Keynote- Mark Klassen
Mark is an inspirational 19yo freelance cinematographer/director of photograph in Canada. He shared his journey though the education system and the experiences that helped him take learning into his own hands, pursue his passion, and make real world connections that would prepare him for his future.
Here is the collaborative project Mark worked on that involved the community.
"It began in elementary school, because as a kid, you are curious," he said. In school, he was allowed to work with the website team (which included a few teachers and him.) His church accepted him as a volunteer to work with media productions. He says his big start came when he was given the opportunity to fill in for the boom operator at church. Around this time, he says he began creating more, "The more you create, the more you learn. Even if it's crappy work, you're still learning. Who cares?" It also feels good to create stuff for other people. His biggest supporters were his parents and his teacher, Eric M.
He began putting himself in environments with a lot of adrenaline. He said he didn't want to let himself get too comfortable because that's when you stop learning. It takes a lot of drive and passion to follow through with your dreams. It's easier to give up. He found an opportunity to work with a company that was producing. He had to approach his high school and ask if he could work with them as part of the co-op program. They agreed and for 5 months he gained experience in the field and attended high school once a month. He says it was so hard to go back to school the next semester.
He had teachers that would let him use his talents to turn in assignments. There was a class he struggled in, just didn't get. The teacher of that class would modify the instruction to help him understand the concept by relating it to film. He believes education should be personalized in that way.
Through his learning he found that learning when you need to know is beneficial. He says that he is learning as he is going. When you need an answer, you'll search for it.
Check him out on Vimeo. He has accomplished so much. I'll be following his work. Like any teacher, I want to see my students follow and live their dream. He's an inspiration and good example of why teachers and parents need to get to know our students/kids passions and help them reach their dreams.
I was so impressed with Mark, that I skipped the session I had marked on my calendar. I hoped to hear more about his dream and advice for students that have already found their passion at a young age.
Random things I typed on my iPad during his Question and Answer Session.
-Check out his Africa Project Video on Vimeo
-Vimeo is a safer place to host student videos because it is more of an art focused place. It is, more of, a place to empower. Read the comments on YouTube and Vimeo, you'll see how the comments empower.
-Students should connect and go out of their way to find someone to help them, sit down with them, and talk to them.
-Read the Art of NonConformity by Chris Guillebeau. It's a great book to read.
-Taking a risk as a teen is the best time. If you are an adult with a family to support it's more difficult.
-Ask teachers if you (a student) want to try something different-if they are open to it, they'll let you try it.
-You don't have to have all the tools, you should ask and borrow.
-It is destructive to allow a student to believe they will not be successful because they do not have the highest grades. They should be there to learn not to get a grade.