Monday, September 8, 2008

Using animation to explore issues around mental health.

As I travel around the UK, Europe and occasionally further, my aim is to collect, information and evidence of 21st Century learning and share via this blog with photo's, videos, interviews and what ever I can get my hands on. Exposing the impact of schools, authorities , individuals, (students and teachers) conferences and companies who are having an effect on driving education into the 21st Century. In some cases people may not even realise that their project, school or methods are in any way related to 21st Century Learning.

My first entry is about a school I worked with for a week last term.

The head of Art at the Bewdley School, Worcestershire , UK encouraged a small group of year ten students to apply for funding from a local organisation called FLOSS. The students filled in the forms themselves and raised the money to pay for me to work with both year ten art groups and create a series of short animations. Nearly fifty students in all made twelve films over four days.

The criteria for the funding was that the work must be of benefit to the wider community, so the students chose mental health as the focus for the animations. The finished films have been made into DVD's and will be sent to local schools for use in class as a starting point for discussion on this tricky subject area, mental health.

Animation is a great medium for exploring mental health as the film Kalypso below shows. A short animation film about eating disorders written and filmed by the students. They were able share their experiences, feelings and thoughts using various art techniques familiar to them.

I think this is great example of 21st Century Learning, not only did the students make the films, but they also raised the money to make the films and had a strong idea about where and how the films should be distributed.

All the films are currently on Youtube.

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