Panel: Do you even need to go to film school? Conclusions! (Part 5) #elearner #Pi8 #PTW15 #onlineeducation

And finally that dreaded question all tech-savvy self-guided learners are asking with the emergence of online education:

Will film school become obsolete as all the skills and tools are available for free or low cost online?

Here are some highlights:

  • There will always be people who need the structure of a film school; they will need the guidance of an instructor.
  • Film schools teach within the parameters of the skill. If you go to light a scene and you don’t have the 6 ton truck of lights, you still need to know how to light the scene.  Through school you learn there are many ways to skin a cat.  It is about learning to understand where and when you are in the situation. A film school education can lead you to this understanding.
  • eLearning offers the place where theory and concept are delivered at your own time and at your own pace and the classroom and the field will be used for doing and making and getting teacher and peer feedback.
  • The eLearning massive open online class and highly populated communities are great for the mere numbers. In a class of 20 you may have 3 or 4 highly motivated students, but out of ten thousand students, 2000 are superstars. You are more likely to build a network with many more highly motivated filmmakers. Instead of spending a year trying to figure out an answer, you can just ask someone you met online that knows the answer.
  • Every lesson you can think of is online. At first as a teacher, I was worried that they don’t need me anymore.

I realized that people don’t  necessarily know what that thing is that they need to know right now.  They know there are 10,000 things they can go learn how to do. Without someone experienced seeing what they are doing right now and saying this is your next step. I’ve been there before.

  • Film schools offer that mentor or curator role to professionally guide a student’s education.
  • Online education will not do away with traditional educators, but it should free them up. The role will change.  They must know who the students are and know where they are in their knowledge and experience, so they can work as a guide and give the students a little nudge to move beyond each individual’s developmental level.

Conclusion

Yes, there is still a need for film school, both artsy and technical. It also seems very clear there is huge value in these traditional institutions embracing and helping cultivate online learning resources to work as supplemental education, so the students have a complete education. They should additionally move towards the flipped classroom model so students can use the time in the classroom for primarily doing and making, and teachers can become guides, curators, and mentors.

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Will Online Education Transform Filmmaking?- Summer Steele (Part 2) #eLearner #Pi8 #PTW15 @Summer_Steele

Summer Steele addresses the question–what student needs is the traditional model of film school falling short of addressing?

Highlights: 

She begins by explaining the different between the artsy film school and the technical film school. In a two-year program, they don’t have the time to teach the student everything.  The schools have to choose a focus.  The advantage of online education is as a supplement to this single track approach.

No school is perfect in terms of teaching film education. If you go to the traditional artsy school your education is going to lack in terms of the technical part….

Film schools also do not usually address the business piece. For example, they don’t teach you how to set up an LLC or show you how to find a distributor or to get financing. But a lot of this knowledge is available on online learning sources.

Audience Member makes the point:

The artsy schools tend to create scholars, the technical schools make participants, [tradesman]..for both filmmakers and people doing Web 2.0 and make moving pictures.

Another audience member counters that traditional schools offer the opportunity to establish a network and develop a dialog between artists. Traditional education buys students time to experiment and to find their voice.

Conclusion: 

Maybe the opportunity here is for the school to recognize their limitations, and embrace these supplemental online filmmaking education sources, to partner with them and to promote them to become better and better because the ultimate goal is to develop great filmmakers.

Summer Steele is on the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production faculty at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She earned an MA in Screen from the Drama Centre London. Her production experience includes directing, producing, and writing “Growing up Chevy” (shortlisted, New York Film Festival). She produced and directed “Peachy Delicious” (Film Directing 4 Women Int’l Film Festival, London). Most recently Summer has joined the Clean Slate Project as Co-Producer. A script-to-screen program that works with underprivileged children.

Part 3 will follow shortly and explores how online education for filmmaking falls short.

Will Online Education Transform Filmmaking?- Summary and Video (Part 1) #PIFF #PTW15 #elearner

This is the first of a 4 part collection of videos that captures the compelling panel discussion between filmmakers and film educators trying to understand the value of eLearning and best practices pertaining to the learning of the art and trade of filmmaking.

The discussion was part of the 8th annual, Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and 15th annual Philadelphia Tech Week.

The Introduction

This video explains how this event came about and sets out the objectives for the discussion.

Overview of Resources

The first section of the talk presented by the moderator, Scott Kramer, is an overview of a research resource published earlier at eLearning Review.  The resource includes links to the top traditional film schools,  completely web based degree programs, various free MOOCs and iTunes Education podcasts, and finally there are links to a number of valuable professional development websites.

All of these links can be accessed from this previous post.