Tuesday, June 3, 2014

School News: Making A Difference

Well it is hard to believe that it is the end of the school year and I have not written my third installment of School News.  I have been working hard with a number of schools in the area to help them develop their news program from the ground up or to improve existing shows to make them more informative and interactive.   The teachers and students have expressed how much fun it has been to have a news show at their schools and that they want to keep it going each year.

When it comes to having a school news program within a school, I have heard a lot of the negatives.  From this is taking away from instructional time to why would students want to do this?  There are just as many pros as there are cons to having a news program at a school.  For those where negatives outweigh the positives I can only offer some testimonials from schools where it has made a difference, whether in the classroom or to an individual student.  

I asked some of the teachers that I have been involved with over the year to share their thoughts on the school news program and how, if any, it has effected their students, classrooms and schools.

What Educators have said:

  • "Doing TV announcements was so motivational for my students. The hands-on guys took right to the technical aspect of setting up the equipment. Some of those guys were disengaged until we started videotaping."
  • "Many of my students have also become leaders among their peers and much more confident overall."
  • "The greatest benefit that I have seen from our school news is that the students are gaining a different understanding of responsibility and team work."
  • "They have taken ownership of the show and have been faced with many real-world situations and have had to come up with creative solutions to solve problems that have arose."
  • "The school news is the students' time to shine. Not only are they excited to be seen by the whole school, they really work hard to read carefully and speak clearly because they know that everyone is listening and needs the information they are presenting"
  • "I have noticed that my students have become much more confident in their speaking abilities"

One of the quotes I appreciated the most was this one from one of our High School Journalism teachers.  "Two of my students plan to take the video broadcasting course during the North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute in June."  I know that she is very happy for her students that have taken it upon themselves to continue their learning through attending this summer institute.  

I along with my colleagues attempt to strive to help teachers to spark curiosity in our students to help make their goals attainable and to motivate them to succeed.  For the schools that I have worked with this seems to have rung true.  The teachers have sparked curiosity in their students to learn the process involved in creating a news program. Also, whether or not they admit to it, I think those educators have gotten the spark to continue to strive and learn as well.

photo credit: ASU_Cronkite via photopin cc