Although most of Pedagoo.org is focussed around school level learning, I’ve followed their work over the past year as I feel it is important to keep up with developments in other parts of the sector. Very often I’ve learned more about teaching and learning from my PS & HS colleagues than from my peers in FE, or even from CPD courses I’ve undertaken.
So, I’m taking part in Pedagoo Review and looking back on successes in my classroom – actually successes out of the classroom too, as learning doesn’t stop at the classroom door, no matter which way you’re walking.
I’ve worked hard over the past few years to get credible work experience for my students and real life projects to give them a better understanding of employment in the creative industries. Work experience is often more important to employers than qualifications as it serves as a differentiator between job candidates. Fortunately there have been a number of successes recently in gaining such experience for students.
Internships & jobs
A few years ago I met a local PS teacher via Twitter and later in person at a Teachmeet at the Scottish Learning Festival. She put me in touch with her husband in an IT company. Subsequently he was looking at taking on some interns, and after a while the two students who went to work for him gained permanent jobs. Just this past month he’s been back in touch looking for more interns & several students are being interviewed this week.
A year ago we were contacted by the local theatre, the Alhambra in Dunfermline, about working with them on their productions. Although they were initially interested in drama students, after talking with them for a while they realised they could make use of our animation, video and photography skills too.
At the end of 2011 we worked with some of the cast of the Aladdin pantomime and made a special effects laden video of Aladdin escaping the treasure cave and flying through Dunfermline. The 3 minute video was shown at the end of the first half of the show and was a great success with the audience who loved the local references in the sequence.
This gave a handful of students experience of shooting and editing video, working to deadlines and quality standards, and working with professional actors.
Since that project the Alhambra has kindly allowed their venue to be used for a fashion photography shoot and also hosted this year’s student exhibition.
More recently we’ve been working on this year’s pantomime, creating a surprise special effects video for Cinderella.
This organisation that promotes businesses & events around Dunfermline gave our students a chance to create a mural at East End Park to promote the famous people from the surrounding area. The mural was unveiled in February and copies of the mural are now set to be used in the city chambers and in future promotional activities.
Over the next year students will be working with Visit Dunfermline on their Dunfermline2014 website.
King Robert the Bruce
A website to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn & celebrate Dunfermline’s link with the warrior king.
Students are working on animations & educational materials for the site, aided by Herald Events who do Scottish themed events. Herald Events have since asked for students to work with them on building a website for a Robert Burns event & to create film.
So I think 2012 has been successful in terms of obtaining students’ work experience and showcasing their work to a wider audience. I’m sure it will benefit the students as they move on to employment or further study, and I’m looking forward to future projects with the aforementioned organisations and new ones in 2013.