AISFM’s Pioneering Teacher Training Workshops Launched

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“How did you learn to learn?” A thought-provoking question that sets you to ponder deeply about the teacher-learner relationship. This was just one of the many questions and thoughts that set out the attendees to deliberate upon. Various pedagogical strategies like Experiential and Reflective learning, and Critical Pedagogy among others were explored at the ‘International Teachers Training Workshop’ conducted by AISFM in collaboration with Critical Education Academy, USA. Select school teachers from various International Schools from twin cities participated in the daylong intensive teaching methodology workshop brainstorming on ‘why we teach the way we teach and how to teach the next generation.’

Launching the workshop, AISFM director Amala Akkineni said, “We have been in the Film & Media education for the past five years and we take pride in ourselves as a holistic educational institution, and one of our missions is to improve the quality of education around us by actively participating in and advocating educational research in India. Hyderabad education scene is currently as vibrant as ever before with the advent of numerous international schools, institutions and work spaces.”

Workshop directors, US based Educational Experts Dr. Ambika Gopal Raj, Ph.D. and Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D., took the participants on a rigorous daylong journey through various educational methodologies that are changing the face of education in the United States & other Western Countries today.

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Dr. Ambika Gopal Raj, Ph.D. (USA), is a Professor at the Charter College of Education, California State University, Los Angeles. In her 16 years of teaching career, she launched various M.Ed. & MA programs, developed new methodologies in education with a synthesis of experiential learning, critical pedagogy, creative pedagogy and “storying”(as opposed to ‘storytelling’) as a novel way of looking into one’s own learning process. She has also authored a book titled ‘Multicultural Children’s Literature: A Critical Issues Approach’, a SAGE Publication, which is readily implemented as an official text book for M.Ed. programs in various US universities.

Dr. Lauren G. McClanahan, Ph.D. (USA), Professor, Secondary Education, Western Washington University, Seattle specializes in using Film & Media as a way into formal education to enhance the learning experience covering multiple intelligences as well as critical thinking and creative thinking in secondary level students.

Amala Akkineni, Honorary Director of AISFM, speaking about this pioneering effort and the thought behind launching these workshops, said “These two reputed educationalists from the United States – who are known for such transformational workshops for educators encouraged the participants to pause and take a look at various new approaches in education the world today. Learning cannot be forced or commanded. It is a complex process. The mounting pressure on students to get higher scores does not help. We hope our efforts will bring in breakthroughs of pedogogical research for teachers in Hyderabad and across the country.”

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Elaborating further, she said, “One cannot live in isolation or expect to succeed standing alone. Our students come from across the country, and to enter their worlds to let them know about the career options they could have is certainly our responsibility. But before that we need to lay the foundation in the education system itself that each student is unique with his/her own learning style and  yet, they are the products of a combination of social, geographical, cultural convergence of all he or she has been exposed to during the growing up years. Providing a space for teachers to take time to re-discover themselves as learners, helps their renewed understanding of their own teaching processes and styles.”

Bala Rajasekharuni, Dean of Academics and Faculty of Direction & Screenwriting, speaking about this initiative said that, “this is just the beginning of an ongoing outreach program that AISFM has launched. In future we will introduce workshops for school children also. This will bring awareness among them about other educational opportunities beyond the existing conventional choices. This can result in helping them chose a career path of their own choice that utilizes their innate talents to the fullest.”

Participating teachers lauded AISFM’s efforts in launching such a program for the benefit of local educational system. They were from various schools of the city, and received a Certificate of Participation, from Amala Akkineni. They also received a membership in AISFM International Education Network to attend such future events, and an ongoing mentorship by AISFM’s Academic Advisory experts from United States.

Spotlight: ARRI Lighting Workshop

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Learning from the experts is always a great experience, and our students got a hands-on experience of it yet again.

ARRI Delegates from Germany Mathias Gentsch and Dennis Jackstein, were at the AISFM Campus conducting a Workshop on Lighting. The Workshop was conducted at the Mandwa House Set at Annapurna Studios. Mathias Gentsch is currently the Head of Services at ARRI. Dennis Jackstein, a trainer at ARRI, accompanied him. Stefan Nitsche, Sales Director at ARRI was also present during the session. The students learnt not just about the lighting equipment itself, but also about how it can be used in several different settings and scenarios to create unique and desirable shots.

Mathias & Dennis covered quite a few areas with context to lighting during their sessions at the Workshop. Some of these areas were, High Speed lighting techniques, The M-Series M90, Daylight and Skypanels. Lighting is a very essential component for a DoPs vision to reflect on screen, so the workshop was also conducted for a few DoPs working in the industry currently.

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During the workshop, the delegates put emphasis on LED lights becoming a substitute for the usual Tungsten lights used by filmmakers. Speaking to us about how lighting equipment and techniques have changed worldwide over the years, Mathias Gentsch said “a reflector can be a substitute for a lens and the industry nowadays uses more of LED rather than tungsten lights because of its efficiency.”

Live lighting experiments were set up in three rooms with different equipment and serving different objectives. The German delegates spoke at length about various lighting scenarios and captured the attention of the attendees during the workshop, who were fascinated by the transition in the concept of lighting and the way it has impacted filmmaking.

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As the technology in every field has progressed at a rapid rate, LED lights have an added advantage of saving energy whilst providing the desired output. During the second half of the workshop, the students and the DoPs were divided into groups and were demonstrated on understanding the functionality of the lighting equipment.

The students of AISFM were interactive, and the workshop peaked their interest to know about the process of lighting in precise detail. As learning can broaden the horizon in an individual’s perspective, this workshop was definitely a valid experience the students needed to master their craft in filmmaking.

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