Campfire welcomes members, filmmakers, teachers and students from all around the world, but we are undeniably Australian. From a marketing point of view, I probably shouldn’t be drawing special attention to this, but there’s something about this weekend that makes me feel extremely patriotic. While certainly not my “top 3 reasons” I love being an Australian, the following are 3 things currently on my radar that are uniquely Australian. It’s time to feature them.
Yesterday was the AFL Grand Final - Hawks v Swans. I’m not hugely into sport, but it has to be said, that was a nail-biting game. Today is the NRL grand final. It is a BIG weekend for footy, especially on the East coast.
More relevant to us at Campfire, our friends at ATOM are coming up to their annual event, celebrating quality film and the importance of educating teachers and students about media. This year, the ATOM Awards are being run as two events - the awards for tertiary-level media and industry on Wed 21 Nov, and the awards for schools on Wed 28 Nov. This seems to me a great (and logical) split in the excellent and ongoing work they do in this space.
As the new Australian Curriculum starts to get rolled out around the country (I’ve already spoken quite patriotically about this), there is a new initiative funded by the Constitution Education Fund Australia called Yaba.
This is a site aimed at Year 7 - 9 students, and aims to generate some enthusiasm about what it means to be a citizen of Australia, and the world actually. “Civics and Citizenship" is an important area for Campfire because it looks like being the home of that thorny issue of religion, spirituality and wholeness in the new Australian Curriculum. Getting young people thinking seriously about who they are, and where they fit into a civil society is absolutely what we are about — using short film as the way to do that constructively. While less about the ‘wholeness’ stuff, and more about the ‘political’ stuff, it seems Yaba is the one to watch.
So, for inspiring political engagement in young people, I’d highly recommend Yaba as a place to get started. Keep an eye on this one.
Yep, it’s a good weekend to feel proud about being Australian.
Over the weekend I caught up with a librarian from an independent school who is in the process of re-structuring the school’s entire P-12 curriculum to align with the National Curriculum. Ugh. So much work! At Campfire, we too, are wading through the new Curriculum framework, the terminology, and the ideas behind it all. We also feel the weight of this immense project being implemented around Australia. But there’s one thing that has me excited. The official promotion from ACARA says that the National Curriculum is solely online and directly aligned with digital learning resources.
So what does that mean?
In a word: MATCHING.
As a teacher, it means I can look up any specific area of study and find matching digital resources that are freely available online for Australian schools.
For example, consider Year 9 English in the Language strand.
Once I work out what the tag icons symbolise, I can see that this sub-strand called Language for interaction looks for
General Capabilities in Literacy, Intercultural understanding, Personal and social capability, and Information and communication technology capability
Cross-curriculum priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and Asia and Australia´s engagement with Asia.
Here’s the really good bit: by selecting on the code above these tags (here it is ACELA1551), we can find out the resources available online…
It’s less than one week to our Festival for 2012, but we’re already looking beyond with the interests of Australian schools in particular.
Campfire promotes short films for use in classrooms around the world. Based in Melbourne, Australia, we are also vitally interested in supporting teachers in our home country. The new Australian Curriculum, following the directions of the Melbourne Declaration, promotes 3 significant themes for Australian schools over the coming years:
The Campfire Awards in 2012 already include “Best Environmental Short”, and today we’re adding two additional categories for “Asian Region” and “Aboriginal Perspectives”.
All films submitted to the Campfire Film Festival after 14 May will now go into the running for an award in 2013 for one of the following categories:
Campfire is pleased to continue actively supporting teachers using short films for engaging students in higher order thinking. We accept quality films from filmmakers young and old, anywhere in the world.