Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sound, Image, Time, and Space...

Last week, at different times, four sections of roughly twenty-six Flashpoint Academy students walked into a classroom for the first time. Not an ordinary classroom mind you; this one is outfitted with dual, large-screen projectors, a multi-channel surround sound system, an XBox 360, interconnected tables with pop-up power access, comfortable, ergonomic chairs, connectivity for three external media sources at the instructor's station, podcastability, Crestron control, and walltalkers. And to be clear, these are not ordinary students. Each of our section's four class meetings [Peebler/Murray] ran over the prescribed three and a half hour time limit—not because of poor planning, techncial problems, or ill-mannered interruptions, but because these FPA students had a lot of important things to say. And yesterday, as Simeon Peebler and I watched and listened to their final projects, we knew our initial claim that history is in the making at FPA was not unfounded. There were live music performances, downloads of elaborate productions uplinked to YouTube, multi-media slide and audio/video presentations, monologues, original recorded music, still photography, screenshots from active gameplay, and oral storytelling. Some were simple, others complex, but every presentation was truly profound.

The faculty, paired off in an intertwined rotation [Harovas/Mack, Hawley/Harovas, Peebler/Murray, Mack/Peebler], taught collaboration, workflow, and the building blocks of storytelling the only way we know how—as collaborators ourselves. Everyday at Flashpoint Academy is a day of living out what we teach. And we teach how we work in these industries. There's no secret formula, no hidden agenda, no magic concoction—just commitment to the simple notion that no one should ever stop learning coupled with the genuine desire to reach deep down into the vast pool of creativity that is our student body to show them what they already have.

Get ready for week three, because it's only just begun.