Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Pleasing Department Collaboration

Even though most of my teaching prep now involves American Government, for the first eighteen years or so at Mercy, I taught English classes, exclusively.  I even served as Department Chair for a period.  Now, due to a variety of choices and circumstances I am down to merely one section of English the entire school year.

My emotional connection has also weakened to the department.  My enthusiasm for ed tech in general and Challenge Based Learning in particular has not been warmly embraced.  And by pursuing these interests, I have lost interest in important department issues.

So I found it quite heartening to participate in a major collaboration that involved all members of Mercy's English Department.  

Each department at Mercy has made a presentation to staff about what it does.  English decided to lean on multimedia for this presentation.  They spent months composing a script that conveys the scope of its election rich curriculum.  I'm sure this was difficult with so many wordsmiths in the same room!  On the other hand, it was probably a great exercise in considering their mission.  We decided several months ago that my good friend, Mike Gruber, would record audio files of each member reading portions of the script.  Our Yearbook advisor,  Hallie Smith, accumulated a vast trove of photos for the project and organized them to correspond to each podcast.  When more photos were needed, Lynn Waldsmith and I grabbed cameras and shot the needed content.  The needs became evident as I mixed and edited the narration, music, and  photos with Photo To Movie.

I'm happy with the product of our mutual labors, not the least because at least for a week or so, it moved me back toward a department that despite all the changes,  \my heart has never really left.

Here is a one minute slice of the 14 minute movie, plus full credits.  A big thanks to Claudia Michalik for giving me permission to blog her wonderful narration.

video


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