There are many students who seem disengaged at school. It has been said that young people are not reading and wont write anymore than they absolutely must.
Outside school however it is a different story. Studies have shown young people are reading and writing incessantly updating their MySpace/facebook pages keeping blogs and WebPages
In other words they are reading and writing but in different modes and media to the more traditional print literacies of the 20th century. Indeed the definition of literacy is evolving all the time. Literacy can no longer just encompass print-only works. In the 21st century literacy must include digital hypertext images and the plethora of communication media that make up the complex systems that bound in todays world.
The complexity of messages in todays world means that our students have to not only know how to read them but also know enough about them to be critical viewers with the power to analyse and understand the obvious and more obscure meanings of the messages around them
Students are bringing multi-literacy skills to the classroom and teachers tap into their interests and skills and then enhance their students understanding of these various diverse texts. This will enable them to become skilled at critically viewing any of the diverse texts that is presented to them so that they can confidently use all the media around them to learn clarify and communicate information rather than by passive users who can be coerced confused and persuaded by the unscrupulous.
3 Some Statistics
73 or ¾ students on the internet watch or download videos
½ of the young internet users say they watch YouTube
Many young people post videos to blogs and even more forward on a link in an email
They are socializing researching playing games getting news via technologies.
In schools we need to look at innovative ways to capture the interest and commitment of students to the understanding the deep-thinking and as the learning world because more and more immersive these initiatives are an important step.
4 Why Book Trailers
Book trailers offer an alternative way to respond to some reading/a book ways that are creative but encourage critical thinking and analysis. Students can use
still or moving images
voiceovers and/or music print text and
to share their interpretations and critiques of what they have read.
Technology is not the goal. It is a means for students to explore a variety of literacies and ways of communicating their response to their reading. Visual aural indeed many learning styles and modes can be used It can help reluctant readers and writers by offering them a chance to use methods that interest them and that make use of other strengths that they may have.
5 Finding book trailers
Whilst looking at the some publishers websites I saw a few different book trailers.
They were interesting but there was nothing there that I believed our students were capable of creating some.
When I went looking specifically for book trailers I found many more. They were varied in their levels of skill approaches to the books they were publicising and the reasons for their creation.
In the US they seemed to be encouraging all sorts of people to create trailers the authors for their own books readers of all levels and professional film people.
The trailers were shown by libraries used by publishers and in schools. There are competitions run by publishers and others for the best books trailers.
Choose a book
Read the book
Analyse the book - what was good unique interesting etc list/brainstorm/mindmap
Write a first draft impressions feeling important points
Create a storyboard
Plan effects (transitions sound colouring etc)
Review the plan with teachers other students
Create the trailer
Show the students some different examples of book trailers. Let them see/hear and critique them.
7 The Product
There can be an amazing array of approaches.
The product can be used to entice other reader by playing it on electronic screens within the school/library.
The trailers can be out up on blogs webpages etc. and shared with others beyond the classroom/school so they are used by others not just a class assignment never to be revisited.
The students used Audacity (to put together sound) Ulead VideoStudio to create the video
Use Creative Commons sites to find licensed images and sounds/music.
Video cameras and other digital cameras could be borrowed by the students to take the shots they needed.
Some music students at the school were also happy to help create music and sound for the students doing the trailers.
The freesound project (sound)
Soundsnap (sound effects and loops)
9 Some Points to Note
Have a hook for the audience.
Get people interested in/excited about the book.
Grab their attention from the first second
Dont have too much text
Set the mood and convey the feeling of the book
Length is important. Not too long or too short just give a quick taste of the book.
Look at the concept behind the story and dont focus on the details of the book (the minutiae)
Music and sound is essential
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