Soft Skills in the Workplace: Writer/Director Katherine Vondy

When CreatorUp first approached me about working on a series of educational videos about soft skills in the workplace, I wasn’t sure if this project was a good fit for me. After all, I’m a writer and director with a background in narrative filmmaking, and only minimal experience in the educational realm.

video as a teaching toolHowever, after hearing the parameters of the series and the goals that Feather River College was hoping to accomplish, I realized something important: the things that make me love movies and TV are actually the very same things that could make video an effective teaching tool. Narrative filmmaking could help students understand the universal soft skills that help lead to professional success.

Knowing vs. Understanding: The Power of Video to Make the Abstract Real

Let me back up. I know from my own time as a student that it’s incredibly difficult to understand ideas without a context. Even now, I still remember the day my high school physics teacher explained angular momentum conservation by bringing in a turntable, standing on it, and spinning. When his arms were outstretched, he span slower, and when he brought them in, he span faster. I might have known what angular momentum conservation was before that demonstration, but I didn’t understand it until I saw it.

That’s because there is a difference between knowing something and being able to apply that knowledge in a real-life situation. Too often, there is no intermediary step to help students transition from the theoretical sphere to the practical.

Framing each of the soft skills that FRC identified in a narrative, problem-based video scenario does exactly what my high school physics teacher did with his spinning demonstration: it takes abstract information and transforms it into something concrete. By showing scenes in which these soft skills are necessary – for an assortment of people, in a variety of job functions, across a range of industries – we were able to create a series of videos that provide the necessary stepping stone between learning a skill and using a skill. Ultimately, incorporating key elements of narrative filmmaking into this educational curriculum provides students with a more organic and seamless learning experience — and, consequently, greater capacity for professional success.

 

CreatorUp instructor Katherine Vondy is a writer, producer and director whose work spans theatre, film and literature. You can find her regular musings on her blog, The Walking Deadpan.

4 Innovations in Entrepreneurship Education We Can Do Now from NACCE 2015

With our workforce on track to becoming 50% freelancers by 2020, current community college programs without embedded entrepreneurship are setting students up for failure. So what can passionate teachers and administrators do differently right now to help when their hands are tied by institutional red tape? …Continue Reading 4 Innovations in Entrepreneurship Education We Can Do Now from NACCE 2015

CreatorUp Branded Content Accelerator – Winter Programs

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CreatorUp is excited to announce its third branded content accelerator program in collaboration with Zooppa – where creators have the chance to work directly with an entertainment professional teacher and each other to make awesome branded content commercial projects for big established brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon and our indie track highlighting new startups FreshStax, and Waitlistr. …Continue Reading CreatorUp Branded Content Accelerator – Winter Programs

CreatorUp Announces Fall 2015 Accelerator Programs

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We’re launching our fall accelerator programs, and now is your chance to become a part of the fun! Take a look at our calendar, and see which one is right for you. We will promote your projects, and some winning projects are eligible for cash awards and promotion from our brand collaboration partners. Check out the awesome projects of our accelerator alumni below! …Continue Reading CreatorUp Announces Fall 2015 Accelerator Programs

Vine Draws! An Animating Discussion with Vine Artist Mike Bennett.

If someone asked you about Vine, your first reaction would probably be: “Oh that app with the funny six-second videos?” Sure, Vine is home to a lot of great creators making hilarious content, like Aaron Chewning and Victor Pope Jr. But if you really explore Vine, you will find a vast community of creators making a whole range of content, and supporting one another. Enter the talented Mike Bennet. …Continue Reading Vine Draws! An Animating Discussion with Vine Artist Mike Bennett.

Tips for Running a Successful Kickstarter: Part 1 -By Guest Blogger Carlos M. Tovar of More Than Human

Crowdfunding has become such a wide open playing field that it’s important for independent filmmakers to study up and make sure we’re fully maximizing all the benefits of this new equalizing factor. We now have the ability to connect directly with a broad audience and pitch our original content without needing to go through a studio, financier or other “gatekeeper.” This presents enormous possibilities for an independent content creator. Here are my tips for running a successful Kickstarter. …Continue Reading Tips for Running a Successful Kickstarter: Part 1 -By Guest Blogger Carlos M. Tovar of More Than Human

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