Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wider Audience for Student Produced Video

At an administrators' meeting today, I presented, for a second time, the possibility of having a district sanctioned celebration of student created video in the Westport Public Schools called the Westies. Mike Zito, SHS media teacher, Deb Perry, CMS technology teacher, Barbara Eilertsen, LLS library media specialist, and I created the proposal, which was designed to motivate students to create high quality videos for a broader, authentic audience. The 5h grade entries would come from the students working in some capacity with each elementary school TV studio; the 6-8 videos would come from both the TV studio, the media club and the technology classes learning video editing; and the 9-12 entries would come from video production classes.

While principals and other administrators recognized the potential value of this opportunity for students, several areas emerged as obstacles:
  • Each elementary school manages the studio in a different way, so there may not be equal opportunity for all 5th graders to produce video.
  • Competition at the middle and high school has not been promoted by the district in any curriculum area.
  • Confusion about the connection between the Westies and the Cable Contest.
  • Confusion about the real purpose of the Westies.
It was determined that a wider audience could be created by putting more student video on Cablevision's local access Channel 78 without the competitive element associated with the Westies. (The competitive element involved the awards ceremony for the middle and high school students.) Permission slips from parents of every child involved in the video would be essential before the video could be shown on Channel 78. Also it was determined that the video contest could continue next year with students submitting video they had created for their TV studio or in clubs or classes.

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