The concept was simple: How might the individual members of The Breakfast Club have approached their infamous detention task if they’d each had access to an iPad?
This is a truly international project, featuring some of the most innovative educators worldwide including iPAd Educators' own Luke Rees and Sabba Quidwai. We were also hugely fortunate to bring Brandi Mcwilliams, Craig Badura and Mathew Pullen onboard.
We hope you enjoy it.
Introduction by site founder and project coordinator Steve Bambury
This year marks the 30th anniversary of John Hughes’ classic movie The Breakfast Club.
Hands up if I just made you feel old.
It’s crazy to think that The Breakfast Club was made so long ago. Not only has it stood the test of time such that it can be revisited and enjoyed again and again but the personality archetypes are just as poignant and in many ways just as relevant today as they were in 1985. Seriously - couldn’t that be high school today?
Well no, not really because there’s one thing that makes this little game of temporal spot the difference just too easy - there’s no tech anywhere in The Breakfast Club.
Erikson identifies this age group as being in a stage that deals with identity vs role confusion. As educators we play a crucial role in helping students discover who they are, how to identify and value their strengths and how to identify and overcome their weaknesses. Students sure don’t make this easy! They key to being able to understand our students and helping them to learn is by getting to know them and developing a strong relationship. One great place to begin is by learning about your students interests. Knowing what students are interested in will allow you to personalize learning experiences.
A common theme shared amongst the students in The Breakfast Club were the challenges they faced outside of the classroom. Alongside students interests, understanding their background, their anxieties and their challenges will allow you to be a stronger educator and position you to potentially be the teacher they forever remember as having influenced their lives.
High school today wouldn’t be complete without a broad covering of mobile technology. Perhaps mobile technologies greatest gift to students has been empowering their voice and choice in their learning experience. The one size fits all approach to education seems almost criminal in today’s day and age. As Chris Lehmann says, “If you assign a project and get back 30 of the exact same thing, then that’s a recipe not a project.”
So we got to thinking. What if the students from The Breakfast Club had access to mobile technology and all its wonders? What if they were allowed to use it when Principal Vernon sets them their infamous Saturday detention task:
How might they each approach the task differently? What apps would they use? What would they ultimately produce? Then there’s the question that’s actually far more important: Wouldn’t this choice allow them all to succeed in their own way?
So I hatched this little project both as a tribute to the movie and to demonstrate the potential for allowing students to have digital choices and forge their own path towards an objective. Originally I was going to put the whole thing together myself, then I realised that I had a really special opportunity to put my own Breakfast Club together. Some outstanding iPad Educators have kindly given up their time to be part of the project and make it unique. Each will essentially roleplay as their chosen character and produce a sample version of the project.
I guess that makes me Principal Vernon since I set the task?
The five members of our cast are:
Luke Rees - Co-founder of iPad Educators, Apple Distinguished Educator, musician and general Welsh wonder of the UAE. Luke chose the role of eternal rebel John Bender, originally played by Judd Nelson. Sabba Quidwai - Lead contributor here on the site, EdTech Teacher presenter, Apple Distinguished Educator and Director of Innovative Learning at Keck school of Medecine, USC. Sabba will play the wierd and wonderful Allison, originally brought to life by Ally Sheedy Craig Badura - Technology Integration Specialist for Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Nebraska. Named one of the Top 10 Digital Citizenship bloggers by Common Sense Media in 2014. Craig chose Andy the athlete, memorably portrayed by Emilio Estevez.
Brandi McWilliams - Apple Distinguished Educator and star of one of Apple's Classroom Stories. Brandi currentky teaches high school English in Kansas. She took on the role of the "princess" Claire who was played by Molly Ringwald in the movie.
Mathew Pullen - Apple Distinguished Educator and Apple Education Trainer from the UK. Mat is a consultant for Aspire2Be with an outstanding reputation for his use of technology. Mat plays the part of nerdy Brian who was played on screen by anthony Michael Hall.
So with our cast in place, each took time to plan and deliver the project in any way that they wished. The results are briliantly personal, unique and inventive...
I chose Adobe Voice because I could see Andy using this app for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s very easy to use. Andy’s a busy kid. He would have wanted to use an app that is user friendly. Andy had better things to do like practice, hanging out with friends and chasing girls! Secondly, Adobe Voice is an app that Andy would have used for recruiting purposes. I can see Andy and his father sitting down and coming up with a product that represents/demonstrates the success that Andy had as a wrestler. What an easy way to brand yourself and send it off to prospective coaches.
Being able to pick up on the small things about a person can help us understand more about them. Early in the movie Allison is seen drawing and it turns out she’s pretty good! Had she had the opportunity to choose how she wanted to demonstrate who she was perhaps she would have used an app like Paper53 or brought her art to life using VideoScribe while screencasting her thoughts over the video. After all a picture is worth a thousand words right? :)
Brian would always want to play by the rules. Although throughout the film we see him open up and seem to rebel, deep down he wants to make people happy and to fit in with everyone. Brian would ultimately write a blog to meet the task. Why? Because it allows him to share his thoughts openly with others, say exactly what he wants to say but not have to do it to their face. It also lets him be a little creative without having to actually make anything (judging by the ceramic elephant incident, that may be his weakness) Brian would probably become a video blogger too using his iPad to record his feelings as an outlet for his frustrations at not being the best.
Click on the elephant lamp to access the blog.
There are many journal/diary maps, but they are mostly geared toward an older audience. I chose the Secret Diary App because I thought this would be more of a teenage girl app. I thought this one was much more appealing for this generation. As I thought about Claire in this day and age, I knew she would utilize social media because she was the prom queen and popular. But this social media had to be a bit private (like her) yet easy to use. It also allowed me to make it more like a teenage girl's diary with the stickers, sketches and pictures. Overall, I think it simply captures her as a teenage girl reflecting on her time in detention and discovering herself.
Who am I? You think John Bender wants to sit and spell that out for you? You wouldn't understand anyway! I used GarageBand, with layered effects and even some vocals. I've tried to use some of the sound effects reminiscent of the 80s! I exported the sound file into iMovie and stuck it over a slow pan of Bender edited in Fotofitti to give it a little more edge and make you realise that Bender would not write a single word.
And as he would tell you - if you don't get it from the song then that's your problem, not mine!
Afterword by Steve Bambury
I cannot express enough gratitude for the five remarkable educators who worked with me on this project and dedicated their time to creating such amazing, diverse pieces of work.
I think it's essential that we close with the message that both encapsulates the movie and the educational focus of this piece-
EVERY student is unique.
EVERY student has a voice.
EVERY student deserves the opportunity to express themselves in a manner they feel comfortable and that harnesses their unique voice.
As educators we should strive to facilitate this not force them to conform. Offer up a little more choice in your classroom and you'll be amazed at the results. Students that you may have written off will suddenly surprise you with flashes of utter brilliance.