Home' Teacher : March 2010 Contents FEATURE -- INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TEC HNOLOGY 41
In the years that followed, I ensured
that I always included a major project that
integrated ICT in my teaching program.
In 2002 we again created an automated
PowerPoint, also with sound and narra-
tion, called Anzac Day at Mundingburra
State School, for which we also received the
national award in the Anzac Day Schools'
Activities Awards of the Commonwealth
Department of Veterans' Affairs.
With the impetus of such success, but
more particularly because of the way my
students were so willing to learn when using
ICT, I wanted to take this way of teaching
and learning to another level. From the funds
our school received for the national award
from Veterans' Affairs, we purchased a video
camera and the necessary software and hard-
ware to make films. From then on, Year 7s
under my guidance have been making films
about social and environmental issues.
Colin Ross, advisory visiting teacher for
autism for the Townsville district, observed
just how motivated the students were in
making these films. More than that, he
started using one of their films as a resource
to teach students who have autism about
Some years and many films later, I'd
established a solid platform of integrated
ICT from which children drew inspiration
and a need to learn -- and I began to lose
interest. Film-making, I felt, was becoming
an all too familiar aspect of my teaching. It
didn't inspire me as much as it used to. My
students, however, remained as keen as ever.
Luckily for me, in late 2008, I came
across the Panasonic Kids Witness News
(KWN) program, which offered exactly
what I needed. KWN is a global video edu-
cation program supported by Panasonic,
with the aim of boosting creativity and com-
munication skills, and fostering teamwork
through video production by children at the
primary and high school levels.
Panasonic Australia launched KW N as
a philanthropic program in 14 New South
Wales schools in 2004 due to the program's
proven success over the last 15 years in the
United States and Canada.
Following the success of the program in
2004 and 2005, KWN expanded to include
schools in every state and territory in 2006,
with the support of the various state and
territory departments of education.
KWN is one of many initiatives that
Panasonic as a global enterprise supports
in order to promote mutual understand-
ing in the international community and
to help protect the global environment.
As Panasonic Australia managing director
Steve Rust sees it, the program supports and
encourages the development of the research,
organisation, teamwork and creative skills
of students. 'We gladly support such a pro -
gram,' Rust says, 'as children are the foun-
dation of our creative future.'
Working with the relevant state and ter-
ritory departments of education, Panasonic
has ensured the KWN program operates in
an integrated and cross-disciplinary way,
and that means teachers and their students
are able to address components of subjects
across the curriculum, including English,
ICT, Creative and Performing Arts, and
social science subjects including History.
Panasonic provides state-of-the-art video
technology equipment to schools so that
students can create films that are then sub-
mitted in the annual KWN awards contest,
with prizes awarded in more than 20 dif-
ferent categories, including state primary
and secondary winners, spotlight awards
in sound, editing, writing, videography and
special effects, national primary and second-
ary winner and a regional winner . In 2004,
an international category was created in the
contest for the first time, taking the com-
petition global. In keeping with the grow-
ing number of countries participating in the
program, an annual KW N global contest,
open to all national and regional winners,
commenced in 2007.
In 2008, around 8,000 children from 630
schools in 24 countries were participating,
including Canada, China, the US, Brazil,
Peru, Mexico, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand,
Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, the
United Arabs Emirate, Austria, Germany,
Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland,
Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Overall, more than 130,000 children
around the world have participated in the
KW N program since it first began in the
US in 1989.
Students from across Australia were
invited to direct, shoot and star in a
five-minute film, involving all aspects of
film-making including determining the
subject matter, scriptwriting, filming and
editing. According to the manager of the
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