It’s almost two years ago since I first started asking visitors to the site if anyone had access to old filmstrips that may have been cast aside in schools around the country. To say that the response has been overwhelming would be an understatement. At the moment, there are more than 500 filmstrips in boxes and bags on the floor of my sitting room! Many thanks to all of the teachers and schools who donated filmstrip resources to me and there was great variety among them. They included filmstrips on Gaeilge (Buntús), religion, nature, science, history, geography. In the intervening period, both personal and technical difficulties have stalled progress on the digitisation of the resources.
I knew that the project would be a long-term one, but I hadn’t realised that it would take this long and that it would take up so much time. Part of the difficulty was working out the best way to make the resources available to teachers. I wanted the images to be the best quality that they could be, bearing in mind that they could only be as good as the original allowed. However, the better the quality of the images that I created, larger file sizes was the result. I originally wanted to have the filmstrips made into PowerPoint presentations but these were turning out to be of such large size that they would not be attractive for teachers to download.
After trying many different ways of making the filmstrips accessible to teachers, I finally decided on using the Slideshare website. This means that I have uploaded the Powerpoints to Slideshare, created online presentations which I have now embedded into blog posts on the site. Teachers will now be able to view the presentations online without having to download anything. This method doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a PowerPoint, but do we really need slides whizzing in and out to sound effects? The presentations can also be enlarged within the blog post by clicking on the button in the bottom right of the presentation screen, which is useful for showing the presentations in the classroom. If teachers wish, they also have the option of downloading the original presentation from the Seomra Ranga Slideshare page.
Digitisation of the filmstrip resources entailed:
Scanning the filmstrips, frame by frame, to create digital images of each frame
Creating a Powerpoint presentation of each set of images
Uploading each Powerpoint to Slideshare
Embedding each Slideshare presentation in a blog post
Scanning the Teacher’s Notes for each lesson into a PDF
Inserting each PDF into its associated blog post
I hope that teachers will now realise exactly why it has taken this long to get some of these resources online. However, now that I’ve started, I hope to get more and more of these resources on the website over the coming months. The first resources that I’ve uploaded are the Buntús Gaeilge Resources for Senior Infants. These are very simple presentations, 26 in all, which have many of the themes of Curaclam na Gaeilge: Sa Bhaile, Ocáidí Speisialta, An Aimsir, An Teilifís srl. On first glance, they will appear to many teachers to be very dated. However, I’m sure that teachers will be well able to use the resources in new and innovative ways. If not, then they have the nostalgia value and many more “mature” teachers will be able to walk down memory lane and reminisce about their own primary school education!
All the filmstrip resources will now be located in a new “Filmstrips” tab which you should be able to see in the centre of the menu bar at the top of all pages on the site. Please let me know what you think of the resources and the format in which I’ve made them available. Share your views by adding a comment below. If it’s your first time to comment on the site, your comment will not appear automatically until it’s been verified that the comment is not spam. After that, you’ll be able to comment as much as you wish.