From digital to film

Two years of teaching media in Tallinna Lilleküla Gümnaasium are left behind and its a perfect moment to start thinking on forthcoming one. I’m having enormous amount of thoughts and ideas but since most of them are crappy (yes, I do thing crappy thoughts sometimes) then I’ll continue with only one.

My lovely students have always been very practically-minded and that’s a good thing. Hands-on lessons are equally fun to me as well. Like in the first year I tried to cut and glue “do-it-yourself” pinhole camera with my class. Even if there was no working examples in the end, students were happy and pointed out how motivating it was again to work with their own hands, paper, scissors and glue-stick for a change.

For some reasons although, I decided to skip pinhole camera assembling last year but I’m having thoughts of using film cameras in our practical works this year. It might be quite challenging to take pictures for schools newspaper with film camera.

Anyway, even teachers must practice and that’s why I bought a roll of film today, took a AGAT 18 out of the locker, mounted a film and started to teasing myself with thoughts how happy everyone are in the first lesson of taking photos with film cameras :]


photo by seriykotik1970.


First year in Lilleküla

By now, at the end of the May, when school for most of the students is over, I can do a small roundup about my year in Lilleküla as well.

When I was first asked to join their great team, I was pretty astonished – without any teaching experience (I’ve been doing some teacher training but this is completely different area) and clear vision, 45 innocent students were suddenly under my responsibility. Task for the year was to experimentally try how 10th grade students are ready for approach of learning while the structure of the lectures were not so close to the traditional ones.

Practical Media consisted of four different but strongly related parts: desktop publishing, photography, filming and writing. The main goal was to publish at least one issue of the schools newspaper – supervisor for the writing team was Epp-Mare Kukemelk from Postimees who leaded the process of the article writing and theory of the media in general. At the same time I introduced to students basics of the desktop publishing, using the Scribus and after Christmas we switched to Macs and to Pages (new project gave us opportunity to work now with MacBooks and we didn’t depend of the computer class afterwards). Some of the exercises were made in Blogger (basics of the web design), Google Docs (group presentations), Issuu (PDF publishing).

Photographs were working mainly with online tools like Flickr (image search), Nagi (image storing) and Picnic (image manipulation). As we started in September, most of the students registered their self in Estonian photo repository Nagi, which is usable but not very intuitive. And after Flickr started friendship with Picnic, I decided that next year we are not going to use Nagi for our purposes.

Film makers were not so related with newspapers, their projects helmed several group work tasks, where they manage to try several web based techniques and tools like YouTube, YouTube Remixer, Jumpcut and mobile filming. Although school has a great video camera equipment, the fact is that every student is holding itself camera in their pocket and why not to use them for educational purposes?

Anyway, ideas for the september 2008 are still in the very alpha stage, so I will introduce them sometime in the summer.

It was a very useful and busy year and thank again for this opportunity, specially Hans :]