July 14, 2014

What I Learned From Facilitating an Open Space Session

Here's something I've noticed about my students: If I decide where the class will go my students will follow. If I offer choice to my students then they will lead.

Facilitating an Open Space (un-conference) session is one of the most deeply frightening and satisfying things I've done. It requires two things that every teacher / facilitator / conference organizer should be willing to do, but often isn't:

  • Total faith in participants / students
  • Willingness to get out of the way and let the magic happen
After a frightening moment (probably only 4 seconds long, but much longer in my mind) when I thought the sessions would only half fill the WhippleHill Open Space session was a complete success thanks to the passionate, creative, and dynamic participants.

If you are interested in finding out more about open space sessions check out these resources and also watch this great video from Mark Christensen over at the WhippleHill blog. Or if you have a question about open space please let me know in the comments below!

July 8, 2014

WhippleHill User Conference 2014

I have the very great pleasure of presenting two sessions at the WHUC14!

The first session is on iPad Integration in the classroom. Here are my slides from that presentation:

iPad Teacher Training Summer 2014 from Hans Mundahl

The second session is on Google Apps for Education. Here is a folder of resources for that workshop.

Can't make it to WHUC14? Have a question I can help you with? Let me know in the comments!

June 27, 2014

Three workshops this summer!

I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be hosting three workshops this summer!

You can find me at the New Hampton School July 7-9 with our third annual iPad Teacher Training.

New this year is a west coast location for the iPad Teacher Training! If you are a teacher in LA or southern California we would love to see you at the beautiful Webb Schools August 7-8.

On a different topic I'll be working with the great folks at the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England (ISANNE) to offer a Video and Social Media Marketing Intensive on August 5th for marketing, admission, and advancement folks.

If you have questions please let me know - and I look forward to working with you!

June 26, 2014

Teaching Creativity Using Final Cut Pro X: Slides from Apple Hosted Event

I had the good fortune to work with a talented group of folks from Apple to present at an event in Natick, MA around Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), Logic Pro X and MainStage. My mandate was simple: tell the story of my film class in 30 minutes with 15 minutes for Q&A.

To be honest that was a little scary - the audience would be film teachers, digital story tellers, and media professors. I don't feel like I'm an FCPX expert and my film experience is completely self taught!

So I thought I would tell the story of one of the biggest struggles I face as a teacher in general: helping students have original ideas and communicate those ideas so they are interesting to the audience.

Many of my students have two big misconceptions about making films:
  • If you watch movies you have the skills to make movies
  • Funny people are born funny
Much of the work I've done in film class has been around taking these two misconceptions apart and putting them back together into two new ideas:
  • Making movies is incredibly hard work that takes hours and hours per finished minute of film
  • 'Funny' is a process that can be learned, practiced, and honed
Overall it was a great event with such talent and passion from Dan, Steve, Victor, and Tom on the Apple side and great questions and generosity from the participants! Here are my slides from the event and the videos I talk about in the presentation.

Update 6/27/14:
I've had a number of questions, links and ideas come in since yesterday so I thought I'd answer them here:

If you have more questions please let me know in the comments or send me an email.


Teaching Creativity Using Apple Final Cut Pro X from Hans Mundahl

Hot Pockets Video

Never Say No to Panda

Never Say No to Husky

Microsoft Xbox Commercial

Welcome to Husky Nation (music video example cut using 'multicam' clip in FCPX)

Adam Savage TED Talk

June 18, 2014

One Minute Highlight Reel

I just edited up a quick one minute demo reel of my video production work. Take a look! Are you interested in having me work with you to create high value content that promotes your school or non-profit? Let me know!

June 13, 2014

New Facebook Fan Page

Launched the new Hans Mundahl & Associates Facebook fan page this week!

Stop by and say howdy!

How to do a drop shadow effect in Notability

I like Notability. Okay, actually I love Notability. Of all the apps on my iPad this is one I use more than a dozen times a day. One think I like even more than Notability is doodling. Here's how to do a cool 'drop shadow' effect in Notability.

