Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Marco Torres

Marco Torres is a powerful presenter. He speaks with passion and spreads his compassion. It would be impossible not to be touched by his stories. You can read more about him here.

Session notes:
Marco Torres from Los Angeles. He showed "When I become a teacher..." - San Fernando. Students mainly Mexican (Aztec). Two cultures - gangs and folklore. He wanted students to understand their culture and population. They took census data and plotted Latino population on a map. Also looked at where poverty was and then people without a college diploma. It was quite telling. It gave the students a good idea of how poverty and lack of education go together.

There are about 5000 students in the school. 56% turnover rate with students and about 36% of teacher turnover. Use limitations to the advantage. 26 letters, 10 numbers, 12 keys on the piano, 116 elements, 3 colours - look what we can build.
He sent kids out to collect data during the walkouts. Their footage and

Traditional communication

Traditional Now
text see hear

Images are extremely important. Peru Negro (there is an area in Peru where a lot of slaves from Columbia moved in. This group is from that group) - hit the college circuit (music) when he saw them he realized the CD is not the right channel for them. Video would be better. He called he band and offered the students to video and would give footage to the band. We listened with our eyes closed and then watched the movie the students made.When the students gave the video to the group - they had a video they could use - were then able to get money to make a documentary and they hired 3 students to travel with them to make the documentary.

School holds a film festival every year. They made a TV commercial to advertise the film festival. iCan film festival. After the commercial audience went from 200 people to over 1000 people. You can see a lot of the films at SFETT You have to see them; talking about them doesn't do them justice.

Language Creativity, Self Esteem & Multimedia.
Marco Torres is a social studies teacher not a media or film-making teacher. He tries to teach them the language of media. School made everyone assign a 15 page paper. He assigned a movie - deliver the importance of voting. Power of 1 The makers got hired by MTV. A very powerful piece about how many world events were decided by one vote.

The Story of Little Suck a Thumb (HS kids went into elementary school to make fiml of stories written by ES students. He sent the students to the library to find the worst children's story first and made a quick movie) Then they made the movies for the grade 4 children.

Be distinct or be extinct! Edna Mole (the Incredibles)
A year round school so no opportunities for summer camp or sumer jobs.
Being Creative: Learning to solve problems

Perspective - changes how you react to a situation. If he saw himself only as a social studies teacher it would be limiting.

Barrier - Obstacle - it can be a barrier
Make it relevant, meaningfull applicable, enthralling
With technology you can connect more with people. His students haven't left community but can communicate with the world. - his kids are publishers

First barrier - self-esteem. He wants to make sure they are patted on the back as much as possible. Connected his kids to little kids. 4th grader wrote story - instead of using fancy tricks - went for simple.
Fortunately..... did about 45 films which were shown at the local library for the parents of the students of both the 4th graders and the HS students. DVD made for all families. Grade 4 students certainly looked up to HS kids. Publishing for a larger audience.

Communicate with family - a lot of projects where they interview family members. Capturing stories. OUr stories are just as important as formal history. When showing at the film festival - standing ovations. A lot of affirmation for the students. The student's grandfather passed away but still have the film footage and preserve an important part of the culture and the history of the kids.

Connecting student to the immediate community. In the community there are many people without children - wanted to include them. Made a movie of who makes the best tacos. Put fliers in all the taco shops.
Best Taco in San Fernando - interviewed owners of taco shops - gave copy of video to taco videos. The video was shown on community television.

Connecting student to community - a lot of kids came to US as kids without parents. They are raised by friends of the family, siblings, grandparents.
He wanted to make sure the kids were not just statistics at the school. This year music has been important. He has some background in recording. Relationship of his students and some rappers in Belgium
&Drew and LeFic -
Kids are producing a lot of CDs. They give his CDs

Seat belt winner - he wants to make sure that his kids are producing things so different that they are noticed - creativity plan
17000 entries - 6 of top 15 from his class.

Embrace Obstacles
Relevant Meaningful Applicatble
Create a business plan

Record a band and make a business plan for them
Built a web site for the band, started a MySpace account
snuck into battle of the bands with small cameras - made a gritty video
Real economics business plan - not artificial
One of the DVDs got in the hands of Christopher Nolan. The music was used in a triler for Batman movie
The band got a contract because of this - bought a car

Frankie and Rachel
Adrian is a good hip hop rapper (keeps all local musicians in a database so they can use them for movies
Dreams - got in the hands of other rapper and they invited him to rap with them.

David Pena - mariachi - recompose the star wars songs in mariachi style The theme of the film festival Reurn of iCan - When John Williams heard it he wrote to David and sent him a signed score of the original Star Wars

When you put the family in the movie the parents and extended famiy show up to the festival. Have outgrown several venues.

embrace your obstacles (Be a snowboarder)
Make it relevant
Make it meanignful
Make it applicable

Infect Others with Curiosity

Do important work, valuable work, liberating work


Take 2: I went to the "after the keynote session"
A group of his students went to college and thought they would get even better than what was in the ghetto.
Being digital in an analog world (hard to pay attention - lectures for visual people - teaching today using yesterday's tools This is an amazing piece of work. This was done by his former students in different universities who planned the whole movie using iChat, planned the kinds of shots they needed, edited, etc. without meeting face-to-face.

One way and that's the way you have to do it. - real time learners
"The jobs that colleges are preparing us for are being outsourced now, We have to teach kids to advocate

In a school where he doesn't recognize staff because of the constant turnover
He created a team - only 6 left.

Students - because of planning structure, the sudents write a lot more. - they just don't realize this.

Every project he showed was done in a day - quick victory builds will.
What would make it boring - try not to do that. Build story boards
Marco has created a series of podcasts (and vodcasts) with his students: Flickschool.com You can find some how-tos, tips etc.
find experts - create a network so you can get on iChat to help each other.

When a student was asked why he makes videos he said, because my mouth doesn't do my mind justice.
We have to provide the right channels for our students to get their voices heard.

Technorati Tags: ,

1 comment:

  1. Hi svg...

    Great posting. Took a tour of the videos and got a good sense of the passion and the effectiveness of the man, the team, the approach.

    Apart from the note I wrote to the CORE hub about the Digital students @ analogue schools film (that university teachers are not being taught how to teach technology), i just wanted to add here something else that really struck me when I read the post.

    There is a part when you mention,

    Students - because of planning structure, the sudents write a lot more. - they just don't realize this.

    Every project he showed was done in a day - quick victory builds will. What would make it boring - try not to do that. Build story boards

    I thought that part was very interesting, because it made me think of when I was teaching English. We wrote a lot, for online use, for newspapers and ezines we created, or just for regular writing projects in class. And I would look at other teachers and honestly say that my students tripled their output in terms of quantity.

    I never quite put my finger on why this worked for me, but i think that motivational facture, and the sense of being able to do it, well, that was it. In the end we rewrote some good pieces and used(published) them, so i figured I got to the same place the other teachers did. But at least it was never boring.

    Great to see someone doing similar things with the easy video tools out there. There is certainly something to be said for good planning. Even the planning is something they are writing and doing. But it also makes you think about long detailed storyboarding and beating around the bush, when the tools are available to just get it done, and eventually work through the skills just by doing.

    Anyway, there is my first comment on your blog. It was fun.

    See ya,