". You'll get a confirmation email. Click on the link in the email to take you to the course. Your enrolment key is: creativeict RESOURCES TO DOWNLOAD
* Audio folk tales from www.talkingbooks.org
* Music loops and mixes from Advanced Media Group
* Sound effects from Audio Network
* Still images from John Doherty, Northern Ireland Network for Education (NINE)
* Kudlian Slideshow, new movie-making software
* Kudlian Filmshow, a new movie player
The CD will run on both Windows and Macs. Mac users need to be running OS v10.2.5 - 10.3.x on a 400MHz PowerPC with at least 128Mb of memory. Windows users need a Pentium-based PC (or compatible) with at least 128Mb of memory running Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP.
Insert the CD and open the "Read Me First" file for installation details.
Windows users may first see a dialogue box asking what action Windows should take, select "Take no action" and then open the Read Me file.
* In today's TES Teacher competition, schools can win a fabulous Digital Creativity Suite of hardware including an Apple eMac computer with DVD burner, a 20Gb iPod MP3 player, plus Canon video and still cameras, a scanner and printer.
TES readers can also buy the Apple eMac G4, complete with DVD-burner, for just pound;509.80 (pound;599 inc VAT). Normal education price: pound;549 (ex VAT). The system also includes iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes and Garageband - allowing you and your pupils to make movies, DVDs and compose CD-quality music.
The offer is only available direct from Apple and ends on June 30th 2004.
It is limited to one eMac per school or one per individual teacher.
To order phone 0800 039 1212 and quote TES Creativity Offer www.apple.comukeducationschoolstes