Monday, April 7, 2014

The Narrative Care Project

 This week my student broadcasting class is moving on to an exciting project called The Narrative Care Project. This project connects my students with senior citizens in care a our local senior care facility.

The students have been given the challenge to answer the following essential question: "How can we use music as a catalyst to evoke memories and how can we preserve these stories?". The ideas for this project came from a program in New Brunswick, Canada where university and high school students have been working to document the stories of seniors. 

It's a huge undertaking. Working with our school counsellor, we have presented them with the challenge and have had several classes where we have asked students to brainstorm and develop a list of thing they need to know and things they need to do. The list is quite extensive.  Students have done lots of research about what 'preserving memories' might look like, and we have agreed to use video of the seniors to make iBooks for each of the seniors, with an iPad being left at the seniors home for everyone to access, and DVD and other digital copies of the videos being made available for family members.

We recently spend an afternoon at the care facility where students were introduced to the senior they are going to be working with, as well as members of the seniors' families. The kick off visit was a huge success! My students were treated like family members by the seniors who started sharing so much about their lives

What is most rewarding and exciting about this project is that it is rooted in empathy. My students are truly going to understand and value the experience they have because they can take pride in not only making a final project for a class, but something that will be treasured by the seniors and their families for years to come. Hopefully at the end of the project students will truly appreciate how things were different when their partnered senior was growing up, and how many things are still the same. 

On the equipment side of things, there is also a challenge for myself and for my students. We are going to be using iPad minis to record, edit and share the video content for each senior's iBook. We're going to use our existing mics and rotolights with the iOgrapher case for the minis. I really want to challenge my students to use the minis to their fullest capacity with video.

Photo source: http://

One side note that is interesting is that I have also connected with a senior in the facility and I had a wonderful chat with her about her family. I'm looking forward to doing the project along side my own students!

Has anyone out there used iPads for documentary style interviews? I would like to connect and share ideas about which apps worked well for them!

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