L.R. Oliveira, M.J. Ferreira

University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
Does the creation of autobiographic videos by teenagers contribute to the construction and affirmation of their identity in a positive way?

Understanding consciousness and affirmation of identity as a positive factor, booster of self-esteem, personal well-being, motivation.
A multiple case study was designed, observing in detail the behavior of 47 students from 6th grade (under the supervision of 8 teachers) using the technology of video production to reach a self-regulated learning through an experience of "cinema in the 1st person".

We used the inquiry by questionnaire, two initials (socio-economic and technological profile) and a final one (opinion); the observation, with field records (attitudes, interests, motivation, progression of autonomy, comments, reactions, questions, collaborative work, interactions, progress in skills and abilities to self-regulation, dynamism in individual and group work and communication skills development); and document analysis applied to videos produced by students (through a grid).

The pedagogical-didactical strategy involved several formal curricular (3) and non-curricular (2) subjects: Portuguese Language, Music Education, Visual and Technological Education as well as Civic Education and Project Area. The pedagogical strategy was the method of problem solving.
Faced with the theme (autobiography), students were oriented in the classes of Civic Education in a research work on their identity, personal characteristics and backgrounds, promoting the process of self-regulated learning. This process may be stimulated in three vectors: indirectly through personal experience, directly through instruction, and as an intended product of practice.
In interdisciplinary approach, small autobiographical texts with simple and concise sentences were conducted in the subject of Portuguese Language. In Musical Education students addressed the importance of music in a film sequence and prepared to think/select the soundtrack of their own videograms.

In the subject of Visual and Technological Education, fragmented drawing sequences were made, as storyboard, in order to plan all the work that would be done later in video support.

In the classes of Project Area, the students produced a documentary-type videogram in the first person, requiring a preparation, analysis, planning and transfer of ideas.

Afterwards all videograms were collectively screened, discussed and evaluated by the class group.
We found that school has become a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for these teens, more rewarding and motivating, and that it triggered a thought process that contributed to the construction/affirmation of their identity that helped them to overcome learning difficulties related to low self-concept. Also they gained awareness regarding the identities of others and understood the importance of the audiovisual communication that surrounds us.

There was a significant improvement in offline and online computer skills. With the accomplishment of the synopsis, the scripts, storyboards and videograms, students learned how to work with consistency and clarity in conveying the information in a multimodal way (written, visual and audiovisual).

Another important factor was the participation of family members at the research stage.
In short, the practice of the cinematographic art "develops fundamental competencies (conceptual and instrumental) as regards new literacies and allows, simultaneously, a critical pedagogy".