Sunday, November 2, 2008

Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.

This was the philosophy behind a recent new opportunity for students at O’Neill High School. Students were selected and invited to attend an all-day seminar and exploration session utilizing Final Cut Pro, a high-end movie-editing software, a part of Apple’s “Pro Apps” software. This video editing software, used by many actual professional movie producers, is not loaded on student laptops, but is installed on the iMacs (desktop computers) in the school. If given the opportunity in the form of time and technology access, students have all the power of the pros.

October 30 was a Fall Break day for students at OHS, but instead of taking the day off, these students spent the entire day at school, proving that, “If you build it, they will come.” A huge part of the success of this seminar was the instruction and guidance provided by Mark Billington of Apple Computers, who has used and taught about Final Cut Pro for years. Mark shared his knowledge via iChat and utilized the amazing power of technology to teach over the span of hundreds of miles geographically. At times Mark would video chat with the group in O’Neill, other times he would show movie clips transferred electronically through a Mobile Me iDisk, and the rest of the time he would demonstrate through screen sharing as he controlled the clicking on Mrs. Morrow’s computer for all to view on the projected screen.

The afternoon was open for filming time and free exploration of the software, while at the same time several students gifted in music created soundtrack clips to use in the student movie production. While nothing was finished in its entirety, the day was a success for all. The unique way of delivering instruction via the Internet was a great way to bring an expert to O’Neill. For the students, a foundation for laid for starting to use Apple Pro Apps. Quoting Mark Billington to the kids, “With Final Cut Pro, you are limited only by your imaginations.” Students can take what they learned, apply it to future projects, and share their skills with other students, thereby spreading the learning throughout OHS. Watch for this unique learning environment, this “Field of Dreams” to grow and expand in the future.

No comments: