Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Movie Making and Classroom Management Have in Common

behavior and classroom management
Every day, articles are posted on the Internet discussing, highlighting, and mentioning the necessity of implementing technology in the classroom. While most of the articles you read will be about using video games to help with math, or creating class blogs to assist students develop their English skills, this week, I read an article that demonstrated using technology in a completely different way.

Recently, the words “classroom management” took on a whole new meaning as an educator used today’s technology to initiate a creative approach to classroom clean-up. We’ve all experienced trying to get students to do things they don’t want to do, but never have I heard of a solution like the following.

As Todd Nelson explains, “Nothing cleans quite like a little QuickTime movie starring fifth and sixth graders.” Todd approached the task of cleaning the classroom as an opportunity for movie making. His idea hadn’t been planned out, put together, or even carefully thought through, but spontaneity can foster brilliant ideas.

“The film genre was born quite by accident. It was a slow clean-up day on aisle two, and I really wasn’t thinking beyond an amusing ploy when I said, ‘Why don’t we make a movie of clean-up time?’ The result: Instant dharma. Lights, action, camera, whirling dervishes…clean. Chore turns to limelight,” described Nelson.

So where did the inspiration begin? Nelson realized that, “this is the generation for whom there has always been MTV, for whom “music” and “video” have always been inseparable, for whom there is a sound- and video-track for everything. You almost get the feeling that for something to be real and valid, it has to have been recorded. We are all celebrities of our own digital record keeping; all paparazzi of same.”

Nelson’s method may raise questions about what really motivates students to action, or if video making has just become a teacher’s favorite classroom management tool, but it’s probably too early to tell. For now, as Nelson so quaintly puts it, “It’s all good. Whatever gets the crayons off the floor without nagging.”

To learn more about Todd Nelson's movie-making clean up, click here.

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