Wickford CLC Creative Music Making and Radio Play

Matt and Hal have been working at Wickford CLC (Community Learning Centre) a lot lately to help learners explore the potential of creative use of technology for learning. Together they have been running workshops in film, animation, music and radio. Today involved the production of Jingles and Radio plays for broadcast.
Here is a finished Radio Play, the script was written, sound effects added, and recorded by the learners entirely from scratch:

Some images from the event:

City Academy Norwich Sand Pit

The digitalcreativity.org team have been working at City Academy Norwich to turn an old school hall into a creative learning space incorporating creative use of technology into teaching and learning.
The space was part of Earlham High School, which is due for demolition and will be replaced by new buildings. Until then, our role has been to help formulate the new vision for the new school by taking over and repurposing an old room. Our team have lots of experience of designing new and revisioning old buildings and have previously worked on may Building Schools for the Future projects, and projects for the BBC and NHS.
Here is the space, spot the before pictures sticking out like a sore thumb!:


Rugroom Learners Be Very Afraid!

Be Very Afraid (now in the sixth year) is an annual event organised by professor Stephen Heppell and the team at heppell.net to showcase (for one day only!) the very best learning in technology projects from around the UK in one place.  This year the event took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, London. Visitors from all over the world came to see BVA, and were impressed with the variety of the projects being showcased.
This year the Cleveratom team brought some learners from City College Norwich’s Regional Centre for Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders Rugroom project to show off their hard work on one of the stands.
Rugroom is a project the Cleveratom team have been involved in since 2007, and the team at City College Norwich have built the only learning centre dedicated to learners with Asperger’s Syndrome in the country. Cleveratom work hand in hand with the college, its staff and learners to embed engaging, enabling and inclusive technology into learning.
Around 180 learners with Asperger’s now attend and add value to the college life, the Rugroom has gone on to win awards at national level, including the Association of Colleges Presidents Beacon Award.
This year learners from Norwich came to London to showcase the newRugroom Radio and TV offering which the learners have been working hard together to define, refine and build.  Typically learners with Asperger’s are challenged in communication, collaboration and co-ordination, and Rugroom Radio & TV have been a great way to experiment and challenge the learners.
More about Rugroom Radio and TV can be found here.
Learners were on hand to interview visitors, and connected live (via Skype) to their purpose built studio’s in Norwich to engage the London visitors with learners working live on radio and television productions.
To find out more about Be Very Afraid go here.
The photographs Matt from Cleveratom took at the the event are here.
This is not the first time we’ve brought learners from Rugroom to the event, read about the previous Be Very Afraid (October 2008) and their involvement here.
Cleveratom team at the event: Matthew Eaves, Hal MacLean, Sharon Fealy.
Some images from the event:

Rugroom Learners film 2009 Asperger's Conference

Matt from our team spent today supporting learners with Asperger’s Syndrome from RUGROOM at City College Norwich filming a conference abou Asperger’s. For this project the learners had to learn how to use the broadcast quality camera and how to record sound.
Matt has had a long relationship with the RUGROOM project helping to embed creative use of technology into teaching and learning through television, radio and other creative technology mediums.

Rugroom Celebrates winning Beacon Award

Rugroom is a learning space for learners with Asperger’s Syndrome. Matt and Hal have been involved in the project since 2007 and have helped work with learners and staff to embed creative use of technology into the teaching and learning.
The project has just won a Beacon Award for widening participation, which means it is reaching people that are considered hard to reach. We’re very proud to be part of this project and were pleased to be at the celebrations (above!).

NHS Mental Health Filming

Hal and Matt do a lot of film work all over the country and to give you a flavour of one of our projects, here are some photographs of the filming we conducted for the NHS:

Our team often work with chroma technology, and teach this to learners in schools too.
We were pleased to use the studio facilities of St Helena School in Colchester, and work once again with the legendary Luc Adams.

Rugroom Learners demonstrate Creativity at BETT

Since 2002 our team have been showcasing the best creativity in learning projects at BETT Show, the UK’s largest technology in education show. This year our team worked on a stand with RUGROOM Asperger’s Syndrome learners showcasing the technology in learning projects we’ve been working on together which includes Radio, Television and Animation.
Some images from the event:

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

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 Blast, 21CC, Ultralab, Apple, BETT Show and EastEnders

Today, (Saturday) Maureen Gurr and myself headed to London to the BBC Broadcasting House bringing together the young people from Saffron Walden County High School and King Harold School for the planning day for ‘Create at BETT 2006.
For the past five years Ultralab have been working in conjunction with Apple Computer and other partners to deliver the ‘Create at BETT’ feature at BETT, the educational technology show at Olympia in London (11 – 14 January 2006).
The BETT Show attracted 24,000 visitors last year, the ‘Create at BETT’ stand is one of the few stands which does not actually sell anything, it is purely there to demonstrate how creative young people can be with technology.
Considering that people under the age of 18 are not allowed into the show, it is great that ‘Create at BETT’ continues to be the only stand fully staffed by young people ‘being creative’, the idea is that visitors will leave the show with creative ideas to take back to their institutions to move creative use of technology forward.
BBC Blast! are involved in the project this year, our training day for the young people involved took place at the BBC’s 21CC (21st Century Classroom) facility at broadcasting house.
On the stand the young people will be demonstrating film, sound, podcasting and animation technologies, all surrounded by an EastEnders theme. BBC EastEnders will be the focus of new script ideas, model animations of classic scenes and the challenge to create a new theme tune sequence for the show.
Both involved schools, friends of Ultralab’s Digital Creativity projects will be sending sixteen children to the show between them. The young people will stay in London with Ultralab.
Maureen Gurr, Richard Millwood, Kris Popat and Matthew Eaves will be representing Ultralab for the duration of the event on the ‘Create at BETT stand’.
Some images from the event: