Warren Sparrow

Warren Sparrow

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About Me

My School’s Information

My Project's Information

  • Project Name

  • Project Discription

    The HIV Busters is an integrated project that brings together the “Life Orientation” and “Technology Education” learning areas. The technology in this project was used to enhance the education by engaging students into higher order thinking skills and not as a substitute for teaching.
    More than half of all new HIV infections take place in Africa. It is having a devastating impact on our continent. Poverty, lack of education, cultural and social barriers are a few of the reasons that facilitate the spread of this disease. HIV and AIDS affects not only individuals and communities, but economically and socially as well. The sooner we can do our bit to educate people, the sooner we as a community can assist both individuals and communities.
    From a learner point of view, the learners created a movie, using their own technology, like cell phones, to create a movie that will impact other people’s lives. The completed movie about HIV and AIDS was posted onto YouTube and then embedded into a webpage for the benefit of both the local, as well as the international education community. Each group created a video about a different HIV and AIDS topic. Through this the learners have created a resource covering many topics that can be used as both a resource, as well as a learning tool for other teachers and students.
    The learners use a variety of software to create their completed video project. The software included Paint Dot Net, Cam Studio, Windows Movie Maker, Sound recorder, Internet and research websites.
    The project focused on a real life problem, allowing for the teaching and learning of 21st Century skills to take place.
    This has allows the learners to demonstrate originality and creativity in creating their own video production.
    The entire project, with all templates, learning plans, movies, etc can be found at http://www.wsparrow.co.za/AIDS/
  • What made you start this Project?

    I do not believe that there is enough done to educate our youth about AIDS and HIV. The key topic of this project is for students to gain a better understanding of the moral and community implications of HIV and AIDS, while substantially advancing their understanding of multimedia and video production. I believe that children have a great deal to teach us, but we often do not give them a voice to be heard. I believe that students have a greater role to play with regards to the upliftment of their communities and have the ability to teach other students both locally as well as internationally.
    We have seen many examples for the use of technology in the classroom and its benefits in today's society. I do think however that there is not enough that is shared between teachers and departments. There are a number of really great lessons and ICT integrations lessons, but finding them is sometimes a problem. Part of this project was for me to create something that can be shared and used as resource for both my school as well as other schools. The website can be either used as a learning platform, a resource or as a project example.
  • What portion of the community have you impacted through your project?

    Although the project started as a school project, it has grown to an International audience. Once the project was completed, the other grades in the school have used the videos and the website for learning and teaching of HIV and Aids. I have also shown the website to different education districts, as well as many schools. The project was showcased at a National conference where there were over 200 delegates from various education institutions. Lastly as this is hosted on a website, there is the potential of many International schools using this content.
  • What challenges have you faced with your project?

    I have not spent any money on creating this project, rather I have opted for technology that the learners currently have, as well as using Microsoft Movie Maker, which is free on Windows computers. I have also used open source software to convert the learner’s movies off their cell phones onto the computer.
    As everything was online, one of our biggest problems was Internet speed.
    When we went online to bubbl.us, the one problem that we had was the Internet speed. Having an entire class logon to one site and then create a mind map was very time consuming. The other problem was that as we were using the free version, if the learners did not complete their mind map in one lesson, they could not save the file to edit later. They could however save the mind map and then create another mind map of the things that they had not completed.
    When we did the KWHL chart the learners, I found the learners worked well, but as this was the first time that we had created KWHL charts, the learners did not fully understand what was expected from them. We have subsequently done another KWHL chart and the following time went a great deal better.
    Once the learners had completed filming, they gave their cameras to me and I then downloaded the software onto the network and the learners could then import their movie into Movie Maker. This was a great deal easier said than done. Movie Maker would like the movie that is imported as either a wmv or a mpg file. Movie Maker does not recognize any other extensions or movie types. So although every group had brought in their own cell phones, Sony, Blackberry, Iphone etc, each of the different types of phones have a different way of recording the movies. It took me 2 days to find software that could convert the various media into the correct format for Movie Maker to be able to use the files. I eventually found Pazera and freemake video convertors. Both of these two different pieces of software worked very well in converting the software. They are also both free and you do not need to pay to use them, as they are open source pieces of software. There is unfortunately no easy way of doing this. Unfortunately some of the file conversions are a little difficult and I suspect that many Grade 7 learners would not be able to do it. Next time I will find 5 learners that I identify that can assist me with the conversion process.
    The final stage was uploading the completed, edited movies onto Youtube. As the movies were so big, it took forever to upload the movies. Fortunately we could upload the movie, once the movie started uploading, we did not have to sit and wait for it and we left the computers on and came back the next day and the movies had finished uploading.
  • How did you overcome those Challenges?

    Fortunately we were able to overcome just about all of the challenges, which is always good. It just took a little longer than what we anticipated in the beginning.

    We teach 21st Century skills and outcomes at our school. We made this part of the learning process for all the learners.

    The learners were very excited to bring in technology that they would not normally be allowed to bring. The learners could work in a group to complete their production. The learners projects were uploaded on the Internet and other people could see their work. The learners have learnt a life skill and can now also create their own movies about topics of their choice.
    One of the things that I learnt with this project, was also one of the things that I would change the next time I did this project. I would give more time for the learners to create their story boards and for them to create their scenes. I think the learners were just so excited to go outside and start filming their projects. Although they had all completed their story boards and their script before they were allowed outside, some of the learners realized that the more they did on their scripts and scenes, the easier it was to film their movie. The learners however loved the entire process of filming. They thought it was fantastic. I was a little afraid of the learners not doing the project, or them being disruptive, but not one group misbehaved. Every group did what was required from them. It really was amazing!
  • What have you achieved through your project?

    Overall, this project went very well. I feel that the learners understood everything that was expected of them and they really did live up to my expectations. The projects were well put together and very informative. The students worked well with their groups and really enjoyed showing the rest of the class what they had done on their project at the end. They also thought that having their completed movie on the Internet was awesome.
    This project is a typical 21st Century project for today’s learners, for example:
    o The learners worked in groups collaborately
    o The learners could be as creative
    o The learners used critical thinking
    o The learners used problem solving to create their end product
    o The learners had to make their own decisions
    o Through the project the learners learnt about social responsibility
    o The learners had a voice and placed their projects on the Internet
    o The learners work is being used by our school, as well as other schools in the area for teaching and research purposes
    o The learners developed a sense of citizenship through this project
    Let our learners have a voice and allow them to speak about causes and problems that they feel are important to each other via the technology that is currently available to us. Allow learning to be fun and creative.
  • Have you raised money through partnerships for your projects?