Ben Goldhaber – Launch Project 2015-2016
This school year, I was lucky enough to receive a Launch grant to explore the use of a GoPro Camera in our Kindergarten classroom. I consider the grant a huge success. I created more videos than I ever had before as the GoPro allowed me to enhance both the level and quality of my documentation. What was most exciting to me about this grant was implementing the GoPro using the same approach that the B-2 BB&N teachers have been learning through the Cadwell Collaborative. Part of the Cadwell philosophy is that children need high-quality tools in order to produce beautiful and exceptional work. I believe in this concept and have seen it come to life in our classroom as we have taught the students how to use and value colored pencils, pens, paper, and paints that are intended to be marketed towards adult artists. Keeping this approach in mind, the first thing that I did with the GoPro was to introduce it and its accessories to the students. We used the Responsive Classroom model of Guided Discovery to explore the camera and the various ways to mount it. We held discussions, watched GoPro videos available online, and brainstormed ways that we could use it during the school year. The first project that I used the GoPro for came along when we were studying our passions. We decided to create a class video depicting the students’ passions at school. In true Cadwell fashion, the children had to be the creators (come up with an idea for a passion they would like to depict), directors (choose a way to mount the GoPro based on the passion they chose), and camera operators. I even got their thoughts on how to edit their clips and about what type of music they would like the film to be set to. Giving the students the power to be the first ones (even before their teachers) to operate the GoPro was a special way to introduce the camera to our classroom environment, help them understand its possibilities, and show them that they are capable of amazing work.