Already renowned for its innovative use of digital technology in the classroom, Kristin School in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore is unlocking the creative potential of its students by providing flexible learning spaces, fully equipped with the tools and resources to support active engagement and inquiry.
The school’s newest facility, the Canon Cloud Suite, which was opened in June, is a dynamic learning space designed to provide students with the tools, space and inspiration to explore the world of video production and multimedia, and it is set to become the hub of creative technologies at Kristin.
It features a nine-metre green screen and professional-grade film, sound and lighting equipment. More importantly, the facility provides students with the opportunity to explore the almost limitless realm of creative technologies.
The Canon Cloud Suite works alongside Kristin’s school-wide digital learning programme, which enables students from kindergarten through to year 13 to utilise digital devices in all areas of the curriculum, with students from year 4 taking responsibility for their own personal device. A myriad of software and apps allow students to explore and express their learning in a way suited to their individual learning style and objectives, resulting in students who are actively engaged and inspired learners.
Speaking at the opening, former executive principal Peter Clague described the Canon Cloud Suite as “an exciting addition” to the creative facilities at Kristin.
“We have a great number of students who utilise multimedia and creative technology in their learning. To provide such a facility will enable these students to further develop their skills and ideas, preparing them for a world driven by creative ideas and innovation,” Mr Clague said.
The flexibility of the new facility means that student creations are no longer limited by the technical tools at their disposal, instead they are able to realise their vision effectively and to a very high standard. As Kristin’s head of eLearning Innovation Barry Baughan says, “If you can imagine it, you can make it at Kristin.”
The development of the new multimedia centre was a priority for the school and was more than a year in the making, while the education-focused relationship with a business partner is a bonus, Mr Baughan says.
“The partnership with Canon has brought great value to the project, but it goes well beyond a simple supply agreement. Thanks to Canon, our students will be using professional-grade equipment of a type that we have never had access to before, and they will also be engaging with industry specialists in both photography and video. They will benefit from extensive technical support, exposure to the latest products and trends, and the opportunity to participate in industry-related events.”
Prior to the launch of the new facility, a team of experts from all divisions at Canon visited Kristin to help assess the school’s requirements. Based on this assessment, Canon provided the latest versions of four professional-grade cameras for the Cloud Suite – two C100 cinema cameras and two XF205 video cameras, as well as several accessories.
Since it was opened in June, the Canon Cloud Suite has played host to students from across the school, from middle and senior school film clubs and media studies classes, to junior school stop-motion animation workshops.
“Students are already active, engaged and empowered by the opportunities offered in this new learning environment,” Mr Baughan says.
General manager of Canon NZ Craig Williams says he feels very privileged to be partnered with Kristin.
“The facilities that Kristin provides through these new technologies, the outputs and the learning environment they create for the students, are quite spectacular. What really appealed to us at Canon was [Kristin’s] focus on innovation. This focus on forward thinking has very strong parallels to what exists within Canon.”
Canon’s national manager – large enterprise and government, Craig Gregory says, “We are looking at helping the students get the best out of Canon in what they produce.”
Students filming school sports activities both at the campus and at other venues and transmitting that back to the school for uploading to the school’s website so families can watch their children in action is just one example of how the equipment can be used, Mr Gregory says.
“We will be working with Kristin on an ongoing basis, offering them our extensive product and service range to enhance the experience of the students and staff alike,” Mr Gregory says.
“We currently supply the school with wide-format printers, which means students can print on surfaces such as canvas. Canon is looking into the school’s document management systems to provide efficiencies in the school offices and there is always opportunities to display the students’ work on our Canon projectors. The Canon Cloud Suite is just the beginning of where we can add value.”
The Canon Cloud Suite was opened on June 18 by New Zealand actor Karl Urban, who played roles in Lord of the Rings and Star Trek. Mr Urban urged the students to take a cue from world-renowned film directors Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, both of whom began their careers as teenagers making short films.
Students from Kristin School, along with students from schools right across New Zealand, who are studying photography, are invited to enter the 2014 Canon EYECON competition.
Now in its sixth year, the competition gives photography students and assistants at secondary and tertiary level, the chance to win a valuable prize pack and the opportunity to be mentored by the competition’s judges, who are all leading professional photographers.
By entering EYECON, students can showcase their talent, have their work looked at by professionals, and test themselves against their peers.
The competition is divided into three categories. Photography: Tertiary students and assistant photographers currently studying photography; Photography: Year 12 and 13 high school students currently studying photography; Film: Tertiary students and assistant filmmakers currently studying film.