Ultralab (1990-2006) & Chessington Community College Korean TV Project

It is common knowledge that the schools in and around London are ever increasing their intake of children from foreign backgrounds. The assumption (if somewhat stereotypical) has always been that these students stick with their own kind and excel in subjects such as science, maths and music because they boast a somewhat ‘universal’ language. Schools see them as an opportunity to raise and improve exam results and to give their school a cultural diversity. But seemingly not much consideration goes on into the emotional effects on a child going into a foreign school in a foreign country. What goes through the mind of a child that has moved to Britain, sometimes on their own, who speaks little English, knows nothing of the culture and is expected to integrate into our education system?

Chessington Community College (based in Kingston, London) contacted Ultralab (1990-2006), knowing that they specialise in improving and developing education through technology. The college wanted to develop a project through which the school’s Korean community could express their feelings and experiences of coming to Britain and learning at Chessington Community College (CCC). Ultralab (1990-2006) suggested a project through which the students could make a film and the students would be allowed to take control of what goes on in the film as well as the technical side of film making.

On 13 th of July, Matthew Eaves and Mark of Ultralab (1990-2006) went to CCC to get the film making process underway.   They bought with them the computers, camera’s and programme’s the students would need to create their film and set about teaching the kids how to use it.   Matthew and Mark were adamant that the contents of the film and how it was created was the students responsibility as opposed to Mark and Matthew arriving at the school and making all these decisions for them.   With a typical Korean education being book based, this gave the students the opportunity to work on a practical project devised by themselves while learning along the way.

The film would be for new Korean students starting at the school showing them how other members of the Korean community at the school felt when they first started, what they did to make friends and what their British friends thought when they started.   It was structured around a series of interviews with their friends and some of their teachers. The video is structured through a series of interviews with the teachers and what they think of the Korean students in the school, interviews with fellow Korean students and what their experiences of the school were and interviews with some of their other friends on what they think of the Korean students.   From the interviews conducted during the project and from film footage, an opinion seemed to be forming among the students’ friends and that was that they were very jealous of their friends.   Maybe it was because the Korean students had three days out of lessons which, to be frank, any student at school would be jealous of.   But some of CCC’s students who came into the project area during break and lunchtimes, genuinely seemed impressed by the work their peers were doing and were somewhat jealous.   The opportunity to learn and teach in new and innovative ways is not only what Ultralab (1990-2006) does best but it seems it could be the way forward in nationwide education.

The main application that was used to create the video was a programme called iMovie.    iMovie was used to edit and subtitle the pre recorded footage that was used in the live broadcast.   Wirecast was the software used to stream the live broadcast.   This software (from Vara Software) allows for multi shots and screens to be used to give the effect of a live broadcast, much like a news broadcast. Wirecast allows you to cut together live and pre-recorded material. It uses Quicktime Streaming so that the film can be watched live over the internet or put into a webpage where the film can be accessed.   The students used the idea of a live broadcast for their film, and nominated a student to introduce and sign off the film.

The feedback from Matt and Mark at the end of the project was positive and both commented on how it was one of the best school-based projects they had been involved in.   The film will be submitted into the BAFTA Interactive Festival as an example of a project where Ultralab (1990-2006) offer school children a new way of learning.   The film will be put on a BAFTA Interactive Festival DVD and will be seen by people all over the world.   The project was not only a success in the quality of the film and the worldwide recognition the College will receive but also convinced the College to invest in a new Apple Macintosh computer and digital cameras so the school can expand its IT department and have similar projects running with students from other foreign nationalities.   As some of the interviews with the Korean students suggest, most of them would like to do these kinds of activities again, and just from being around these students it is easy to pick up that what Matt and Mark have taught them will stay with them and will hopefully come back to them at a later time and inspire them all over again.

Profile.

What is your name?
Yerin

How old are you?
14

What part of Korea are you from?
Cheong ju

When did you come to England?
Christmas time (6 months)

Do you live here with your parents?
Yes

How many brothers and sisters do you have?
2 brothers

What are your hobbies?
Listening to music

What was the most fun part of this project?
Recording and filming

What was the most boring?
Nothing, it was all fun

What do your other friends in the school think about the project?
They think its interesting and fun, they want to do it.

What was it like when you first started at the college?
Scary, I was nervous

Did each of you have different role or was it a joint project?
We did it all together

Have you used equipment like this before or is it a new thing that you are learning?
No, this was the first time

Would you like to do something like this in the future?
Yes

Now the school has a computer to help you make more films, would you be able to do this again and teach other people?
With the others I could show my friends what to do.

Profile.

What is your name?
Si-hyung Seong

How old are you?
15

What part of Korea are you from?
Seoul

When did you come to England?
2 year half month

Do you live here with your parents?
Yep

How many brothers and sisters do you have?
2 brothers

What are your hobbies?
Drawing play games

What was the most fun part of this project?
Recording

What was the most boring?
Waiting around

What do your other friends in the school think about the project?
Jealous because I’m not in classes, interesting

What was it like when you first started at the college?
Stressed, exciting

Did each of you have different role or was it a joint project?
Did recording

Have you used equipment like this before or is it a new thing that you are learning?
No

Would you like to do something like this in the future?
Yes

Now the school has a computer to help you make more films, would you be able to do this again and teach other people?
Yes

Profile.

What is your name?
Eunju

How old are you?
14

What part of Korea are you from?
Musan

When did you come to England?
One year ago

Do you live here with your parents?
Yes

How many brothers and sisters do you have?
One brother

What are your hobbies?
Listen to music

What was the most fun part of this project?
Recording

What was the most boring
No

What do your other friends in the school think about the project?
Envy us

What was it like when you first started at the college?
Enjoys it

Did each of you have different role or was it a joint project?
Joint project

Have you used equipment like this before or is it a new thing that you are learning?
I have done this before

Would you like to do something like this in the future?
No

Now the school has a computer to help you make more films, would you be able to do this again and teach other people?
No

Report by Jo Fletcher, event journalist.

Take a look at the photo’s

Published by

Matthew Eaves

Matthew Eaves is Director at Creative Learning Systems Ltd

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