by Casey Kochey
Photos by Judy Robinson
The first speaker of the afternoon research session is Kevin Hull, a PhD student at the University of Florida.
Kevin presented his research on “Using Facebook in Classrooms.” To study possible applications of Facebook in the high school classroom, Kevin created a business Facebook page for his class at Topsail High School (Hampstead, N.C.) on which he posted the daily school newscast, information about upcoming tests and assignments, and examples of student work.
The Facebook page allowed students to communicate with teachers outside of the classroom, and all communication between students and the teacher was publicly visible for other students to see.
Kevin said that in a survey of student responses to the Facebook page, the overwhelming majority of students said they benefited from the class Facebook page and would like more of their teachers to utilize Facebook as a communication method.
Part two of the afternoon research session featured Julie Dodd and Christine Eschenfelder, both of the University of Florida, who presented “Changes in High School Broadcast and Video Programs and the Assistance Media Advisers Need.”.
Last March, Julie and Christine surveyed educators who were teaching broadcast and video at the high school level. They found that there have been major changes in recent years in the way broadcast and video are being taught, as educators work to reflect the expectations of the professional world. Journalists in many fields, not just broadcast, need to understand video, and this has led to an increase in video teachers who have come from disciplines that don’t traditionally require knowledge of video production (print journalists now teaching video, for example).
What should be done to help prepare broadcast and video advisers for teaching these new skills? Julie and Christine suggest, based on their surveys, video and broadcast workshops that cater to specific skill levels, better organization of websites that host broadcast teacher resources, and curriculum guides from professional organizations that provide teachers with a place to begin developing lesson plans.
In fact, in response to Julie and Christine’s research, the JEA Digital Media site has issued just such a curriculum guide, Guide to Broadcast and Video, which was a collection of content on jeadigitalmedia.org plus new materials, organized in a way that is useful to high school teachers in the broadcast and video fields.