This project was doomed from the start. There were all kinds of tech problems that I did not anticipate. What was supposed to be a fun few days of class making documentaries turned into a nightmare for the students and a giant headache for me. Instead of giving up, we plugged away.
For starters, some students had trouble logging on to the computers. The internet was another issue. As kids were gathering resources they got bounced off the internet. We also struggled with using the movie program as well this year. Movies did not save from day to day on the students computers (insert frustrated grunts and groans here). Of the students that could successful complete a movie in the allotted time frame (because they did not have to start over three times ...more groans here) several had difficulty sharing their movies with me.
I ended up contacting the tech department at the school department. I was surprised with a quick response, unfortunately they were no help. The tech who came to help me did not know why I was having so much difficulty. I was promised that he would be back the next day to help me again, however he never returned. Like I said, doomed from the start.
I offered to stay after school for a few days to help students with their projects. A few groups took me up on it. I finagled the computer cart again for another day. Some how despite all of the obstacles that the technology gods threw our way we completed our documentaries. Middle Schoolers can be persistent when they want to be.
On May 19, 2014 I rolled out the red carpet, well actually the red butcher paper, and we had our movie premiere. I gave out "Clarkie" awards for best picture, most informational, funniest and most creative. I can't take all the credit for that idea. I saw this on Kara Wilkins' blog, a neighbor and fellow Social Studies teacher. She gave out the "Wilkies" for her movies.
Despite all of our difficulties we had a great time. Students had fun walking the red carpet. Who knew they were such hams. Below are some pictures of our successful film festival that we had in class even though I forgot the popcorn.