Rugroom Learners Radio Script Writing

We’ve been working with RUGROOM the specialist learning centre for learners with Asperger’s Syndrome to plan and prepare a Radio Play. Our team have been working with the learners over a number of weeks to develop the script using collaborative writing software. The show will be recorded soon.
All the learners work within the same document and are able to see each others contributions, additions and edits live as they happen.
Some images from the project:

Rugroom Clay Animation & Music Session for staff

Cleveratom were thrilled to work with the City Fish PondCollege Norwich staff in a Clay Animation and Music workshop for 20 of the team. Rugroom staff work with young people on the AS at the college.
In 7 groups, each of around 4 RugRoom teaching staff, Matthew Eaves and myself were on hand as each group worked with iStopMotion to produce a short animation with music composed themselves in GarageBand.
The final products produced by each group, viewable below, are the work of about 3 hours each with a MacBook- learning to use the software they progressed.Finally as a surprise to the group, we asked for pictures of some of the staff to create a seasonal gift to the collage.
Cleveratom have been working with Rugroom students for the past six months to develop a social learning space, workshops and an online environment.
Here is the completed work:

Blue Balls: Play Now | Play in Popup
DIT animae: Play Now | Play in Popup
Fish Pond: Play Now | Play in Popup
Making Babies: Play Now | Play in Popup
Father Christmas’ Revenge: Play Now | Play in Popup
Nothing like a cup of tea: Play Now | Play in Popup
Wayne and ED: Play Now | Play in Popup

UEA Clay Animation Session

Hal MacLean and myself were delighted to be invited to UEA (University of East Anglia) in Norwich to deliver a Clay Animation and Music Session to a group of 24 students and staff. The applications we explored and worked with during the session were:

It was the second week of the new UEA Multimedia Course, and the new students did really well.


Cleveratom continue to run digital creativity workshops and training sessions all over the globe, check our our track record in this field.

Here are the completed films produced in under three hours:

 Catterpillar: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Real Deal: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Sunny Day: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Snake: Play Now | Play in Popup

Saffron Walden County High School and Partner Primary Schools Summer School 2007

ppodcastimage.jpgEvery year our team work with Saffron Walden County High School to undertake a creative challenge which encourages students at the school and its partner primary schools to work together and engage with creative technologies. This year the challenge was as big as ever and involved all ‘groups’ taking part having to work together with each other to make ‘one big story’.
On the 11th of July Hal MacLean and myself headed down to the school to train the young people in four hours how to use the following pieces of software:

  • Final Cut Pro (Video Editing)
  • GarageBand (Sound Editing)
  • iStopMotion (Animation)
  • Comic Life (Comics)
  • iMovie (for use with Reflecmedia kit to allow Chroma Key work)

This is the first year we have introduced Final Cut Pro to the 10 – 13 age range of pupils. We believe Apple’s iMovie is far too easy for young people who are now ‘tech savvy’ in comparison to the year 2000 (when we started this project). Young people now require high end tools as the desire to achieve high quality effects increases, Final Cut Pro has meant we’ve had to teach young people how to edit in the same software the BBC edit the news programme you will no doubt watch on TV this evening.
We’ve also introduced the young people to Reflecmedia kit, which allows them to ‘chroma key’ Harry Potter style! The material allows blue/green screening in any light conditions.
We look forward to returning to the school in October to review the finished products and celebrate success. When we return we’ll be training the 25 young people in Photoshop and DVD Studio Pro.
Click here to see what other projects Hal and I have been involved in with SWCHS.
Some images from the event:
Here are the first two podcasts which document the start of the project, in Day 2’s Podcast Elliott Williams talks about how Summer School projects have changed since 2001.

Day 1 Podcast: Play Now | Play in Popup
Day 2 Podcast: Play Now | Play in Popup

Anglia Ruskin Summer School May 3rd and 4th 2007

The Cleveratom Team (Alex, Matt and Hal) were delighted to be invited back to the Anglia Ruskin University to work with Ian Ericson to run the 2007 Anglia Ruskin Summer School.
For the past five years Hal and Matt from the Cleveratom team have been involved in the project (2002-2006 under the Ultralab flag as staff at the University). Both Hal and Matt are also part of the Anglia Ruskin Alumni, both students of the University many years back.
aruss1.jpgThis year the challenge was to engage with a group of young people considering University and put them through a two day creative challenge.
Within minutes of arriving the young people were out and about using digital and video camera technology to bond in small groups and make a first attempt film.
At the end of day 1 the young people had learned how to use iMovie, GarageBand and iPhoto and we’re challenged to make a 100 second ‘Point of View’ film, they had one day to do it.
The completed work was celebrated in the Micheal Ashcroft Building Lecture Hall and a DVD was produced and distributed to every participant.
Our team also took time to talk to the young people about University life, expectations and opportunities. An enjoyable experience was had by all, and as ever, some really creative work achieved in a very short period of time.
Here are the movies:

