Wednesday, January 12, 2005

New Dimensions In Assessment

Today I gave a couple of first graders opportunities to tell me about their art while I recorded their voices and filmed their art with my JVC digital camcorder. At this point, I am able to view the recordings as email clips, which means the images are grainy and low resolution. However, the audio is pretty good. It is amazing the ideas the kids come up with when they are speaking (or writing for that matter) about their art. One of my kids created a scribble drawing with a square darkened in the middle and he proceded to tell me "this was a matrix and this kid who entered the time portal (the square in the middle) could be sent back into the past or up into the future." Then, another child came up to me and said, Mr. Gaw! I want you to film me! So I obliged him and he got out his new drawing of a simply drawn rectangular face and body on a simple landscape. He proceeded to explain on camera that this was an "alien and that he lived on the moon under a rock and he jumped up high in the sky to scare people in a friendly way." I thought to myself, "Eureka!" The art making-creative thinking process, generated these incredible stories! This is something my TAB colleagues and I had allready known, however it was so nice to see this creative phenomenon come to full circle on video! I would have prefered to have them write first and then read their work to me as I videotaped the works, however, the spontanaeity of the answers and the interesting stories behind the works gave me hope that as we continue to video, the divergent thinking and art will become even more complex and rich with detail. We shall see. My hope now is that I can convert the video files with a higher resolution so the images are better. For now, I am happy with this new dimension in digital video assessment.

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