By Julie L. Shepard, Berkeley Academic Coordinator
It looks like the Parent Weekend was a success! Our first DVD debuted in Berkeley and parents got to see their junior actors in action. We had great participation and attention really rose dramatically when the previous participants realized how great they looked on film.
But more than that, I have a vision of seeing even the shyest person participate- not for purposes of acting or impressing anybody, but because it’s so essential that they stand in those big shoes and try out the roles that seem so scary to them.
I have had a lot of feedback, from various perspectives. The potential for teaching here is enormous because multimedia is such a hot topic and cutting-edge way to integrate all the senses, from doing to viewing. We work on scripts from Human Relationships to Self Advocacy and students volunteered for the last shoot with great enthusiasm after the smoke had cleared from the parent weekend viewing. What do you know!
I also received great support from the other CIP centers and other professionals who like what we are doing here. All four of our centers are now collaborating on projects together, so students from all the centers will be able to utilize what we call “Video Modeling,” which can do anything from practice interviews to “Order in the Court” role play, to counting back change in a grocery store. There is endless potential for improvs and endless ways the students can contribute to the “On the Spot” scripts. For example, in our last shoot there was a court judge, a defense attorney, and prosecuting attorney, a defendant, and a case read before the court. Each lawyer presented a one-liner and then the judge got to rule and bang his gavel. Since noone knew which side the judge would rule on, there was some laughter at his decisions. Also, we had a realistic bickering among two members of a couple who had applied for divorce and the judge had to ask for “order in the court!” and then make his ruling.
I thank the students who participated and continue to participate, the staff who support our endeavors, and the parents who see the big picture of what we are doing here and really appreciate our efforts. Video modeling DOES enhance comprehension. Yes, it is an art form, as life is art. The beauty is in watching our students open to the world like sunflowers following the sun. I am as impressed as they are when we play it back. Go CIP go!
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