Written by: Marc Lewis, Broadcast Journalism Teacher Horn Lake High
I recently took a poll using a sample of our high school students and found that less than 10 percent read the posters and print materials around the school. Most mornings around our country, American principals use the intercom to give students a word of encouragement and present announcements and important information for the day. So what happens when all that information falls on deaf ears and noisy classrooms? In this modern digital age, we as educators and administrators are constantly looking for new ways to communicate information to the student body. I personally believe that the in-school broadcast is one of the best ways to achieve that goal.
The ripple effect of your program and the impact it can make on your school is extremely dramatic. In my eight years of teaching, I have even seen many of my students choose media and communications as a college major and career choice due to their involvement in the class. Striving to have some entertainment in your episodes will ensure that all students pay attention to the show and retain the information. A few weeks ago as we aired a segment, I happened to be in the hallways. You could have heard a pen drop… the classrooms were that quiet. After the segment aired, the announcements were made. Students remained quiet and got the information they needed.
There are a number of considerations for your shows. Obviously your school needs to have a network of televisions in place and a nice studio space in a classroom or lab. I also HIGHLY recommend that you take FULL advantage of the Internet by hosting a website and publishing your videos for parents to view. At Horn Lake High School we post items on our website and even place full episodes of our broadcasts.
In Desoto County, our broadcasting programs focus primarily on creating a daily episode to relay information to our students. However, as we are building those shows, our students practice public speaking, learn how to correctly frame shots, use lighting to its best advantage, shoot footage, import clips into a computer, and edit a final package. As a result, students become exposed to a large amount of technology and techniques that serve them well in their future endeavors.
Several episodes recently produced for Horn Lake High School students may be viewed at the end of this article.