Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Is Your School Planning For Earth Day?

The results of the latest Film on the Fly Pi Day challenge sponsored by KOCE-TV are in and the top three videos are:
Tied for First Place
1. "The Labyrinth: A Pi Day Cell Phone Film" by David Cosand and the Cosand Offspring

1. "Why We Need Pi" by Wesley Fryer and Children

Third Place

3. Pizza Pi During The Recession by yours truly.

Does your school plan activities surrounding Earth Day? Why not add the creation of cell phone videos to the events for 2009? The next Film on the Fly will be a two-day challenge, Monday-Tuesday, April 20-21 so the videos can be shared for Earth Day on April 22. Having the challenge during the week will provide a great opportunity for teachers and students to make videos at school. Start paving the way now with your administrators to allow students to bring and use their cell phones at school for the challenge days. Some persuasive arguments to use might include:
“Using cell phones and participating in FOTF may be the “motivating” factor to engage otherwise disengaged students who love using their cell phones,”
“FOTF is an opportunity for students to learn how to use their cell phones appropriately and professionally,”
“FOTF will provide a “real-life” opportunity to teach about copyright, content creation, protection of privacy and ethical use,”
“Participating in FOTF draws on student-based technology resources in a transformative fashion,”
“75-90% of our students own and are already “engaged” with using their cell phones in their everyday lives,”
“It is not about the “tool,” but the “engagement” and “motivation,”
“There is no cost to participate.”

FOTF is considering having the videos uploaded to TeacherTube, as well as YouTube, so they might be more easily viewed at school. If your school blocks TeacherTube, now is the time to get it on the white list for April.

If the obstacles are too great to participate at school, consider FOTF as a way to extend the school day by making use of spare time after school. Make it an optional or extra credit assignment which illustrates an authentic and engaging use of a technology with which students are already familiar.

Take the Earth Day FOTF Challenge with your students.

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Karen Montgomery is the author of Gomeric Hill. The opinions expressed herein are mine and not necessarily those of my employer.