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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


Digital Adventures in Vilnius

By rebecca.wilson, on 24 April 2024

Working in the Digital Skills Development team it is a pleasure to teach creative media sessions to students and staff at UCL, but how exciting to be able to share our sessions at Vilnius University in Lithuania. 

Vilnius University Campus

Vilnius University campus Credit: Rebecca Wilson

I was invited to work with Dr Michelle Cannon, Lecturer in Digital Arts and Media in Education, UCL Institute of Education, to help plan and deliver agile film making, Soundscape creation, and stop motion animation workshops.  We arrived late at night in Vilnius airport, our luggage full of iPads, stands, lights, art materials and our heads full of ideas. 

Our colleagues in Vilnius University were Associate Professor Sandra Kairė,  Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences and Gintė Žulytė, Education Co-ordinator of Meno Avilys (the Institute of Documentary Film Vilnius). Meno Avilys is a Lithuanian NGO, committed to promoting film and media cultures, and related educational programmes. We worked collaboratively to plan targeted workshops for their students. Our Vilnius colleagues audited the sessions with a view to further development for their new Media Education module for Erasmus students next year. 

group of students making a stop motion animation

Animation workshop Credit: Michelle Cannon

The literary stimulus we chose was Shaun Tan’s graphic novel The Arrival. Reflecting first on a text as a stimulus roots the activity thematically and conceptually and provides a springboard for creative production. The student brief was to make a 30 second film using stills, video and sound to create a moving montage inspired by themes from the text such as dislocation, longing, loneliness and wonder. 

English was no barrier to communication and students were gathered from a range of disciplines including Primary Education, Childhood Pedagogy and Psychology. None of the students were familiar with practical media-making as part of their university curriculum. It was both moving and inspiring to experience the students’ enthusiasm for creative digital making. 

group of students editing on tablet

Film editing Credit: Rebecca Wilson

In a short space of time, students learnt film making techniques, how to edit and incorporate sound, and how to share and critique their work. They also learnt stop motion animation techniques; making a collage of artwork to create an animated abstract visual sequence. We also shared ideas and examples using ‘Audacity’ software to demonstrate mixing layers of sound to craft engaging Soundscapes. 

We facilitated a whirlwind few days of creative making and it was a pleasure to work with such articulate, creative and enthusiastic students.  Our visit was a great opportunity to collaborate internationally with like-minded academics and staff to promote creative Media Education and practice-based learning experiences.  


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