Students create travel videos to showcase Pleasant Grove

By Madeline Otten

With new challenges brought on this year, education and learning have changed from the standard in-classroom learning to virtual online class. However, Fluvanna County High School (FCHS) teacher David Small searched for alternative projects and activities for his students to engage in during the modifications of education due to COVID-19.

So far for Small’s Student Government Association (SGA)/leadership class this year, his students have collaborated with Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation (FCPR) to help with the maintenance of trails. This project along with a canceled summer camping trip to Cape Breton, Canada inspired Small’s newest project for his students.

“My wife and I love camping up in Canada and had been to Cape Breton about 18 years ago,” said Small. “This summer our plan was to journey up there again, although, it did not quite happen. While planning our trip we stumbled across Davey and Sky Media on YouTube.”

David Anderson and Skylar MacDonald are avid travel video enthusiasts in Cape Breton, Canada. The couple met in the middle of an ice storm in February of 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and bonded over their love for the outdoors, travel, and photography. Small corresponded with them for a little and also coordinated a time for them to speak with his students and give them helpful tips on how to film travel videos.

This newest project has his students embarking on a project to film travel videos to showcase Fluvanna’s Pleasant Grove.

“This is a change to not only draw attention to a gem of the county, but also a way for students to get away from their screens for a while with this new way we are doing education in the world,” said Small.

This project will allow his students to utilize a cloud based editing platform called WeVideo, which allows them to collaborate remotely and create travel videos to promote Fluvanna’s own Pleasant Grove. Before filming and during the Google meet with Skylar and David, Small’s students were able to hear some of Skylar and David’s adventures, tips for filming a travel video, how they work product endorsement and sponsors, as well as how they developed a social media following. They will now be able to use these tips and guidance to help aid in their projects.

“I am really excited that we get to show off Pleasant Grove and to show people all that is has to offer, and while we do not have assigned roles in our group, we are all working together to film the sports side of Pleasant Grove.” said Vice President of SGA Kaitlin Bower.  “Some of the tips that Skylar and David gave us was to know what audience you are appealing to and being unique about the parts you are showing when filming.”

While this project will get students away from their normal computer screens, Small is grateful that even though the United States and Canada borders is closed, that there is still a way to find ways to connect internationally. Once the videos are completed, the class will offer the videos to the county to be used for promotions.

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