Digital Directions - Winter 2013 - (Page 12)
wo high school media journalism
students sit newscaster-style in suits,
behind a desk, to broadcast personon-the-street interviews about the
latest trends on campus. A publicservice announcement uses animation, music,
and graphics to make a case for renewable
energy. And a montage of recorded sports clips
set to rap music shows the dedication and drive
of student athletes.
Those videos were produced at the Media
Arts Studio, a fully equipped digital-media
production facility at Cambridge Educational
Access TV in Cambridge, Mass. The studio is
located across from the 1,700-student
Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and
affiliated with the campus’s Rindge School of
Technical Arts Media Technology program.
Through a series of in-school, after-school, and
summer programs, students practice using
words, images, and sounds in meaningful ways
to create content for two Cambridge cable
channels and the studio’s website.
“These devices are so organic to everything
they do, so to use them—and their skills—in this
other, purposeful kind of way really expands their
thinking about the ways in which they can
communicate and present themselves,” says
Ginny Berkowitz, the manager of media arts for
the 6,400-student Cambridge public schools.
“They feel that they’re really able to be heard, and
that’s pretty powerful.”
Programs around the country are encouraging
self-expression, critical-thinking skills, and
collaborative learning through digital-media
production. Learning to research and write scripts,
hone interviewing techniques, and edit footage are
programs around the
country are helping
valuable skills to use in
college or the workplace.
just some of the skills students develop during
the creative process—a process that touches
on multiple academic subjects and builds
both self-esteem and confidence—traits
shown to lead to better grades.
Students often use the experience to
articulate their passionate opinions or feed
their curiosity about the world; some are
even earning certification in media
technology before graduation.
The relationship between hands-on media
production and a student’s chances of
developing into a productive, independent,
and engaged citizen is the current subject
of a 13-month evaluation by the Chicagobased Social IMPACT Research Center, with
support from the Chicago-based Robert R.
McCormick Foundation. The evaluation
began in November 2012.
Gaining expertise in how media messages
are designed and produced also helps
students better evaluate those that bombard
them every day, says Berkowitz.
That’s why the district began offering
media arts electives, in conjunction with the
Media Arts Studio, at four middle schools
this school year. The electives—which
include digital storytelling, media
production, and Scratch, which is a free
educational programming language that
introduces students to basic computer
By_Robin L. Flanigan
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Winter 2013
Digital Directions - Winter 2013
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Online Courses Turn on Gaming
Reading in the Age of Digital Devices
Movers & Shakers
State, Federal Leadership Seen as Key to Innovation
Digital Directions - Winter 2013
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