Social Learning & Filmmaking

WRITTEN BY JEFF

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Though it’s fun to list filmmaker (and other exotic-sounding stuff) in my social media profiles, in my day job I’m an educator. Most of my days are spent supporting college instructors so they can be at their best.

On of the most intriguing things I learned in grad school was concept of social learning. Short version: for adult learners in particular, we are every bit as likely to learn from peers, including peers with some personal connection to the material, as we are from instructors. When we’re in a class, we benefit from the questions that others ask, the things they interpret from assigned reading, and the offline conversations that happen on breaks or between class meetings.

Effective educators at the post-secondary level generally shouldn’t devote more than half to two-thirds of their time in straight lecture. Any more than that deprives students of the opportunity to hear from and learn from one another. In no setting is this more true than in our digital storytelling classes.

One of the things I most appreciate about the Resilience Project is seeing the creative processes and finished works of my peers. I’ve learned a lot by simply being in the same space and observing how they progress from an idea to a completed film. The tool we use (WeVideo) has a lot of bells and whistles for power users and few people (including our instructors) know how to use all of them. But when we join a class that has one or more students who’ve done a least a little film editing, there’s no limit to what we can learn from one another. One more reason I keep coming back for more.