Phone Camera movie of Hal MacLean talking to the Summer Schoolers…: Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 1 First Attempt (Training Day): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 2 First Attempt (Training Day): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 3 First Attempt (Training Day): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 4 First Attempt (Training Day): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 5 First Attempt (Training Day): Play Now | Play in Popup
Birdie (Final Version): Play Now | Play in Popup
Flats 65 – 75 (Final Version): Play Now | Play in Popup
Handbag (Final Version): Play Now | Play in Popup
In the Eyes of God (Final Version): Play Now | Play in Popup
Victimz Inc (Final Version): Play Now | Play in Popup

Get Creative at BETT 2007- reflecting on yet another busy show

For the sixth year it was nice to be invited back to be a part of ‘Create at BETT’, the creativity feature at the BETT Show held at London Olympia between the 10th and 13th of January. Create at BETT continues to be the only stand staffed by young people, not selling anything specific.
The feature stand exists to simply demonstrate creative use of technology within learning. Last year BETT attracted 27,000 visitors from all over the world to its two thousand stands.Students from King Harold School were on hand to help visitors make podcasts, using the latest chroma key technology from our friends at Reflecmedia.
Visitors were able to stand in front of a chroma wall with selected moving image being rendered live behind them straight into Apple’s iMovie software.teswriteup.jpg
Click the right hand news article image to read what reporter Stephen Manning from the TES had to say about the young people working on the Create at BETT stand:

The young people working on the stand worked with the show visitors to film their ideas and then upload the newly created podcast file to the Digital Teacher Network (DTN). DTN remains as a free space for creative teachers to manage their projects online.
All the podcasts created on the ‘Create at BETT’ stand can be viewed on the ‘Create at BETT DTN Project‘.
All DTN project media files work with iTunes, and are therefore available to download as podcasts onto iPod technology.At the other end of the stand young people worked to demonstrate the brilliant iStopMotion animation software and the potential for using creative technology in the classroom. iStopMotion is so simple and easy to use, yet so powerful too. A wonderful piece of innovative software.
Cleveratom was represented on the stand working together with the team from BBC Blast and Apple. All these partners believe in creative use of new and emerging technology in learning and we’re proud to work along side them.
I’ve enjoyed the past six years on the stand, clicking here will take you back to the stand in 2002 where we explored web broadcasting technologies.
We’ve done something new and experimental on the stand every year since, it has always been staffed by young people. Here is last years article on BETT 2006.
Cleveratom’s Alex Blanc and Jamie Harris were on hand to support visitors wanting to learn more about the potential of enabling technologies. Alex built Digital Teacher Network from Open Source Software and spent a lot of time explaining to visitors how it worked and what they could do with it. Maureen Gurr was on hand to look after the young people, Fiona from Impact also did an amazing logistical job to make it all happen.
Cleveratom staff have also worked closely with David Baugh and BBC Blast to support the young people prior to coming to the show. The training session held before Christmas in the BBC’s 21CC (21st Century Classroom) were a huge success. Creativity and School Learning Space Design Consultant, Hal MacLean reflects on the performance of the young people:
As ever, King Harold School pupils were brilliant! Their enthusiasm, infectious energy and determination to succeed meant that the stand never had a dull moment. Many thanks to Malcolm Burnett for organising the group and being there with them.
Read more of what Hal has to say here.
View Hal’s Best Pictures from BETT 2007
Some images from the event:

View even more of Hal’s Pictures from BETT 2007

Check out some of the podcasts below:

Mountain Report: Play Now | Play in Popup
Duncan: Play Now | Play in Popup
Worms: Play Now | Play in Popup
Domizio: Play Now | Play in Popup
Man and Girl: Play Now | Play in Popup
Eating the Sky: Play Now | Play in Popup
Weather Report: Play Now | Play in Popup

Bromley Learning Alliance Summer School Celebration Evening 2006

DSC00217.JPGHal MacLean and myself spent this evening with the young people and their families from the Bromley Learning Alliance 2006 Summer School, in Bromley. We headed down to celebrate the animation work created by the young people over the summer months.
The challenge which was set back in July this year was to create a modern day comic book, in animation, photography, sound and film. The ‘tough task’ was called ‘Twist of Fate’ and had ‘no right answer’, as ever. The young people are giving an induction session to the technology and project, they then return to their collective schools over the summer to undertake the challenge.
We have been working with Merril Haeusler (Director) of the BLA since her days with SEEVEAZ (South East of England Virtual Education Action Zone). It was refreshing to see Merril at the event, and hearing her relate back to the early days back in 2000 when she first launched the project with us. If it had not been for the investment by Merril both financially, and more importantly her belief in what young people can do with creative technoloies I really do question where we would be today. As my last official presentation event for Ultralab it was nice to be in the company with Merrill, who was at my first ever Ultralab engagement back in 2000, at the Millennium Dome in London (Read about it here).
We’ve come a long way since that early project, travelled the world, impacted on broadcasters, governments, education establishments and policy makers. We still have a lot of work to do, together.
So here they are, the creative comics created under the banner of ‘Twist of Fate’ by the tallented young people of the Bromley area, enjoy:

