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Alien invasion in education

Jim Hancock with puppet aliens Milton and Harvey.
Jim Hancock with puppet aliens Milton and Harvey.

Former Hervey Bay teacher Jim Hancock has released his first Educational DVD set: Earthlings: Exploring Language and Media.

Mr Hancock, who taught Film and Television at Hervey Bay Senior College and Xavier Catholic College, has produced this set through his business Groobles Media that has been three years in production.

"I began working on the idea while studying my Masters at Griffith Film School," he said.

"I had produced short films in Hervey Bay with puppet aliens and took that idea and put it into an education context."

The DVD set covers a variety of topics from the new Australian curriculum for students in the Middle School year levels. These include story telling, parts of speech, punctuation, bullying and body language, leadership, advertising, storyboarding and debating.

Since leaving Hervey Bay in 2008, Jim has completed his Masters and a workshop on puppetry building and performance with Gary Friedman, a former student of the late Jim Henson.

Mr Hancock has produced Summer School DVDs for the Brisbane School of Distance Education and more recently has worked on the online videos for the Education Department's Curriculum to Classroom project.
However his is passion for education, puppetry and filmmaking were brought together with this project.

"I combined puppetry and live action to produce 51 short videos that address a lot of language and media topics that are common to the classroom."

"Each film has accompanying resource sheets and activities for students to complete."

"I know that students learn when they're having fun and hopefully this resource will engage them in the learning process."

He is most proud of a section in the DVD pack where he worked with filmmakers and actors from Brisbane titled 'Recycler James and the Playground of Rubbish'.

"This is an Indiana Jones parody where we filmed three scenes for this fake movie. All the takes from those scenes are provided on a resource disc for students to cut their own movie trailer or re-edit the scenes."

The DVD set is being used with gifted and talented student in Brisbane's South East region and Mr Hancock will be work shopping with students in the Northern Territory in the new year.

A preview for the DVD set can be viewed at

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