Last Thursday, 11th July, was WOSCARS 2013, Wolverhampton's digital creativity awards. You can read all about this wonderful occasion, read the live blog, and browse the pictures from the three ceremonies on the WOSCARS page.

During the Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 ceremony,  all of the winning entries were of high quality, but a few really stood out. I would like to highlight three of those entries here.

Please note that the Learning Technologies Team had no involvement in the creation of any of these pieces of work, and takes no credit whatsoever for them! 

Key Stage 3 Best Digital Music - 'The Key'

Wolverhampton's Switch Project is a highly respected social enterprise that offers alternative education provision for young people in Key Stages 3 and 4 who are excluded, at risk of exclusion, on modified timetables or vulnerable to detaching from learning in the school environment.

 'Brooklyn Bridge'

This year, for the first time, students working with the Switch Project submitted several high-quality entries to the WOSCARS. One student, Rhys, walked away with two richly-deserved WOSCARS. His digital image of Brooklyn Bridge was accompanied by a great 'making of' video and won the Award for Key Stage 3 Best Digital Artwork. His wonderful music track 'The Key' was the winner in the Key Stage 3 Best Digital Music category. Here is the video for the song:

After the ceremony, Rhys wrote a great blog post on The Switch Project website about his WOSCARS experience. You can read his full post here. Here is an excerpt:

When I got home my Mom was SO happy for me cause I won the awards. She had been watching the live comments on the Internet and she saw pictures of me on the WOSCARS website. I went down stairs so she could take some pictures of me and my awards to put on Facebook, I got loads of good comments so it made my day even better.
I am really glad I entered my work and pleased I did so well, I was also pleased for George who came as a runner-up for his artwork of a Spitfire aeroplane he did.
I would definitely like to enter more work next year if I get chance.

It's really gratifying to know that participation in the WOSCARS can have such a positive effect on the motivation and self-confidence of young people. Many thanks to Rhys for writing his post, and for sharing his thoughts about the WOSCARS with us all.

Key Stage 4 Best Presentation - 'The Electromagnetic Spectrum' 

When we decided that there was to be a 'Best Presentation' category for the WOSCARS, we imagined entries being created in Office applications such as PowerPoint or Keynote, whiteboard software (SMART Notebook), possibly PhotoStory, or using online tools such as Prezi or VoiceThread. We didn't expect something like this! Owen at Highfields School created an amazing, engaging presentation using YouTube. He took advantage of the functions of the YouTube annotations toolbar to create an interactive presentation constructed from a series of linked videos. The first video clip is embedded below; click on the highlighted links in the videos to explore his presentation. (Top tip: don't click on the link in the first video too quickly  - let Owen talk you into it)

Owen is a great presenter, and the combination of high production values, humour, and detailed scientific knowledge made his WOSCARS entry really stand out.

Key Stage 5 Best Short Film - 'Walt'

Creating a short film with real emotional impact is not easy. The Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 WOSCARS 2013 evening ceremony was marked by one entry that really moved the audience. Tears were shed, admiring nods were shared, and the audience were simply stunned by the powerful storytelling of 'Walt', an incredible film by media students at Heath Park School. The film is based around the challenges of a young carer with a parent with a disability:

 (Film uploaded to the LTT Vimeo account by permission. This film is actually an edited version of a longer piece of work; you can watch the full, 10-minute version of 'Walt' on YouTube).

It was not by accident that we chose 'Walt' as the last film to be played in the last category of the evening ceremony of WOSCARS 2013. Digital media has the ability to inspire, to challenge, and to make an audience think about the real issues faced by young people today. We couldn't have chosen a better way to demonstrate this than by playing 'Walt' to close our celebrations last Thursday.

As always, many thanks to all of the schools that submitted work for The WOSCARS. If you work in a Wolverhampton school that didn't submit anything this year, why not think about submitting for WOSCARS 2014?