I am about seven days into a ten day video project on propganda and totalitarianism in my world histoy classes. Each year, I tell myself, this is a great project. The kids get so much out of it. They work in groups, get to use five year old video technology (that’s all we have), and produce a pretty cool product.
Then, about seven days into it, I realize that it is a logistical nightmare. With four periods, I have 28 groups of four to six students. 28 video tapes so they don’t record over each other’s footage. Seven MiniDV and Digital8 video cameras. 28 five year-old iBooks running the old OS, with short battery lives, and very slow processors (especially compared to my G4 PowerBook). Plus, a large variety of technical issues, groups unable to work together, and an inability to follow instructions plague the process.
No doubt, when we watch them on Monday, I will be satisfied enough to put myself through this process again next year. I might even add a second video project this year. I need to wait and see how well they actually do.