By Jason Edler, POSOH Education Assistant
With the August POSOH Tribal School Educators Institute in the recent past, I cannot help but think of the similarities between the high school youth I was fortunate enough to work with and some of their educators. Fresh off of working with the youth I was lucky enough to aid in a similar process with many of their teachers. Science and Art teachers from local indigenous school who were able to attend the POSOH professional development made three to five minute videos for their students.
Walking into the computer lab I had expected things to be very different with the teachers. In reality, the teachers asked many of the same questions the students asked, had many of the same complaints the students had, and enjoyed many of the same facets to video production as the students enjoyed. They even looked the same, slouched over their computers with just the tops of their head visible during their editing process. The first day everyone seemed to keep an eye on their peers to make sure they were doing roughly the same thing and that they weren’t completely off topic. But come day 2 or 3, the creative juices seemed to flow and each product truly began to take on its own individual route.
I was able to learn so much from both groups, but what I took away most from working with them was the challenge of letting them make their own videos. I often times had suggestions and ideas that I thought might work well with their videos, but had to bite my tongue to let their video be their own. It was a challenge for me as I always want to say something right away when I see it. I was happy I was able to hold off because seeing them come to the conclusion on their own was much more satisfying for me and the student.
Both sets of individuals came into the video making process with a fuzzy idea of what they thought their video was going to look like. I realize now it is extremely hard to know what a video is going to take on when you are in the planning stages. A person has to be ok with it taking on a life of its own during the process and becoming something they had never dreamed possible. Through brainstorming, filming, reviewing, and editing, the seed of an idea can grow and develop into its own being. It was extremely cool to see the students and the teachers both go from looking confused and unsure of their product to taking ownership and proudly displaying it in front of an audience. The videos all turned out amazing and I was extremely impressed with both groups of what I would now call film editors. I hope more people are able to take the opportunity and learn the process of making a film whether it is through POSOH or not. The process is an extremely effective learning tool and POSOH gave me and the others a way to come together and learn and for that, I am thankful.