Stories about immigration have been blanketing the news as of late. So it was no coincidence that when Teachers College, The LAMP and other partners united to design The Big Learning Challenge, we all agreed to build the day on the theme of migration.
Just over fifty educators from New York City schools came together on Monday, January 30 to explore migration in small group sessions through data visualization, video remix, short filmmaking, poetry and short stories. The program was initially designed to consider migration very broadly, to include room for discussions of seasonal wildlife migration or the history of Ellis Island. But following the controversial executive order signed by President Trump on Friday, and the ensuing protests and outcry that grew over the weekend, the focus could only be on current immigration questions of the day: Who gets to be an American? What responsibilities do we have to the rest of the world? How do media, specifically the news, represent immigrants and their stories, and how can people respectfully debate the issue?
Of course, these questions were not to be resolved in a single day, much less in the short time span with which educators were challenged to create short projects responding to these questions.
In The LAMP’s session, Education Director Jules Beesley started with an introduction to video remix, and how and why it can be used to create enriching, hands-on learning experiences for students and teachers. We went through the MediaBreaker/Studios tool, and then teachers got to choose from seven curated videos about immigration to create their own “breaks.” Here’s a sample of what they made in just an hour:
We’re so proud of what our teachers were able to achieve, especially in such a short period of time!