April 2019: M-Passioned Member Brian Puerling

What do you do?

Brian Puerling, Director of Education Technology, Catherine Cook School Chicago.  In this role, I help shift and shape the vision of the authentic and meaningful integration of educational technology tools and resources.  Working with teachers of preschool through 8th grade, we rework curriculum units, identify better ways to communicate with families, as well as more ways to connect our students with the greater world outside of our school.  

Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy

Currently I am working with four-year-old children to create a stop motion video that demonstrates the growth of a plant from a seed.  They just completed a unit on the plant growth cycle and are now showing what they learned through this video.  In our creation, the children select materials from our tinker lab to represent various parts of the process, i.e. stem, petals, sun, love, soil, leaves, air, water, etc.  We have story-boarded when and how we will use the materials to show this growth.  After creating the stop motion video, we will import the video into iMovie where they will be introduced to the idea of thoughtful music choices. 

Why is media literacy important to you? 

I believe that media literacy is crucial to a creative, and also moral approach to engaging in our digital world.  Students need to be aware of the uses, issues, challenges, and opportunities existing media has to offer, as well as the media yet to be created.  Media literacy offers individuals gateways into thoughtfully creating media that to tell a story and send a message.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?

As an avid movie creator and music mixer myself, I am excited to see what students can create when they are simply provided the opportunity to do so.  In the context of media creation, the creator becomes immersed in the creative process, from image and video choice, to music and transition choices.  I get excited when I see our students proud of their work, whether it be a four-year-old who just created a dramatization of the book The Great Kapok Tree using a green screen or a seventh grader eager explain their choices and design of a documentary video for History Fair.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?

One of the main reasons I joined is because of the constant touchpoints from the organizations.  The resources they offer are always helped in my work with teachers and students.  NAMLE knows what teachers, students, parents, and administrators need, I appreciate that. 

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