Flint River Project

An immersive authentic educational project by Westwood Schools in Camilla, GA US

Today was very busy as we all worked to get to our locations. Hope, Jordan, and I went to downtown Camilla this morning and were able to interview both Mr. Dan Bollinger, Director of Southwest Georgia RDC and Keith Jones, Mitchell County Commissioner. Additionally, I interviewed Hope and Jordan about what they hope to accomplish with their documentary.

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Then, we went to Ichauway Plantation with the Math group and Coach Martin to interview Mr. Woody Hicks. The Math group let us tag along as Hunter and Joseph did a marvelous job of interviewing him about the origins and purpose of the Riverkeepers, hydrology information about flooding, and water purity. Additionally, we had several questions about proposed dams on the Flint River. Information about the differences between the 1994, 1998 and most recent flooding that occurred within the past few months was also gathered.

We went to the Ichauway Notchaway bridge to take some photographs and then Coach Martin's team departed to downtown Newton to reconstruct a photo from an area flooded in 1994 to show the after affects this much time later on downtown Newton, which has still not been rebuilt.

We then went to the Sandbar where we photographed the River Writers, literature team, and briefly spoke with Mrs. Caldwell and Mr. Weyman Cross, the official "river keeper."

Mr. Cross pointed out some flooding, so we went and recorded video documentation with Joseph and Sara Ann discussing both the damage to trees along the banks and also the flood levels on the bridge at Newton of the 1994 flood.

I got my feet wet filming Jordan and Hope discussing the care and prevention of pollution and dumping at the river. The students cleaned up the sandbar area and picked up the trash. When we picked it up, we discovered that there was NO trash can -- NONE -- they just tell you to pack it out. Unfortunately, most people don't and there was quite a bit of trash in the area.

It was surprising how many boats were at the landing and the amount of traffic with people driving by. There was a man in a truck who sat there and looked at the river as he ate lunch.

Today, there were several things I wanted to make sure the videographers understood, and I hope the other teams will take note.:
  • Getting proper release forms signed.
  • Having those they interview state their names, titles, and spell their names so that the final documentary will be accurate.
  • Proper use of tripods when on uneven surfaces.
  • The use of multiple takes with different angles to splice together in one scene. (We did this at Ichaway and also with Hope and Jordan's takes on pollution.

I met with the videographers and photographers in the library briefly to discuss how to rip the files and catalog them and to sign up for computers. I am concerned that they all should clear off their memory sticks and video daily and that we should back up copies of what they do on the external hard drive I have for that task.

Jordan and Hope and I ripped everything and went to the assembly where everyone got their annuals. Hope edited the video of Mr. Dan Bollinger and posted before she left and I have just spent a bit looking at the best blog posts of the day. Although there are several very nice blog posts, I featured several that, to me, are a great example of the right way to do a narrative, documentary type blog post.

Many students are taking notes and learning. I hope that all students keep up with the work and make sure that their blog posts are of the quality needed to score well on the assessment part of this project. This means that they should include hyperlinks, photographs, and video as I've done in this post.

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