Students can learn to cooperate with each other and learn about the world around them through filmmaking, experts say
Experts agree that filmmaking is an ideal tool to encourage students to work with each other, learn about a broad variety of topics, and get hands-on experience.
Teachers who have difficulty getting students to collaborate on group projects will find that filmmaking allows students with various skills and learning habits to collaborate.
Tech-savvy students may enjoy handling film-equipment, shyer students may flourish behind the scenes, and students get to work together to produce an actual product that may be viewed and interacted with by others.
Anthony Stirpe, a high school teacher based in New York, praised filmmaking for allowing both students and teachers to learn new skills, saying that usually students end up educating teachers about the latest technology.
California film arts and journalism teacher emphasizes the importance of teaching students about media literacy, saying: “The world is shifting and most of the messages everyone receives are visual,” citing Instagram posts and popular memes as an example.
Films produced by teens are a fascinating insight into their generation
At the All American High School Film Festival, high school students aspiring to be filmmakers gathered in New York to submit their work and view that of others.
Tom Oliva, co-founder and executive director of the festival, said: “These students are sharing stories that are a lens into their generation.”
Oliva says he has learned a lot about teenagers through the films they produce and show at the festival, saying many of the films have a common theme: trying to make the world a better place.
“It’s really fascinating, and film gives us that,” he said of the insight into how today’s teenagers think and act through the films they create.