Nanaimo News Bulletin

Dover students Gangnam dance for technology

A music video parody of the popular Gangnam Style song by PSY earned Dover Bay Secondary School students a chance to win technology upgrades for the school.

In just three short weeks in October, Dover Bay students and staff produced their own music video for the annual Flip Your Classroom – eInstruction Classroom Makeover Contest.

Last week, students learned that their submission is one of five shortlisted in the high school category from dozens of entries across Canada and the United States.

To improve their chances of winning the grand prize of $30,000 worth of software for the school, students are hoping to get as many votes from the general public as possible at http://flipyourclassroom.einstruction.com.

“[The contest] looked really exciting and the other thing I thought it could do for us is raise the spirit of the school,” said business education teacher Denise Montgomery, who found the contest and pitched it to her students.

Sponsored by eInstruction, a global education software and technology company, the contest challenged students and teachers to produce music videos demonstrating how technology makes learning fun and collaborative.

Students were enthusiastic about the project and the chance to win cutting-edge instructional technology, such as electronic whiteboards and student response systems, for their school, said Montgomery.

“The kids understand that we need to upgrade things, fix things and repair things, but we just don’t have the funds in the education system right now,” she said.

A core group of about eight students, with help from Montgomery and dance teacher Tina Roberts, wrote, directed and produced the video and about 300 students from 14 classes  learned the dance moves and participated in the filming.

“It was a lot of work before school, after school, at lunch, on weekends for about three weeks,” said Montgomery.

“If they worked after school into suppertime, we fed them. Everybody just agreed to go with their strengths.”

She said one of the things this contest has taught students is that they shouldn’t be afraid to try things and if they want to go for something, they should.

Shane Roberts, a Grade 10 student who wrote the story board and then directed the music video, said students were blown away by the popularity of the video – 30,000 people viewed it on Day 1 of the contest.

“I never thought it would go this far,” he said. “The students learned that when we get enough people together, we can create something worthwhile. This video brought everyone together. People are excited about it.”

Roberts said Dover Bay does not have any of the products the winning school will receive, but even if the school doesn’t win, the project has already boosted school spirit.

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