mercoledì 3 giugno 2015

Video cameras with “educational” effects

This text was published first on the platform My Blog on 9 September 2012. The video, on the same subject, was made later, in 2014

The children are watching in the screen other children playing with the “ball” effect of an old DV video camera. They were 6 year old and, perfectly according to the their deformed image in the electronic mirror, they put their faces exactly before the lens, so that they could move and say “hallo” and “meow” and do strange voices, laughing and amusing so much, but not loosing the “sense of framing”.
Easy, instant, perfect. The viewers children of today tell me: “We want to do the same!”
We are lucky: the 8 year old camera (a Canon MVX100i) had been broken, but then it was repaired and we can use it. As nowadays camera don’t have effects any more, because, some people say, you can apply them in post production! False! We can not mirror and adjust our actions effect in post production. Children can’t!

This is something important, in media education: a very easy, amusing, motivating way from the mere consume of TV to the ability of doing it, beyond canonical studying and learning, playing and “understanding” at once.
The following step, for us was to go on putting the camera on a tripod, watching at the perfect steady shots, before beginning to take it in hand. All with a sudden great, surprising quality. Children entered their media competences through the main door: managing effects, basing on their intuition, their body, their play. Yes, we can!
According to the “laws” of market digital gadgets are generally put and removed from devices following hypothetical trends and desires of the customers. No matter if the customers themselves do not actually have the time of testing and using them, even of realizing that they exist. So that up to date cameras have now for example GPS and YouTube direct options.
But, with HD and even 3D low cost devices, the “shooting” style of most of cameras and smartphones users, is just the same of their grand fathers with Super 8 film in the Seventies! That’s to say, in one word: unwatchable!
On the other side, “specific” users as for example teachers of the basic grades of school, never said their clear word about what could be useful in an “educational” video camera. A passive attitude in front of the established “professionalism”, an unlimited faith (or a complete disinterestedness) in new technologies…
To take and to use, to test devices with children and see what goes and what not… This is what we should do better, for the technological literacy of the new generations, that is still a matter of education, and not of market!

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