Edinburgh Pupils Become Social Reporters

05 Jul

Social Reporting is about capturing an event from the inside, using audio, video and photographs. It’s about creating and sharing content during an event and content that others will want to share. It’s a brilliant technique for pupils to use, they can make short films at school events with minimal editing and using mobile phone technology. Films can be up on the school website within minutes.

I ran social reporter workshops for the day with Edinburgh Secondary School pupils as part of the Changeworks Make Waste History Summit last month.

We explored social reporting and discussed examples of different styles of social reporting from Documentally and others. We talked about Primary School Social Reporter Martha Payne, who took a photo of her lunch every day and wrote about it on her blog ‘Never Seconds‘. She had over 6 million blog visitors and raised over £100,000 for charity. Finally the pupils put theory into practice and made films.

How did they get on? There was some fantastic discussion about the differences between social reporting and traditional TV news. The pupils observed social reporting as more genuine, less rehearsed and more about real people’s opinions instead of only talking to experts or celebrities.

They didn’t have to storyboard shots, write scripts or edit but they did have to consider:

  • What would another pupil want to know about the event?
  • How could they share genuinely and keep it interesting and engaging?
  • How could they be themselves and bring their own personalities and opinions to the film?
  • How could they get others to think about the environmental issues covered during the day but keep it fun?

Technically they needed to consider light, sound and framing. They also tried advanced techniques like walking while filming yourself and flipping the camera around while filming. I edited together a montage of their clips and we watched it at the end of the event. Here it is on YouTube:

I think they did a wonderful job at capturing the feel of the event and trying out different styles of social reporting. We used Iphones, flip cams and Kodak Ki8 blogger cameras. This montage was edited using the Imovie App.

The workshops were 45 minute introductions to being a social reporter. I hope the pupils will go on to practice the techniques and produce brilliant content at school and at home. You can read more about the Make Waste History Summit on the Edinburgh Reporter or in the Kitchen Canny Blog.

If you enjoyed this blog you might like a podcast I made with Leith Walk Primary about cutting waste in the classroom, it’s presented entirely by the Pupils. I also wrote about Social Reporting at the Poverty Assembly and being trained to be a social reporter earlier this year.

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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Education, Film, Media


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