Bonus: see some of my work featured on the Notability web site!

June 12, 2014

Here's How to Create Facebook News Feed Ads

Facebook News Feed Ads are the topic of my latest post over at edSocialMedia

Have you had success with news feed ads? Are you more likely to click on these ads than on another kind of ad? Let us know in the comments!

May 9, 2014

5 Reasons Schools & Non-Profits Should Use Video in Marketing & Development

Did you know that donors will make a gift 57% of the time after watching an online video? That's the result from some recent research and the topic of my latest EdSocialMedia post. See the full post here!

April 8, 2014

6 Things I Learned About Project-Based Learning From Making a Sci-fi Action Movie

I recently had the chance to work with a group of teachers and students to plan, shoot, and edit an eight minute film. At the start of week I admitted something a little bit scary to the students, "I've never done this before, and I don't know for sure that we can pull it off." Then we all rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

Not only did we make a pretty cool short film but I also learned a few things along the way. So here are the six things I learned about project-based learning from making a sci-fi action movie.

1- Creativity is Contagious - Something really powerful happens when you say to someone, "You're really good at [thing you're really good at], can you help us?" From staff volunteering props to our graphic designer working on CGI elements this project took on a life of its own. Kids who never thought of themselves as 'theatre' kids were suddenly working lines and talking about their performance. At it's core project-based learning is about having something to authentic to say, sharing your ideas with others, and engaging in a dialog. Creativity feeds creativity and being a part of something bigger than yourself is powerful.

2- Networks Matter - There are stunt sequences in something like 70% of our movie. Small problem: not a single person on the cast or crew had ever ever choreographed, directed, or edited a single fight scene! We had to find a way to get advice and mentoring. After going back to our professional networks I realized I had an old college friend who is a professional stunt choreographer working in L.A. After a few emails she offered to not only give us advice, but also to choreograph all our fight sequences and to Skype with the cast and crew during production. A huge deficiency in our production turned into one of the highlights of the week! Not only did we achieve a cool result, but we also modeled the power of networks for our students.

3- Starting is Hard but Doing Gets Easier - One of the big concerns I hear about project-based learning is the amount of time it takes. I'll admit: starting this project was incredibly difficult. Because we were beginner film makers we didn't know what tools we needed and we didn't have a road map to follow. We figured the way forward was to trust our team, bring the students into the conversation early and... take the plunge! We abandoned a few things along the way and improvised a few other things in the middle of production but because we had a clear script and goal in mind we were able to keep moving forward in service to the film. By the end of production we felt like a well oiled machine!

4- Students Know What's Good - One of the most satisfying things about this project was having a built in barometer for what was good and what wasn't working. Every morning we would watch the rough-cuts from the day before and we knew right away what was awesome and what needed work. Let students help you assess the success of the project (way before the end of the project) and they will keep you honest.

5- Count on your Champions - For most of the shoot we were either outside or in an unheated building. This project was cold! When the going got rough there was one student who could always be counted on to gush enthusiasm for the project. Another student was our logistical guru who always knew what was next and what was needed. Not everyone wanted to be in front of the camera, but by giving real responsibility to students who were ready for the role created buy-in from the entire cast and crew.

6- Finish It - Yep there is a big plot hole in the movie. If you're reading this before watching the movie I won't give anything away but you'll know it when you see it. In the script and in our minds we knew why it worked but in the final version of the film we didn't adequately sell the idea to the audience. A few days after we finished the movie we talked about going back and reshooting a few scenes but in the end we decided to leave the film as it was. Having a hard deadline to work toward was incredibly helpful and having a final product to show to the entire school was thrilling. By deciding to be done we were able to look back and reflect on what we would do differently for the next time.

Did we pull it off? We did indeed plan, shoot and edit a short film in just five days. It was a little crazy, tons of fun, and full of learning. I learned about how to make a movie and I was reminded of the kinds of transformative experiences that can come from project-based learning. What do you think, did I miss something? What have you learned from project-based learning? Let us know in the comments!