Digtial storytelling and filmmaking are great educational processes. They foster the development of research, organization, planning, analysis, and synthesis skills. Digital storytelling and filmmaking are rich methods for exploring content and surrounding a class project with authentic experiences. (Source: Nikos Theodosakis – The Director in the Classroom)
The final step in any good digital storytelling project is to celebrate the creative works developed by students. This can be done by holding a viewing party in the classroom, holding a school or district film festival, and posting student work online for the world to see. Another great way to recognize students for their work is to encourage them to submit their films to student film contests. Following is a list of just a few of the possible student film contests and other opportunities for students and teachers:
The Courageous Persuaders
This is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) competition sponsored by the DADA (Detroit Auto Dealers Association). The entry deadline is February 9, 2017, and over $26,000 in scholarships and awards are available! Courageous Persuaders is a peer-to-peer national scholarship competition that invites high school students in grades 9-12 to create a 30-second commercial to warn middle school students about the dangers of underage drinking and the dangers of texting while driving.
White House Student Film Festival
We're inviting U.S. students, grades K-12, to participate in the White House Student Film Festival. Currently, the 2016 Festival winners are posted. Check back frequently to look for information regarding the 2017 festival. Click HERE for more information.
The Utah Education Network's Utah American Graduate project is always on the lookout for films that fous on education and graduation. Films can feature stories of teacher champions who encourage students to succeed in school, students who have overcome difficulties in order to reach graduation, and anything that encourages students to stay in school and graduate. Visit the AmGrad website for more information.
SciTech Now – UEN
SciTech Now captures the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. UEN is seeking segments for their SciTech Now video series that cover topics in science, technology, and engineering. Take a look at their existing programs online at uen.org/scitechnow to get a feel for what they are looking for. UEN shares their segments with national partners, so this could be a great portfolio piece for students.
Next Vista For Learning
Next Vista For Learning provides a library of free videos made by and for teachers and students everywhere. Their site not only features videos for consumption by students and teachers, but also has a listing of numerous video competitions students may enter. Learn more at http://www.nextvista.org/.
Project Ed – Amplify
At Project Ed, they challenge filmmakers, animators, artists, teachers, and students to create short films that teach. Each month Project Ed hosts multiple contests on topics from English, Math, and Science. These contests empower creators to build narratives around specific learning goals while giving them opportunities to jumpstart their careers and earn rewards. The best videos win prizes, are featured across the web, and are used by teachers and students. – See more at: https://www.projected.com/about#sthash.Vwe88tLB.dpuf
Sundance Film Festival – Students at the Festival
Teachers have the opportunity to register for their classes to participate in special high school screenings of Sundance films. There are also opportunities for students to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. Visit http://www.sundance.org/festival/students/ for more information.
Film & Broadcast Coalition's Utah High School Film Festival
The UHSFF is the longest running high school film festival in the nation. Every April, students from around the state submit films in various categories ranging from highlight videos and short comedies to documentaries and short films. Visit http://www.filmandbroadcast.org/uhsff/ for more information.
Big Screen Science
Teachers — Join SHIFT in partnership with the Leonardo and the Utah State Office of Education in a seven-month professional development initiative to train STEM educators (grades 6-12) how to facilitate the production of student-produced instructional and documentary videos. Bonus: Earn credit toward your Ed Tech teaching endorsement!
Visit http://www.shiftworkshops.org/workshops/ for more information.
Spy Hop provides a variety of paid film classes, workshops, and internships for student filmmakers.
Visit http://spyhop.org/film/ for more information.
Katie Blunt was the 2015-16 UCET President. She is also an Educational Technology Specialist for the Canyons School District where she is lead over the Canyons District Film Festival and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs projects. Katie earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University and her Master's Degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Katie was the 2011 UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the year and the 2016 Canyons School District Student Support Professional of the Year.