Media Day at Mettawee
Written by Eric Bird
So, I’m back for more, and this time with the media power of a local newspaper. This is good for everyone – the students quite literally exhume a high-pitched squeak when they foresee fame in their future, the teachers are praised for their open attitudes in taking on new technology in their ever-increasingly busy days, the school’s progressive nature gives them points in the eyes of the parents and they pave new pathways that make surrounding schools jealous, and Digital Wish gets our mission ideals spread throughout the community. The newspaper journalist takes pictures, does some interviews with students, teachers, administrators, and Digital Wish representatives, and is off to another project.
Over the past few weeks, Mettawee ordered a cart for the netbooks, created a charging station, and the students, teacher, and school tech. expert have been getting used to the basic functioning of the netbooks. I have been back a few times to help with some software operating questions and have been communicating via email, but now I’m ready to start the lesson planning and student training.
Podcasting is a versatile and malleable way to use technology across the curriculum at any grade level, and the students are engaged and love hearing their voices played back. But I figure out quickly that there is a huge difference between doing a classroom group project with me as the leader and having the students work on their own or in pairs. So, I come back the following week to wrap up the project started on the media day.
We end up constructing group podcasts about walls from around the world (which ties directly into the curriculum), overcome a few technical issues with recording, and add sound effects. Plus, over the two days I’m there, we work with the new netbooks and all of the technical aspects, from volume control to word processing.
I am happy with the progress, the students seem determined to learn how to podcast on their own despite some setbacks, and the classroom teacher has some great ideas for future projects.