Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Arkanada Project

This past week I have been in Vancouver for a Final Cut Pro editing course and there have been many parallels between what I was doing in the lab at Emily Carr University, and the Arakanada Project

In a sentence the Arkanada Project is a "cross border international collaboration" focusing on utilizing web 2.0 tools to assist with learning about television and media arts. 

What is great about this project? Besides, all of the 2.0 technology used such as the ning, wiki, Skype, Youtube and on and on, the heart of it has to do with human connections. Some think that as soon as you add technology, you take out the human parts, but this has proved just the opposite. 

This is much the same with my FCP course this week. We spent 5 days learning about the interface, the viewer, canvas, timeline, and how to do multi-cam editing, sounds, transitions- ad infinitum. Christine Stewart did a wonderful job of delivering the course! The real learning took place as the 4 of us worked through the projects, and found applications of this knowledge in our own circumstances. One wanted to film whales, one wanted to know more for post editing at a professional level, another wanted to better understand the post production world to assist with his videography, and I wanted the whole picture with skills that I can pass on tomorrow to my students, as most teachers do.

Knowledge and application is one thing, but the part of the FCP course that will resonate and linger with me in the connections and REAL WORLD advice I go through discussions with my class counterparts. I learned how to effectively light a green screen for best results, a ton of cool things about movie and TV post production and industry perspectives that would cost thousands from consultants who have years of experience. Thanks Dave and Fred!

This is where the Arkanada Project is proving most valuable. The connections are real between the students in Cold Lake and North Little Rock. The accountability is high because the projects students are created are judged in the opinion of those who mean the most to them. We are very fortunate to work with students in NLRHS who have a lot of skill in the area of the video and television. The global impact will be further emphasized as we create content for instruction of project skills in podcast form on iTunes U and Youtube. Brining other schools into the project is also where I would like to see the project grow. More participation means more idea sharing, truly preparing our students to work in an interconnected global, media hungry world!  

Things to come next week include scheduled Skype calls, which will provide the human contact that looking at photos and sharing video projects on our ning just can't accomplish. I've signed up as part of the Skype In Schools wiki, which has given me excellent resources. If anyone has advice for facilitating first meetings through Skype, please drop me a line on Skype (coolpoolteacher), or comment on this post! I am a novice, casual user with Skype, and perspectives on effective use of Skype would be appreciated.

Until next time!


  1. I hope that your successes and enthusiasm carry over to other staff members at GCHS. Next year, many more of us are going to be able to do so much more once our Gr.9's are operating in a 1 to 1 environment.

  2. I loved this post Jared! This touches exactly on the bantering I have had with a colleague and good friend of mine who still hasn't seen the light on using technology to teach. It's 2009 and I can't believe I am having that conversation but this was helpful. You touched on some good positives here that go to dispel some of the myths about tech (i.e. human contact).

    Good job!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.