Educator in Taipei Gives Young People the Opportunity to Make Videos on Social Issues They Care About.

Jul 1, 2021 by

Young people care deeply about global challenges and they want to be a part of the solution.  This month on the Planet Classroom YouTube Channel, audiences can screen the short film, Saving Africa With Featured Flight – a youth production that serves as an innovative example of the ideas that can be generated by creative young minds to benefit the health of our world.   

The creators of the film are the students of Ryan Wong.  Wong has been teaching Science, IT, Design, and Personal Projects in Taiwan for over 15 years.  He is currently teaching at the Kang Chiao International School in Taipei. He is also a part of ENO (Environmental Online) program that helps promote and plant trees all over the world.  Beginning in 2017, he created a Stop Motion UN SDG’s program for his students.

The initial plan for the program came via a collaboration with the Kids Can Innovation Camp created by Francis Jim Tuscano at the Xavier School in the Philippines.  Wong was inspired to develop a program that used a design thinking approach to support the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  The students were asked to create stop motion videos in which they would address a topic or theme inspired by one of the goals.  

The Global Search for Education welcomes Ryan Wong.

Ryan, let’s talk about the movies your students are creating.   What are the topics and themes they feel most passionate about?  

There is a wide variety of ideas and concerns that students want to raise, like environmental, political and even social issues. Most stories that I have noticed are about the environmental issues. Students are very passionate about those. There have been a lot of environmental issue videos that are posted on social media and that helps them to cultivate their own ideas for their video productions. I believe that these topics are very important to them as they investigate the issues and create awareness for the problem. I am happy that they are getting involved with the issue, not only on a local level, but also for global issues. 

Can we talk about your video production learning process/model. What tools and guidance do you provide to your students to script, produce, and edit original videos?  

The first task is to make students aware of the global problems; by doing this we had a mind-mapping activity. With this activity, students were able to think of different connections with a specific global problem that they wanted to raise. Then the next task is to create a research and presentation plan for the stop motion video. This helps students in coming up with a topic that they are passionate about and giving them feedback. Students use Book Creator to make the storyboard and script. Then they started creating their original videos on StopMotion App. 

What’s the role of students, teachers, and other mentors in the creative process?

For our program, students were exposed to the design thinking cycle and the 17 UN SDGs. It is important for them to connect their ideas and real-world scenarios. Most of the creation of the videos are student-led, as collaboration and communication are essential skills to develop. Students work together to create their final output. My role is to help students understand the task and instruct them on how to use the different digital tools in class. 

Thank you Ryan!

C.M. Rubin and Ryan Wong

Don’t Miss Saving Africa With Featured Flight, now screening on the Planet Classroom Network YouTube channel.  

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1 Comment

  1. Lesley Parker

    Great! When you create something, you live it. This way children can learn a lot of things and become aware of many problems existing on our planet.