Student Digital Artifacts

As I was preparing my application for Apple Distinguished Educator, I reviewed quite a few student projects that I kept digital copies of. This review reminded me of the creativity and ingenuity that students show when educators let students BLAH BLAH BLAH

Here are some samples of student work with brief overviews of the assignment.

Moral Dilemma with Pichy and J
This assignment was for an Intro to Philosophy Class. The students were seniors at ICS Bangkok. They had to tell a story that presented a moral dilemma, provide two possible solutions to the moral dilemma and then present the student's individual perspectives on the moral dilemma. The project description and the rubric used to mark the assignment would have been something very similar to this rubric.  (Rubric/Project Description)

Why don't you watch the video now. It is 3:54 and tells the story of two people injured in an earthquake in Japan.

What did these students do well? They retold the familiar story of a doctor choosing which patient to save, but they made it their own story. They infused their personalities and beliefs into their retelling. When they open the movie with the chaotic scene of a man going down the stairs to an earthquake siren with the words, "This movie was found in Sendai, Japan," they set the stage. This is the setting. The sound of the siren, the fuzzy screen, and the man in a panic tell us right away that something dangerous and important is going on. The viewer is instantly drawn into the film. This is in the first twenty seconds. (Wow - that's quite something for a high school student film, isn't it?)

I was so pleased that my students used captions. These students spoke quite clearly, but I had quite a few who did not. I told them plainly that if I could not understand what they were saying, I could not give them a high mark. The students themselves often ask for captions when watching a TED Talk or similar film, so it makes sense they would caption their own films. Students outside of the U.S. are used to seeing subtitles or captions at the bottom of the screen.

Of course, once J the Homeless Man wakes up, it makes sense to have subtitles. J is Japanese, and he speaks Japanese in the film.

The students show patience in their film. They understand that telling a story is about the pauses as much as what is spoken. They leave time and space for the viewer to react. At about 2:15 when Pichy wakes up and says, "Doctor, you need to save me," the viewer understands the choice the doctor may have to make. The music amps up and the tension builds.

At 3:10 when Pichy the Doctor gets his shot, the music provides resolution and hope. Ironically, the same music is used just a few seconds later when in a different scenario, J the Homeless Man gets the life-shaving shot.

These students worked collaboratively to demonstrate how an ethical issue would manifest itself in a doctor's choice. They provided two different resolutions and helped their audience to feel the tension.

Philosophy of the Mind with Nok C.
This project examines the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for its position on what a human being is. This project was a part of a unit on Philosophy of the Mind. Here is what the rubric for that assignment looked like.

Notice in the rubric that students are asked to process information and make it their own. They must demonstrate an understanding of their topic and then add to that understanding with an analysis of what a piece of art (story, song, etc...) says about the topic.

Let's look at Nok's work.

For this particular assignment, students tended to use fairly recent movies to analyze. A few chose songs or books, and a few created their own stories; however most students analyzed a fairly recent movie for its position on what a human being is. As a result of this process of analyzing modern media, students may become more involved consumers of their culture.


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