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Pam Smith (not verified)

Your post really caught my

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Your post really caught my eye. I've just been assigned to teach advanced tech in my school's middle school section. When I asked the students what THEY would like to do in this class, the idea of creating a broadcast received almost unanimous approval. I have no idea how to get started (I've only been teaching K-5 technology for the past 5 years). But I am very enthused about letting the students create their product from scratch, letting them explore the ins and outs of this endeavor. However, I could sure use some background information as I facilitate this project! When will your next post be!?
jim becka (not verified)

I worked as a

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I worked as a writer/producer for a syndicated TV program before coming to our high school to put together a cable TV program produced by students. I was amazed at how the technology has changed over the years. The Macintosh computer programs are simple to use and produce high quality graphics. Best of all, they come on every computer. We have a weekly program. The kids enjoy putting it together. It is very easy to teach. The use a variety of skills in putting together the programs: writing, graphic arts, and photography. The students have learned a lot more about the world by putting together their TV program.
Jannora Lauderdale (not verified)

I really liked this idea and

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I really liked this idea and its outcome. I feel giving our youth a chance to develop and implement their hidden talents is great. Keep up the good work and I hope this idea continues to grow throughout all schools. I would love to have more information on this process.
Sharyn (not verified)

Many supportive resources

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Many supportive resources can be found on the Journalism Education Association website. Kudos to all of you who are empowering students!
Jill Proehl (not verified)

I, too, would very much like

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I, too, would very much like to see the lessons/structure you created out of the brainstorm and hear about the process and/or technology/software you used. I would love to create this in my suburban St. Louis middle school.
Ann Sisko (not verified)

Wow. This is terrific. A

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Wow. This is terrific. A project like this is what school -- especially for middle-school age kids -- needs to be about. Reading, writing, speaking and listening are essential to success when you're producing a TV show. As are skills and understandings in math, science and technology. Add to that the essential life skills of organization, planning, cooperation, discovering one's own strengths and appreciating the strengths of others -- a television production brings them all together. Back in the 1984 - 1985 school year, my 5-6 class decided to do a TV program. Younger kids, different times, and early technology. They decided to call it An American Patchwork and take a look at history and current events in this country. We produced one complete show, and the second one is still in the can. At the time, it was all done with a single, simple video camera, and a technician offered to put it all together at a TV station where he worked. The first one took way more of his time than any of us expected, and so the second one never got quite that far. As you might have predicted, the kids were thrilled to see their work on TV (local cable). In-school broadcasting was not even thought of at the time. (Even today, few of our elementary schools have that capability.) It took most of our class time that marking period -- and in elementary school we have the kids pretty much all day. I think it is really exciting for middle-school age kids to have the kinds of opportunities described here. Kids this age are developing their understanding, their insight and their ability to deal with complexity -- just as opposition, cynicism and hormones kick in and frequently disguise those emerging capacities. This kind of total involvement can keep things balanced. Considering the heavy-duty focus on testing and test-prep these days, I find it encouraging to see that projects like these are still possible. (Back in the '80's, that was not one of the difficulties we had to contend with.) Sadly, while the words I hear from the 'powers-that-be' today still support project-based learning, the actions I see all too frequently do not. Congratulations to all of you who are doing this -- keep up the good work!
Kathleen Tobkin (not verified)

Congratulations on launching

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Congratulations on launching such a great student centered project! I too am "taking the plunge" and starting a TV class in my middle school this year (although on a much smaller, in-school closed circuit, scale). I am looking forward to your next post. I am very interested in hearing about the mechanics behind your production -- What software do you use? Do you broadcast live or on tape? Do students rotate jobs or keep the same position throughout the year? Is your multi-grade level? How much time does it take to produce a show? Do students ever lose time out of other class periods? How long is your broadcast? As you can see, I am full of questions!! I definitely think having the students call the shots is the way to go -- but it would be nice to hear from someone who has "been there" ! Thanks!
Judith Macachor (not verified)

Hi, everyone. Thanks for

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Hi, everyone. Thanks for this newsletter. I am especially interested about a student initiated broadcast production-project. As an educational technology teacher in teacher education student based project such as this has been one of the activities I would have wanted my students to experience. I look forward to the next newsletter so I willknow what the group did to put up such a project.
Grace (not verified)

A very inspiring article.

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A very inspiring article. Are there samples of student broadcasts that we may see? Look forward to your next post.
Maurice Elias (not verified)

I have worked with the

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I have worked with the program that Tony Bencivenga is describing and I can say without exaggeration that he is understating its benefits. This is a transformational project that has the effect of creating a strong sense of community in the school, strong connections of the outside community with the school, and leverage for engaging and re-engaging students in purposeful learning while also teaching them essential social-emotional skills for success in school and life. I look forward to seeing all the entries about this project compiled and posted accessibly on the GLEF website, along with a dialog capacity so that those have or are in the process of implementing this marvelous idea can form a community of support and assistance. Thank you, Tony!
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