GUEST BLOG: Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration
A warm welcome to guest blogger Tonia Carriger, Director of Business Development for the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), a non-profit K-20 education organization that provides consulting expertise in video conferencing, integration, problem-based learning projects, school/community partnerships, and effective techniques for the delivery and development of quality programs. Tonia develops, coordinates, and manages professional development spotlights, trainings, and videoconferencing event management for CILC.
CILC stepped out on a new limb this year with our much-loved, long-standing KC3 Contest, and Ensemble Video helped make the addition of recorded video seamless! I should probably start at the beginning . . .
For those of you not familiar with the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), our little not-for-profit K-20 education organization snuggled in Indianapolis, Indiana is nationally and internationally known for its focus on collaborative technologies. We support interactive videoconference programs, the content providers that offer them, and the collaborations that emerge, especially student collaborations!!
Kids Creating Community Content
The Kids Creating Community Content (KC3) Contest is a uniquely structured contest that strategically puts students in the driver’s seat of instruction. Students pick a topic that is unique to their region or city, research that topic, and then create a standards-based interactive videoconferencing lesson wrapped around that topic.
Students, being amazingly imaginative, create lessons that are not only informative but differentiated (for learners of all types), and more importantly engaging. Each and every year, I am totally and completely astonished by the engaging programs that are delivered by KC3 students to other student audiences.
The 2013-2104 school year was no exception, but CILC’s new CEO wanted to offer an additional opportunity to students who might not have interactive videoconferencing. Enter: Ensemble Video!!!!
KC3 and Ensemble Video
We had the basic KC3 project outline and idea, but CILC wanted to offer the opportunity for students to create a KC3 representative video of their chosen topic for their region or city. And, since CILC already had a working partnership with Ensemble Video, it was a natural fit when we contacted Scott Nadzan for help. Naturally, Scott said “Yes!”
Long story short, with the incredibly user-friendly Ensemble Video platform, it was easy for our tech guy to work with Scott to define a storage space, whip up the instructions, and (even more importantly for the teachers and, yes, the students) load the videos for the very first KC3 Stored Video!
Fracking: What’s All the Tension About?
While CILC was leery of straying from KC3’s original format, the student projects showed depth and diversity by:
- Exploring the multiple facets and impact of drought in Texas
- The economic, physical, and environmental impacts of “Fracking”
- The compound components and many layers of local economies
- The various influences and effects of different animals on a local farm and its local community
- A veritable treasure hunt as classes explored the physical, environmental, and athletic riches offered by their regions as built into a mystery game
The stored video component allowed student teams to be multi-layered and educationally differentiated. There were student teams for production and presentation; those production and presentation teams were supported by students who did set construction and design; and set construction and design were sustained by student directors and script writers.
All in all, the videos, much like the films we see at the theatre, offered students the opportunity to not only learn and teach about topics specific to their regions, but also the opportunity to work side by side with peers, supporting one another educationally. This model allowed the learners the opportunity to work collaboratively in developing innovative ways to convey their content.
Water Shortage Broadcast
Teacher Support = Student Success
Naturally, such wonderfully diverse learning and working environments cannot possibly exist without the direction of dedicated educators — teachers who love learning and teaching as much as they love supporting their students by offering unique and authentic learning experiences.
These videos were examples of that as well, with teachers coaching from the sidelines while letting students lead the charge and take center stage — from the mock newsroom, to the personification of geologic fracking components, to student-lead introductions of regional clues by students in costume, to footage of industrial sites, and even to the humorous “blooper roles”.
The students led, laughed, and learned. And, CILC learned that expanding the beloved, interactive videoconferencing KC3 project to stored video could be just as powerful and rewarding, with the support of Ensemble Video.