Member of Parliament’s 6 (MP6) seeks to encourage collaboration and participation in politics and public speaking, using technology to build on, share and promote the existing work of Hamilton’s MP6 political speaking competition, which is open to learners aged between 11 and 16 from schools across the city. The competition provides students with direct access to key decision makers both in the council and national MPs.
Through Leicester City Council’s BSF ICT Innovation Funding, the school will build a website to host competition videos, which will also be an access point to speak to other students and teachers with similar interests. The site will include resources for teachers and pupils at schools across the city to run their own political speaking competitions. This project provides an example of the powerful ways in which technology can be used to support communication, collaboration and participation, especially relating to learner voice. The website and content is student led.
Here Sera Shortland, Citizenship Co-ordinator at Hamilton and project lead, provides an initial update:
Recording 2013 Winner’s Speeches
Hive productions were commissioned to film Keith Vaz MP, Dr Rosemary Sage, a communication expert and 6 student finalists from 2013. The finalist’s speeches, which include topics such as ‘Student Loan Sell Out’, ‘GCSE Reforms’ and ‘Prism Spy Programme’, were all recorded and the videos are now edited and waiting for upload onto the site. This experience proved very educational for students, they loved being filmed in Keith Vaz’s office and saw new techniques being used and ideas about film making. They learnt about lighting, sound and about camera angles. The speeches from students will be used to aid other students, they show the type of content and delivery needed to be confident in public speaking.
Dr. Steve Bunce trained 5 teachers and 4 student leaders on iPad applications and how to make and edit movies. This session was excellent and the group have made an iPad video of the impact. Using applications such as Garage band, Skitch, Morpho, Puppet Pals and iMovie and trailers, participants were encouraged to make their own short movies.
The training session was an absolute revelation as it showed a new way to document student experiences through video diaries and movie making. Dr. Bunce showed the simplicity of iPad use and how to use it in the classroom on projects to make them come alive. I had no idea it was so easy to make such impressive films/documentaries before this session. Film making used to be an effort that I did not have the time and resources to do. Now students are empowered through the iPads to be creative and interpretive through learning and for the MP6 website. The video which the training group made is already available on the staff shared drive and staff/students have been made aware should they wish to view it. From this session, all individuals reported learning something new; all but 3 of the group have iPads and so this session really demonstrated potential use to learning. The session has also led to students planning an assembly for the year 7 and 8 cohort. They are also to train further students and become Hamilton Digital Leaders.
Steve created a walkthrough from the session, detailing the activities, which can be accessed here:
*Note: Ensure printer is set to print on both sides, flip on short edge
Six schools from across the City and County are participating in this year’s competition. First, each school held internal competitions to select semi-final candidates. This resulted in a total of 20 students from Moat Community College, Sir Jonathan North Community College, English Marytrs’ Catholic School, Soar Valley College, Uppingham Community College and Hamilton Community College taking part in the semi-final round at Leicester Town Hall (8th April 2014) with Councillor Vi Dempster, Councillor George Cole and Steve White acting as the official judges. The event was filmed using our iPads and will be uploaded to the project website once edited.
At all stages, the filming and web design (regarding content) has been led by students. They have had access to iPads and are using them to practise speeches, interview each other and learn more about film making.
Our next steps are to finish the project blog site so that students can comment on speeches, upload ideas and collaborate. The site will be promoted to schools in Leicester. We are also interested in identifying why some schools did not take part, and if necessary, to improve the information pack.
You can follow Sera’s progress at: www.politicallyspeaking.co.uk