Saturday, January 15, 2011

Technological Wonders!

My college wants very much to increase the level of proficiency amongst the faculty, so for the last two years, thanks to a grant that will last three more years, we've had a "FIT group." The cutesy acronym stands for something like "Faculty Instructional Technology" and being chosen for the group means a shower of tech goodies to incorporate into the classroom, including this year's prize, the iPad. I'm part of the current group and I must admit that, at first, I thought the iPad was a cool toy, but I didn't really see the application of it to the classroom.

I'll admit I was wrong.

I've been pointed toward (and discovered some on my own) some very useful, practical uses for the iPad, and here's one for my film class - the film study app. This will link you to literally hundreds of public domain movies - to be fair, many of them are what we would politely term "obscure" and more than a few seem to just be bad, but bad movies can be very good teaching tools! (And some of them are classics in the good way.)

Using this app, you can watch films in a variety of genres - cartoons, film noir, science fiction (our focus), Westerns, romance, etc. You can pause the film whenever you like and choose from a wide number of tags to mark examples of editing techniques, the use of sound, various shots and angles, and many others. All this and it's free!

What a country!

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