Sophia Pink: video expression for a digital native

The video above was written, edited and directed by 14 year old Sophia Pink. As well as having a very strong message about fighting censorship of the internet and the high cost of access to the internet in some countries (such as Cuba, mentioned in the video) it is also technically slick, blends technology with video effectively, uses music powerfully to establish an atmosphere and has been well researched to use images that have a powerful impact.

Looking at the video I could yet again see the point that is increasingly being made about video as the natural form of expression of the digital native. Unlike my generation that grew up as passive viewers of film and television, the young people of today are brought up to think in terms of pictures and now in terms of using technology to produce powerful stories such as the example of Sophia’s award winning effort.

A few months ago I posted an excellent video by a 13 year old Canadian boy Graham that showed just what a problem the shortage of water was in our world. Like Sophia’s video it showed a mastery of the media that was quite amazing for someone so young. But really I shouldn’t be surprised, the Digital Native is growing up in a world dominated by pictures and clever use of increasingly free and powerful technology.

I still pose the following question for our schools… when are we going to realise that increasingly it is video that represents the literacy instrument of choice of our children and it is video that should become a major part of representing what they can do in school.

Following on from last Tuesday’s excellent #edchat discussion on Twitter about the use of e-portfolios, I think that I have a lot of evidence about Sophia and Graham’s interests, abilities and potential from watching their excellent videos. Higher education can also use this as evidence along with other evidence that could be placed on an e-portfolio when making decisions about their ability to study for a degree and eventually this could form a useful part of their job applications.

I do not know either child’s grades from school and frankly I don’t care. Their videos tell me so much about their ability to plan, to write, to collaborate with others, to understand the use of video, to understand the use of music to create an atmosphere, to edit and to influence others, to understand their world and to try and change it using the power of video, their ability to understand technology and use it…. I am not surprised that they have picked up so much credit for their efforts… I wonder if this has been reflected in their school’s acknowledgement of their abilities and potential? Will these videos be part of the evidence for their college applications? I hope so.

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