Digital Natives Rule OK

My friend Ian showed me these. They are a series of prizewinning student animations  from the first film festival at The Coopers School Bicester. They are genuinely excellent – sophisticated, witty and articulate.

But the really significant thing is that these were made by students without support or training. This was not part of an arts week with an animator in residence, its just what students were able to do on their own. I know that Aimee and Amber’s animation was made without any prior experience over a weekend – a first film just like that. Another by Katie took about four weeks to draw and tells the story with a real understanding of genre and a wonderfully assured light touch.  The school had just suggested that student make and enter a 3 minute film. There were 15 entries. Its the ease with which these young digital natives use new media with unforced confidence that is really impressive. Here is the link or see example below.

I remember years ago working with a colleague on proposals for a specialist arts college. We talked of the value of working with primary partners so that students would join Yr 7 already digitally literate in photoshop and powerpoint. We anticipated  the implications for, say geography, when, rather than write an essay students could just as easily make a film or a graphics based slide show. I don’t think we have really made much of a difference in improving the digital curriculum offer in primary schools. But the students have done it anyway – without us. The problem is that, in Geography, we are probably still asking them to write an essay: not make a film.

About Dan

Senior Advisor, Art Inspector, Member of the Expert Advisory Group for Art, Consultant working with NSEAD, IOE, QCA, UCE, UOG. Currently lecturer at UCL working on a project in Kazakhstan to develop text books for a new art curriculum.
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