The spring session of my after school program has come to an end, which is both bittersweet and a relief. I enjoy the 8 weeks that we spend during each session, but it’s nice to have one thing off my plate for a while. Of course, we start back up in a couple of weeks so downtime is very short this time around.
This year we teamed up with a local school and in my opinion was a huge success. A lot of my teens have transportation issues, so providing busing to and from the library was a huge help. The spring session pulled in on average 20 students per meeting, which looking back a year ago is almost 4x more than what we normally would. Since we had so many students, we decided to split them into two groups.
My group’s project was podcasting. The teens were allowed to work in pairs to create a single episode of a podcast. The only limitations we put on them was that it had to stay PG-13ish, but beyond that they could make their podcast on whatever they wanted. The topics we ended up with were: Paranormal Activity, an Interview from Area 51, Entertainment Report, School Basketball Highlights, and a Novel Sample (written by the teens). There were a few struggles along the way, especially with one group who just wanted to ad-lib the entire podcast. It took us putting them in front of the microphone and letting them flop before they would finally sit down and do an outline and brief notes. In the end, though, I’m quite happy with how all the podcasts turned out. I linked to the Area 51 Interview on Monday and today I’ll link to the Paranomal one as well.
Equipment Used: iMac/Macbook Pro, GarageBand, Snowball Microphone
The other group did a stop motion video. James Kennedy, author of Order of the Odd Fish, design a 90 second Newbery Project. When I heard about it, I thought it was a fabulous idea, as did my mentors. Paying homage to my boss, we went with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (she was on the Newbery Committee the year it was chosen). I can’t tell you a lot about the process, since I was with this group, but from what I saw and heard they had a lot of fun. The mentors had the teens help with script and scenery that was used. The teens had a big say in the overall look at the film. (Side Note: Kennedy is a local-ish author and we were able to bring him down and have it work with the kids a little on this project. In fact, I have footage from his first visit. If you guys want to see it let me know and I’ll post it later this month!)
While I’m not privy to all the struggles they faced, I know the biggest frustration was with GarageBand and moving the project onto different Macs. For whatever reason, when we tried to move it to the work iMac, half the audio was corrupted. I still have no idea why, especially since all the other files moved over just fine. I can say I’ll be happy when our media lab is up and running because we won’t need a backup Mac aka my Macbook Pro for projects like this. The iMac will be in a nice quiet, recordable room instead of in the middle of a the noisy teen area.
In the end, the 90-sec short turned out fabulous. Admittedly, I have not read the book, so I don’t understand it all, but I certinaly understand the jist of the book. And, well, it’s pretty funny if I do say so myself.
Equipment Used: iMac/Macbook Pro, GarageBand, iMovie, Camera, Snowball Microphone
EDIT: Video is down for now, I’ll have it back up soon 🙂 We need to make a few small changes