The process is more important than the product.
This is something I regularly say in my MYP Design (Technology) class to my students. I truly mean it when I say it. In grade 7 & 8, I want my students to challenge themselves and be independent learners as much as they can, take risks and work hard. I want them to feel comfortable with making mistakes. I hope I have created this environment for them.
As I worked on my final project for Course 3 of COETAIL, I repeated this mantra in my head. I made many mistakes. One being that I over extended myself the first quarter of this school year with my coursework, traveling to two conferences, being a parent and all of this on top of my normally heavy workload (including a new course this year).
I’m not here to bore you with my excuses.
I learned a ton on this project. While I didn’t learn a lot more about movie making or digital storytelling, by doing, I learned a little more. What I learned the most was what my students go through when I assign them projects like this. In my eighth grade class, I do have a digital storytelling project. It was great to follow the design cycle like my students do to create a product.
I was inspired by a few things. After watching Kelsey’s Commute in Hanoi, I started to think about how totally opposite (and boring) my commute was. However, it is a time I enjoy in the morning, as I follow my son to school.
Second, we are often asked by friends back home, “Why?”
“Why do you live overseas? “
“How can you be away from family?”
“When are you coming home?”
Our answer is not simple, but one of the greatest things about being an expat in a foreign land is how the mundane things in life, going to work, work itself, and going to the store, become not-so-ordinary. Sometimes they are more of a hassle, sometimes they are simpler. But they are often very different, interesting and thought-provoking.
Lastly, my brother, his wife and my sister are all visiting us right now. A month before they visited, I started writing blogposts on Thirty Things About Japan. It made me think of so many things that people don’t know about our daily lives and it was also nice to have it documented for when we do move on to a new place. This also influenced my topic decision.
Here is my story:
First, I started this project way too late in the course.
Second, I struggled with my story. I couldn’t decide what to tell at first, and now, I feel like although I liked my concept, I don’t think I told it well. I originally was going to do a fast version of our “mundane day”, but after doing all my filming, I was not happy with the results, so I had to change my idea a bit.
Third, I had way too much junk on my laptop and I ended up running out of space on the hard drive on my laptop and this slowed me down even more. I should have used a desktop for this project.
Lastly, I wasn’t happy with my filming/editing. After taking the video and editing it for a few days, I wished that I had just used stills the whole way through. Or, I should have used better equipment (other than my iPhone) to film my daily movement.
Unfortunately, I settled with what I had, and even that was two weeks late.
Coming up with a topic I was really passionate about (for an assignment, on a deadline) is really hard.
Editing and downloading media on a laptop is timely and can cause many problems.
Finishing and publishing a project I wasn’t proud of was hard to do, but necessary.
Don’t over extend myself.
Be empathetic with my students when they run into problems.