Tag Archives: The Director’s Cut

Encouraging The Art of Storytelling with Technology

I used to love going to camp and learning new things. I was really excited when my boys went to The Amazing Rainforest – I wish I could have gone too. So I decided to organize a day of camp at our house – for my boys, of course.

My husband had seen an ad in the boys’ magazine – The Magazine for The Director’s Cut http://www.thedirectorscut.ca/ . When we looked it up online, their programs sounded outstanding – making movies and watching movies over spring break inconjunction with Cineplex, learning how to make cartoons, stop action movies and others. Unfortunately they didn’t offer a week long camp near us – otherwise my day of camp would have turned into a week for my 8 year old. I contacted the organizers to find out if we could do a one day program at the house. No problem, Linda Perry, Key Contact for the Simcoe/ Peel Region for The Director’s Cut, tells me –  we can divide the children into groups and each group can make their own movie and then the children can take home a copy of all of the movies that they make that day. Perfect! 

From 10 to 2:30,  8 children (2 5 year olds, 1 10 year old and 5 8 year olds) made their imaginations come to life with Tiff – the facilitator and made Live Action Comic Books! . First, they practiced using digital cameras – taking pictures of different items and people in different poses and from different angles so they became very comfortable working with a digital camera. They mapped out their storylines by working out what was going to happen in each scene. Then the real fun began – they dressed up and became their characters  and took pictures of themselves making their stories come to life. Once done, they uploaded their pictures into the mac books and started to manipulate them using imovie software – adding captions and sound effects and voices. This was their favourite part by far – everyone felt they were artists making their masterpieces just like Shrek. 

Creating Stories

Each of the stories was so different and creative. I understand that by grade 5 some of the media development is taught in the schools. As my eldest son starts grade 3 this week, I do hope to see more emphasis placed on storytelling – specifically writing stories that have a clear beginning, middle and end. I hope I am wrong- but my observation is that our children’s ability to write stories and express themselves through storytelling is not being developed in schools. I love The Director’s Cut programs as they not only teach storytelling but enable children to bring their stories to life.

Teachers and Principals – please look into having the folks from The Director’s Cut come to your school this year to give your students an opportunity to be storytellers in our technologically driven world.


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Filed under Creativity, Organized Fun, Technology, Uncategorized, Valuable Partners

Exploring Technology

My 70 something mother bought herself an ipad the other day and brought it over to show her grandsons her new toy. (Considering she never turned a computer herself over the last 20 years and used to write our annual Christmas letter out by hand – this is a quantum leap.) Needless to say, when my boys began playing with her ipad, they fell in love with it.

On my sons' Christmas list

They loved being able to move and open folders, applications, etc. just with the touch of their fingers. Yes – now an ipad is on each of their Christmas wish lists. Apparently so is an ipod Touch according to my 8 year old.

Technology is advancing so quickly. Check out this video by Microsoft 

What The Future Holds


It is pretty incredible to think that this will likely happen sooner rather than later. The question is – how do you keep up?

As a parent I would like to be more than aware of what is going on around me; however I feel that I am lagging behind. If I am feeling like a neophyte, how do I help my children be comfortable with technology? Will they explore on their own? If my husband and I don’t show them, will they be behind the technology curve?

While I would love to think that my sons would gain knowledge about technology in schools, I don’t foresee schools being well equipped with the latest equipment unless they are privately funded. So I am starting to explore ways to give my children greater exposure to this world and at the same time try to educate myself. A colleague suggested I take them on a field trip to an Apple store so they could try out the floor models in the store. My husband and I are also allowing them some more time on our home computer to explore on the internet (under our supervision). I have found a great organization called The Director’s Cut  http://www.thedirectorscut.ca/ which has spring break and summer camps for children giving them hands on experience to make movies – filming, editing, sound etc. all with technology.

Parent and Child Animation Classes Every Saturday During the Summer

I have also heard that the National Film Board’s Toronto Mediatheque is offering Parent and Child animation classes on Saturdays all summer long. http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/mediatheque/schedule.php?id=2047 

We are going to check them out!

We have also decided as a family we are saving for a Flip Video camera. Money earned from chores, loose change etc. will be put in our money jar and counted every week. Hopefully before the end of the summer we will have enough to buy and experiment with a Flip. 

I am hoping that by giving our children the opportunity to explore in this arena, that we are helping to be more prepared for the future. And hopefully, I will be as well.

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Filed under Technology, Thoughts, Under The Influence