Sunday, May 9, 2010

Digital video as a tool for learning!

From 14 to 23 April 2010 a delegation composed of 20 people from Moldova attended The Netherlands to learn more about community youth development work in the Netherlands. The delegation included youth leaders, representatives of youth centers, NGOs, the Ministry of Youth and Education, Moldova State University and the partner organization Procommunity Centre. The study visit was part of the project "Youth in the Center" (funded by Matra) which aims to strengthen community youth development work in Moldova. The project is a partnership between Kontakt der Kontinenten, Proni Centre for Social Education, Procommunity Centre and the University of Social Work, Hogeschool Windesheim.

During the study tour community youth development projects were visited in Wageningen / Renkum, Friesland, Deventer and Zwolle. To maximize the learning effect and stimulate cooperation amongst the delegation members the group got an assignment to design a newspaper and video. Based on interests, the group was divided into four teams. Each team had a journalist, filmmaker, writer and director and was responsible for a specified field visit day.

The video making had an experimental character. Based on a script / scenario the filmmaker made average half an hour filmshots per day. A simple digital camera (JVC) was used as equipment. At the end of the day the most important scenes were selected. The group selected a combination of substantive and funny elements to tell their story about the week.

Benefits
At the end of the study week, the team produced a video film of 25 minutes, which was shared on the final evening of the study tour. The film was a reflection of substantive lessons and funny events. "The task forced us to do interviews with youth workers and young people", commented the participants. "In the beginning was our job not clear, but now we did it we appreciate the value." "We had preferred more time to share time on the task, because the program was very full". "Now I have something in my hand which I can share with my colleagues in Moldova." A nice extra was that one of the participants could get along with the video editing program. By applying a user-friendly editing program (Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0) it was easy to put together and produce the video film.

See below a 4 - minute impression of the participatory video.


The video assignment provided us the following learning opportunities:
  • Do not aim during the video making on the highest quality of film production. Learning and the process of producing the video are more important.
  • Not everyone in the group appeared to have a passion for the video. Focus on the people who like the video making, and try to involve others occasionally with a task (such as interviewing) and try to use other methods that promote learning. Designing the newspaper appeared to be an effective method, that went hand in hand with the video making.
  • By applying simple video equipment and a user friendly video editing program (especially young people can already handle it well) makes the film making more easy and it helps to create more ownership amongst the participants. It allows you to be less dependent on film professionals, who might influence the process at a technical level.
  • Build enough time to evaluate each day the video shots and allow time for discussion. This is part of the learning process and it helps to build ownership.
  • A completed movie gives participants a tool with which they can communicate and share their experience with others, who were not involved in the trip.

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