Changing Dreams: Play Now | Play in Popup
Podcast Video: Play Now | Play in Popup
Space Pigs: Play Now | Play in Popup
The Restless Race: Play Now | Play in Popup
Twist of Fate: Play Now | Play in Popup
Unlucky Lottery Ticket: Play Now | Play in Popup
Wacky William: Play Now | Play in Popup
World Cup 2006: Play Now | Play in Popup

BBC Wales 2W Christmas Idents by Six Year Olds from Caerleon Infant School

testidednt.jpgThe 14th, 15th and 16th of November now stand out as some of the best days in my career so far. We’ve worked long and hard to persue governments, broadcasters and education institutions to promote the fact that children are very creative when united with the power of enabling technologies.
BBC Wales initiated a pilot project to find out what idents could look like if Children created idents themselves, using stop frame clay animation.
I spent last Wednesday (8 November) at BBC Broadcasting House in Cardiff working with various team members from 2W to work out how the technology being used could be enabled for 16:9 (widescreen) viewing. To the right is how the ident will be placed on the work created by the children. We have decided to use Apple Computers running iStopMotion animation software and Sony XM1 camera technology. All of the work will be created in widescreen, our experiment worked. It has been decided that the background the children will animate in front of will be yellow, music will also be added in post production.So how would a six year old make an ident anyway?
Geraint Lang from the team and myself spent three enjoyable days at Caerleon Infant School near Newport, Wales, with Susan Wood and her team from BBC Wales. The demountable classroom had been tranformed for the event which would see young people creating the idents for BBC 2W (the Welsh version of BBC 2 in Wales).
Geraint and I spent the Tuesday afternoon with the group of thirty young people talking to them about animation and what the challenge was that they had been set.
On Wednesday and Thursday we took the now split group of children (15 per day) forward providing them with the clay, technology (computers and cameras) and backdrop to generate their animations.
DSCF0022.JPG CaerleonInfants.jpg
Over the three day period the young people were challenged to make a 12 second animation in clay on a yellow background, the title they were challenged to make was ‘What Christmas means to me’. Snowmen, Father Christmas, Sledges, Presents and even Santa in the Bath were all created and constructed.
The music for the animations, which is rumoured to be ‘Jingle Bells’ will be recorded at a nearby Secondary School. The animations will hopefully be a part of the Christmas schedule for BBC 2W, the background of programme announcements.
Some images from the event:

Here are final animations as they were broadcast on BBC 2:

And here is the programme the BBC made about our work:

BBC Northern Ireland Mental Health Campaign Pilot… in animation!

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I spent today (Friday 27th October) and yesterday at BBC Northern Ireland in Belfast working with the BBC Blast team on a new pilot project for BBC One NI’s Mental Health Campaign.
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I worked closely with Emma Majury and Rod from the local college to create a 90 second animation which followed a soundbite story of a person who had recovered from depression.
We spent Thursday planning, Friday morning buliding sets and the afternoon animating. We filmed the entire sequence in reverse scene order, then strung it together in iMovie and added the sound. Here it is, as broadcast on BBC 1 Northern Ireland:

Cressing Primary School (Key Stage 1) Clay Animation with Six Year Olds

Hal MacLean and Matthew Eaves from the team spent the day with Class 2 at Cressing Primary School to undertake some experimental research into clay animation with six year olds. Mrs Harris and her classroom assistants were a great help throughout the day as fourteen six year old pupils took part.
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Click the above images to enlarge them.
The objective of the day was to find out how six year olds coped with an animation task, learning the skills of model making, story construction and then using computers and digital video camera equipment to animate their story.
The session was the pilot for a larger project which will be held in Cardiff next month, which we will post more about here at when the time comes.
Hal and myself will be writing a paper on our findings. The learning from this experiment has already changed our plans for BBC Wales.
Everyone involved in the project will recieve their creative work on DVD, created using iDVD, here is a screenshot of the DVD in production:
dvdcover.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
We would like to thank Sue Giles, Head Teacher at the school for welcoming us into the school at such short notice.
Here are the files created on the day:

Group 1 (Animation 1): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 1 (Animation 2): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 2: Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 3 (Animation 1): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 3 (Animation 2): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 4 (Animation 1): Play Now | Play in Popup
Group 4 (Animation 2): Play Now | Play in Popup
Ultralab Example : Play Now | Play in Popup
Meanwhile Martin Hodder at Ravens Wood School in Bromley, Kent created this brilliant experimental animation:: Play Now | Play in Popup