If you’re an educator who is passionate about supporting students to drive their learning and express their voices, this guide is for you!
This guide follows the format of Challenge Based Learning, a framework that allows students and teachers to identify meaningful challenges, learn deeply about the content in order to develop solutions, take action to positively impact their communities. The goal of this project is to use 360° media production as a way to learn and make a real-world impact. That means that students will develop skills to create 360° media, but the project should also help them:
In this project, we’re all learners: 360° media is a whole new world. Here are some principles that will help you and your students engage and learn through this project:
At its core, this is a project about learner voice and expression, hearing from young people about what matters to them and how they approach making the world a better place. Let your students lead!
Whether as educators or students, we approach unfamiliar topics or situations in similar ways. We identify a goal to work towards, connect with people and resources that help us learn and make us successful, and reflect on our learning by sharing back with the community what we learned.
Few of us do good work just to get a good grade or performance review — we do good work if we see that it matters. Look for opportunities for your students to connect with a real-world audience outside school: plan a local showcase, connect with another classroom making 360° media to swap stories, or submit student videos to a contest or festival.
Keep an open attitude towards teaching with new technology. This means letting student expertise and enthusiasm help you — student tech support is often a key part of success. Be resourceful when looking for answers, and recognize that this technology is still in development!
Depending on the topic that students choose to focus on, your guidance will be critical to helping them develop a culturally sensitive and authentic project. If the proposed 360° story stems directly from students’ own perspectives and experiences, help them acknowledge how their audience’s perspectives could be different, and how the story could be misinterpreted.
If the proposed topic is about another person’s experience or perspective, help students decide how to learn more about it from multiple perspectives. Who could they feature in their project who can speak from direct experience with the issue? How might their own perspectives contribute to potential bias? For more resources on media literacy, see the educator resource “Helping Students Reflect on 360° Media.”
One key indicator of success along the way will be when students no longer need to ask you, as the teacher, “Is this what you wanted?” Instead, students will share their work with a real audience and trust the iterative nature of the media production process to help them accomplish their goals for each activity.
This guide is based on the Challenge Based Learning process because open-ended prompts allow students to not only make a film, but define an issue they want to address using their film.