A few years ago, in the school where I work, the students were excited over some of the new courses that were being offered. These courses included Welding and Power Recreation & Technology. Taking the advice I had heard (and which is also mentioned on Edutopia.org to "start small"), I decided to try to take advantage of the students' enthusiasm, since many of the students taking the new courses were also in my Media Studies course. Their driving question was how do they promote and make the larger community aware of what was being offered at a smaller rural school. In working groups, they decided the best medium was video. I was lucky enough, through a friend, to connect with Terry Gadsden who works in animation and film as an instructor at NBCC-Miramichi.
Terry gave up his time and came to the classroom and guided the students on what elements they should consider when creating a promotional video of the school. When the students had completed their storyboards, they sent them to Terry for assessment, feedback and suggestions. They also sent their videos to him, and he made suggestions in regard to editing, transitions, etc. The students then had to discuss and reflect on the work they did, and what changes they wanted to make before producing their final product. As indicated by Diane Curtis in "The Power of Projects," students can ask "experts questions through email, chat rooms and videoconferencing." Terry's generosity in giving his time allowed the students to refer to him even after he exited their physical space.
In the end, the students had created some pretty impressive videos that they shared and celebrated with the school and larger community. In fact, this project inspired a cross-curricular project the following year where students from the Metals Fabrication class and Power Recreation and Technology class designed and built a skidder trailer, and the process was captured and produced as a video by the Media Studies class.