Anthony Copping talks movie making in the classroom

pic1I am one of those really lucky guys that got to work as a filmmaker for National Geographic. Over time, what naturally happened after creating all kinds of documentaries for television, I ended up with loads and loads of ‘outtake footage’. When I took my films into schools to talk about documentary filmmaking, what blew me away was that the kids were much more interested in the bits that I didn’t use and how much they wanted to get ‘hands on’ and put those bits of content together themselves to tell their own story.

So this set forth an exciting 5 year journey creating a huge video library of footage and multimedia content for students to play with and create their own stories. The resulting platform is called Binumi.

What Binumi does is it frees students up to put together a script and a narrative and a sequence of moving images to try and get their message across. To make a movie that actually tells the kind of story they want would have been impossible if, for example, they wanted to tell a story that takes place at the top of Mouth Everest! The real challenge with shooting a successful film is you need to shoot the subject from multiple angles to create what’s called a ‘bin of footage’ that allows you to tell your story effectively. Having a selection of footage on the subject of your choice that is shot at the same time of day can really help to tell your story properly. Ultimately, what you really want your project to have is the right amount of impact and a great outcome for the entire educational experience when it comes to filmmaking and storytelling projects.

So why Binumi? Teaching and learning today and into the future requires visual learning because that’s a big part of communication with young people now. Every kid I work with these days is now more than ever focused on learning and understanding and believing through the experience of seeing. Bringing video creation into the classroom across the curriculum – even to health studies to physical education and mathematics may sound counter instinctual, but I really do believe that there are some truly magical ways to do it using a really great tool set like Binumi and we’re seeing it work all over the world. Through our platform, we have created projects for maths teachers that give them a good starting point.

Integrating video projects into the classroom is not necessarily reliant on the curriculum, it is more reliant on its ability to communicate what the curriculum is. Just like writing a letter in the old days or paragraphing your approach to emotively conveying something relevant about your subject matter. In so many weird and wonderful ways, these same skills are directly linked to the content creation skills and digital literacy which will inevitably have to be a part of subjects across the curriculum in the 21st Century school. Whether you are learning about all kinds of different industries or talking about art or design or textiles – the possibilities are practically endless when you can assemble the story visually.

So now that you’ve got an enormous amount of content to work with, all searchable by keyword (or even colour for example!) and you’ve got the creation tools and the publishing tools to put it all together, students can share their projects over social media or upload them to the school website all from one platform. There are no storage issues because of the cloud, schools in countries all over the world are taking it up, especially in Australia since we exhibited at EduTECH and we are really excited to continue the journey here!




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