The COVID Community Through A Camera (And Other Alliterations)


Would you believe me if I told you that we were currently witnessing a pivotal moment in history? A global pandemic is a very rare occurrence, especially one in which the entire world is on lockdown. It feels good to know that I am putting my introverted tendencies to use.

As for our most recent PLP project, I would like to introduce to you our most recent Humanities study, a project titled “Witness To History”.

The driving question for this project was: ‘How can we, as video storytellers, tell stories of our community during this period of physical distancing’. If you had to guess who our interview subjects would be, take a wild guess. If you guessed anyone, you would be correct! I loved this aspect of the project because it gave me the freedom to explore any aspect of my community. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to make libraries my focal point. The final product would come in the form of a short video which told the audience about the impact of COVID-19 on our given subject.

The Process

We began this project by getting to know the premises of the video. This meant researching, and finding the demographic that we wanted to appeal to. At first, I had in mind that I wanted to target the changing life of our pets during this pandemic. The reason why I did not carry through with this subject is self-explanatory. Once the library community focus dawned on me, I knew I had found the right subject. Through my video I wanted to use my passion and digital knowledge to demonstrate how the lives of book-readers have changed, and what this means for both students and the future of libraries. But I am getting ahead of myself. Before I go off on a tangent, I need to explain how I got there in the first place.

Furthermore, the very first milestone which helped me develop this solution was Milestone 1, the Launch activity. For this Launch activity we were tasked with creating a trailer using props at our disposal, and an inventive storyline. I particularly enjoyed this activity, because it was challenging. Who doesn’t love a challenge! I encountered an obstacle along the way, which was the fact that I did not have the original props that I needed in order to execute my idea, so I used my family as a replacement. I will admit that it was challenging, but fun nonetheless. While teaching them how to use the proper technology to film, I found myself learning new tricks as well.

Consequently, I went into milestone 2 with multiple new tricks up my sleeve. Milestone 2, research, required us to gather all of the necessary knowledge that we would need in order to complete the task at hand. Well what did this mean for our interviews? Surprise, they needed to be online! Doing online interviews was difficult for me, because you are only able to film at one angle. You are not able to use cinema, lighting or angles in  your favour, meaning the content of the interview needed to be scintillating to compensate. I did 3 interviews, 1 of which did not go well and needed to be discarded entirely. This milestone challenged me to go deeper than I usually do with my interviews, consequently deepening the answers that I get from the interviewee. The irony of this Situation is that it took a loss of connection to gain a connection.

Finally, it was time to compile the video. This took the form of milestone 3/4, the storyboard. Using technology to connect and learn, I created a storyboard that precisely described each shot of the film. Do I like making storyboards? To be blunt, no. But would I be lost without one? Yes. I learned more about my storyline while making the storyboard than I did while actually writing the storyline. I could have done much more with this part of the process, as I noticed that while I am happy with the outcome, the storyboard would have been more helpful if it was actually organized. I will add that as a note to self for next time.

The Competencies

Empowered Learner

How might I use technology to learn more?

I am happy with how I did in correlation to this competency. Especially when it comes to digital techniques, or becoming a better interviewer, even seeing advice from unconventional places, I am taking the steps to becoming a more empowered learner. In the future, I would like to see myself seize more opportunities, which could have elevated the level of my video. In general, I will continue to use the techniques that I have learned both in and outside of the classroom.

Active Digital Citizen

How might I use technology to connect to the world?

In order to be an active digital citizen, I needed to find the path of this project individually. Normally, I would consult my friends and family, all of which I was able to do, yet not in person. Connecting to my community through a video chat has not been easy, but finally being able to tell myself that I managed to sort out my education online is all the more satisfying. I learned new interview techniques, and discovered new informational platforms, which will be very helpful to my studies in the future.

The Final Product

This is it folks, the end of the project. I am happy with the final product, especially the music, with a beat that I created in the infamous GarageBand. As I entitled in a previous project, I made it my goal to get to know the app, which I did this time around, for better or worse. The final video is not what I had originally envisioned, but it acts as a very good outline. If I could do this project again, and do it differently, I would have spent less time worrying about the final product, and worry more about the process. Here goes a really bad analogy. One of my fatal flaws as a horseback rider is the fact that I always focus on perfection at the jumps, rather than control around the course. Just like a PLP project, perfecting the process is what leads to a great final outcome, not vice versa. This is why, next time I complete a project, I will be able to proudly present both the process, and the final product.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show.