Ignite, Engage, Inspire

Greatly inspired by Marco Torres‘ presentation entitled ‘Ignite, Engage, Inspire’, my colleague Jocelyn left saying, “I am going to try something new tomorrow.” Undeterred by the fact that she is not an experienced film-maker and had never touched an iPad, the plan was to have her students create films, using iPads.


Create a film to express the essence of the social inequity that you have explored for your personal inquiry.


  • Write a key sentence for your social inequity that has  possibilities for a story.
  • Highlight key ideas in the sentence that you will use in your story.
  • Create a story-board by telling the story in words.
  • Include directions for camera angles such as: Wide establishing shot to set the scene, medium shot to draw you into the character and story, close-up to show emotion, over the shoulder shot to show someone’s point of view, bird’s eye view for effect.
  • Create a story-board in pictures, showing exactly who stands where and does what. 
  • No more than 6 frames. At the top of each box write the camera angle.
  • Camera, lights, action with an i-pad of course!
  • Edit in i-movie and insert text and music.
  • Get excited by what you have achieved!
I stood alongside Hannah, Oliver and Bianca as they filmed. I learned a great deal as I watched these 12 year-olds create a film, scene by scene, from their well thought out story-board…. not just about film making, but about engaging and meaningful learning. The only practical thing I did to help, was to stand in a particular place to block the sunlight, in order to enable a better shot. Always nice to feel useful!

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Here’s an example of what kids can create in just a few hours:

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  • All the so called 21st century skills in action: creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking.
  • A huge range of trans-disciplinary skills, including planning, decision making, writing, filming, organisation, time management, cooperation….
  • Seamless integration of technology into learning.
  • Authentic involvement of the ICT Facilitator and Teacher Librarian (Ours is so much more than that!), unlike the isolated weekly lessons they used to give a year or so ago.
  • Meaningful use of our new iPads to enhance the learning and achieve an end.
  • True inquiry, as students experimented with the iPads and iMovie and figured out for themselves how to achieve the results they wanted.
  • A learning community, in which several teachers were involved in learning along with the students.
  • An unbelievable level of engagement and excitement about learning… for students and teachers alike.
  • Letting go of control and handing over the learning to the students can have outstanding results.
  • If you have an idea, run with it. Don’t wait for a better time, particular conditions or permission to try. What’s the worst that can happen? (If you read this blog, you will recognise that mantra).
Ignite, engage, inspire? I think so!


10 thoughts on “Ignite, Engage, Inspire

  1. Don’t get me started about how Film making can and should be used for almost any project in school… It was one of my ideas for my thesis work.

    I like the processe they used. As someone who has taught film to kids 4-18, and went to college for it… I would have to say without much knowledge of the process, this was outstanding and probably more engaging, meaningful and long lasting then writing a paper or having a teacher led discussion!

    I’m always open to lend a skype hand… if they would like some help!

    thanks for sharing this!



  2. I love using in-class videos and interviews as a way for students to reflect on the learning. Nothing like authentic experience to get that particular discussion going.


  3. Way to go exhibition kids! Edna what a great window into the beautiful process that is inquiry in the PYP. I love how your teacher, you, the teacher librarian and the students were all so motivated to go forward and give the filming idea a try. There is no dobut in my mind that filming and editing is one of the most powerful ways that students can express their understanding and learning in a school/ world context. What I would like to highlight is that you had a PURPOSE and a PLAN in mind and shared with the students before you started. These simple but effective elments of technology integration is one of the biggest reasons why you and your students are consistently so successful in making technology, 21st century skills and inquiry work in your school. WAY TO GO!


    1. Jess, thanks for the vote of confidence but we are not yet ‘consistently successful’! Everyone is at a different stage in their integration of technology. Everyone is in a different place in their understanding of inquiry. But we are all learning together and that’s the powerful thing. No-one has to be an expert to give something a go.We need to be prepared to try a new tech tool or plan a new inquiry or organise a whole day of learning in a new way… without worrying about it being perfect. If it’s not, we will learn and refine. One step at a time.


  4. The storyboarding was fantastic. I teach video in my classroom but I haven’t got the storyboard thing down yet. Something to work on. I love the video, it was concise and made a point. Great learning project.


  5. This idea is extremely inspiring! It is amazing how much knowledge and thought can come from such a short video without speech. I think that similar videos may even have more of an impact than those with a lot of action and speech. <a href="http://vimeo.com/27244727&quot; This is a similar video, from a crew with little more experience, that really emphasizes the same idea. It not only taught the kids more about filmmaking, but I’m hope also taught them more about what it feels like to be hungry or living in poverty. It would be great if they can continue to use these skills in future projects, whether it is directly related to filmmaking or not.
    A link to my <a href="http://reynoldsjennaedm310.blogspot.com/&quot; blog put together for a college course focused on technology in the classroom.


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