June 18, 2010

Future teachers capture honors in iCademy competition

Posted: June 18, 2010

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Three teams from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College have been honored for their digital video production skills in Arizona State University’s annual iCademy competition. 2010 marks the third consecutive year in which students from professor Keith Wetzel’s Technology in Early Childhood Education class have received multiple awards in the ASU-wide competition.

Students Daniela Behm and Andrea Stoneburg took first-place honors with their video, “The Eyes of a House Wife.” Honorable mention accolades went to Chieu Train, Stacy McMahan and Mark Mezger for “Education Then and Now,” and to Michael Gleba, Denisese Vidrios and Keesha Wylie for “Glen Canyon Dam.”

This year’s competition, sponsored by the Applied Learning Technologies Institute at ASU, featured “The Wisdom of Our Elders” as a theme. Teams of students who participated in this unique project-based learning experience were responsible for producing a three-to-five-minute video based on an interview with an elder in the community. Topics focused on historic events, people and places in Arizona.

The project was broken into five strategic categories, with points awarded in each: project orientation and the value of technology; project planning and conceptualization; footage and image collection; video editing; and completion.

“Participating in the project and competition encourages our future preK-12 teachers to be historians and teachers of project-based learning,” said Wetzel, who has been a faculty member at ASU’s West campus since 1991 and who last year was the leader of a Teachers College team that received a prestigious Best Practices Award for the Innovative Use of Technology from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

“Producing the video as a team is a multi-step process requiring students to work together to conduct research on their topics, write a script and storyboard the information to be presented,” Wetzel said. “They also learn technical skills during the production and editing process.”

The incentive to win the competition is a motivating factor, Wetzel added. “Students enjoy being recognized for their creativity and hard work. They also enrich their résumés before applying for teaching positions.”

Behm and Stoneburg’s first-place video focuses on an interview with longtime Phoenix-area resident Julia Baker, who tells stories associated with the Valley’s tremendous growth over the past several decades. The students included historical photos in the video to illustrate the topics Baker discusses.

“Julia is my grandmother’s best friend,” said Behm. “Completing this project opened up my mind to the world of technology, while also making me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to. I look forward to teaching my future students about the steps involved in the creative process of making a video.

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Behm, Stoneburg and the other students selected for awards in the iCademy competition were honored at ASU’s annual Microcomputers in Education Conference; they also received complimentary conference registrations.

More information about the annual iCademy competition is available at http://icademy.asu.edu/index.htm.

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