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Bronxville Students, Teachers Learn Movie Creation

Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Bronxville Elementary first-grade students act out an Australian folktale while their teacher films them, as part of training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy Bronxville Union Free School District

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville Elementary School students are learning how to tell stories through the power of video, thanks to a Bronxville School Foundation grant that also provided teachers with training on iMovie through the Jacob Burns Film Center.

"The overall goal is to have students and teachers learn how to be creators of content and to be comfortable with movie creation and all of its possibilities,” said Director of Technology Jennifer Forsberg. "Many of our project-based learning units have a technology component that involves the creation of a movie, film or public service announcement."

Forsberg said it was important for students and teachers to learn how to use an iPad as an educational tool because they will have access to apps that can support student learning. This is the first year kindergartners, first-graders and fifth-graders will have iPads in their classrooms.

Jacob Burns Film Center's Senior Faculty, Program and Curriculum Developer Aaron Mace worked with Bronxville teachers during a two-day training session that focused on creating and editing videos with iMovie and syncing the content with Google Drive.

Teachers were able to craft two different projects, learn more about video production and look at examples of student work from other districts.

"The training was very informative and I am eager to use the knowledge learned about making iMovies alongside project-based learning," said first-grade teacher Kathryn Westerheim. "It will be an invaluable resource as the year progresses."

Mace, who worked with kindergartners and first-graders, helped students bring stories to life. They acted stories out on camera to the sound of him playing guitar. They learned about the beginning, middle and end elements of a story, and the need for a setting, plot and characters.

Through the activities, Mace modeled to teachers how they can incorporate and integrate visual media production into a classroom full of students.

"It was fun to act in a movie about a bunyip," said first-grader Ainslea, whose class acted out an Australian folktale about a spooky creature called the bunyip. "I think we were really good on the video."

Teachers said they could implement movie creation in any content area, helping to reinforce students' narration, speaking and writing skills.

Mace will return to the district for another training session with fifth-grade teachers in December and January.

"The training is aligned with the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise because movie creation allows students to be innovative in how they create and present information," Forsberg said. "It also allows them to collaborate with one another and engage a greater audience through their work."

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