Morning Broadcast Part II: The Upgrade

Megan Kelley is a 3rd year CIC at Palm Elementary. She has been with the district for 3 years as an elementary librarian.

This post is a follow-up to Breaking News: Student-run Broadcast.

Last year, my campus administrators asked me to help create a student-run broadcast program. With the information I learned from the experience, I’ve made many improvements to the program and it’s proceeding better than ever!

  • Equipment Upgrades

After discussing with Technology Design Specialists Marc Thrall and Diane Wells, we decided to go with Open Broadcast Software (OBS) on the desktop rather than using iMovie on the iPad. OBS is a free and open source software that enables live streaming and video recording to different platforms. The interface required a bit of set up before it was ready for our student team to use, but with the Student Created Video Blend course, I was able to have most of the scenes, audio inputs, and video inputs organized for our students in a matter of days.

Through a DonorsChoose fundraiser, we were able to receive two webcams and two desktop microphones that allowed us to switch between visuals without moving and resetting equipment during the broadcast.

  • Student participation

Last year, I had collaborated with the counselor to utilize our Student Leadership Team on a volunteer basis. This year, we sent out interest letters to all 5th grade students with clear guidelines and expectations. The responsibilities were outlined in these letters to explain what would be expected of students in regards to attendance and behavior. The interest letters allowed students to voice if they were interested in being an anchor in front of the camera or a producer behind the scenes.

The final turn out was 2 teams of 6 students. Yellow team has 3 anchors and 3 producers while Blue team has 2 anchors and 4 producers. The teams alternate weekly. Each student has an assigned role within their team as to what part of the morning script they update. The script is a Google Slides presentation with one slide per segment with lines highlighted in different colors depending on the anchor speaking. Segments included the daily weather report, vocabulary word of the day, student birthdays, and the lunch menu. Both teams are responsible, respectful, creative, and take their jobs seriously.

  • Improvements?

For improvements going forward, I’d like to assign “projects” to the broadcast teams. My goal is to use the morning broadcast as an opportunity for the students to research different individuals for special segments during heritage months, or conducting interviews with staff around the school about upcoming events like field trips, special guest visits, and more.

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