Archive for the ‘news programs’ Category

Bloomfield Middle’s Video Fast Forward

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 by Jeff Gray, KET


About an hour southwest of Lexington, Nelson County’s Bloomfield Middle School is a good example of effective application of multimedia technology. School Library Media Specialist, Susie Pozgay, who also serves as the School Technology Coordinator, does a fine job of supporting students and teachers by providing opportunities for students to participate in video production. Susie uses available equipment and software effectively, all the while keeping abreast of developments and planning to integrate new tools. Support from Principal Jim Beavers helps move it all forward. Principal Beavers quickly impressed us as an administrator who clearly has his faculty and students’ welfare foremost in mind. He’s aware that multimedia tools and resources can be used in many ways for student project-based learning, and it was a pleasure for me and for KET education consultant Larry Moore to hear of his interest and enthusiastic support for how Ms. Pozgay and others of his staff use multimedia resources in their teaching.


I met Susie Pozgay at a KYSTE (KY Society for Education Technology) annual conference in Louisville recently, where we discussed school video production and resources. Not long after, she brought her school news team students to KET for a free video production workshop in our KET Media Lab at the KET Network Center in Lexington, presented by KET’s Larry Moore. We like to share what schools are doing in multimedia production so we decided to visit Bloomfield Middle to see for themselves.

Currently, Susie coordinates the production of a daily morning news show that originates from the school library and is shared with classrooms over the school’s Channel-One tv system. Channel-One installed a lot of video distribution systems and tvs for free in schools across Kentucky a few years back, with the stipulation that during the day students would watch the Channel-One news program that includes advertisements for products aimed at student consumption. In addition to free tvs and distribution equipment, many schools quickly saw the opportunity to use the a/v inputs of the Channel-One a/v distribution box – usually located in the school library or a/v distribution equipment room – for distributing school-produced video productions over the system by attaching a camera’s a/v outputs to the Channel One box.


Students involved in the Bloomfield Middle morning news program cover all of the basic tv-production jobs including writing and editing, presenting, camera, audio, switching, set design, and more. PowerPoint slides are created and edited by students serve two purposes: 1., They’re used as teleprompter text for the news “anchors” as they read the announcements for the day and share special notes and feature stories; 2., the PowerPoint slides are then set to display repeatedly over the the school’s tv-system channel to tvs in rooms around the school. Students edit the PowerPoints at pcs, also accessible over the school pc wired and wifi networks –Ms. Pozgay showed us how she can access the PowerPoints for editing from an iPad and its Splashtop remote pc connection app.


Susie hopes to soon add a second video camera, an a/v switcher, and other gear for two-camera productions, and is planning more video projects for students to take part in.

Down the hall, science teacher Jennifer Logsdon introduced us to some of her students who made a video illustrating their “Rube Goldberg” do-it-yourself-from-found-parts project they designed to throw a switch. Making the video was part of the project and we saw it projected from the connected Apple iPod they shot and edited the video with.


Ms. Kim Goff, language arts teacher, has also included video production as a multimedia resource in a public service announcement project on student bullying, which was recorded and edited on an iPad.


Larry Moore and I were very impressed with Bloomfield Middle School’s use of video production and other multimedia resources as tools for student projects. We look forward to seeing more from them soon.


Mason County Video Makers Small and Tall

Friday, April 27th, 2012 by Jeff Gray, KET


For over twelve years Library Media Specialist Karen Wood has been running the Straub Morning Show each morning from a small room off of the school library. Each week features a different class. Straub’s Morning Show is a live broadcast that begins around 8:15 each day and is played to the school through a vcr/dvd player. The show is also recorded each day as it’s performed, and at the end of the week a DVD is made for the current class’s teacher so that the students can watch themselves performing the show.

Ms. Wood makes a class participation schedule at the beginning of the school year. She begins with the 2nd grade classrooms and ends the year with kindergarten class. Ms. Wood provides the cue sheets that the teachers use for each show: one each for the introduction of the class and the date, Pledge of Allegiance, lunch menu, weather forecast, and the Straub song. A different student is in charge of each element. The week’s teacher fills out the scripts for the students before they report to the library in the morning for the show.

During my visit, Ms. Wood reminisced, “Sometimes funny things happen on the live show. One day we had a teacher promoting the spring frog derby. She brought in a live frog and was showing him off in front of the camera. The frog leaped out of her hand and hopped around the room. Of course the tape was still rolling and here we were acting crazy because there was a frog hopping around the studio.” She added, “During Read Across America week in March, we have mystery readers come on the show and read passages of Dr. Seuss books behind the camera. The students try to guess who the mystery reader is based only on their voices.  That is a lot of fun.”

Here’s a sample Straub Morning News Show program made by students from the 2nd grade classroom of Marybeth Tumey.

Close by, at Mason County High School, students in Ms. Stephanie Grayson’s video production classes also do excellent work. Basic video production knowledge and skills explored in projects like Straub Elementary school’s Morning Show are further developed into sophisticated productions that integrate curriculum with technology and demonstrate student mastery of communication tools and methods.

Students in the Video Production/Broadcast Journalism program at MCHS learn television production techniques involved in both studio and field production. They gain hands-on experience enabling them to learn various skills such as editing, camera composition, lighting, and scripting. Students in the MCHS video program consist of 10th-12th graders. Here are some of the projects the students are involved in throughout the school year:

  • A weekly, 20-30 minute MCTV news show for students and staff. All students are involved in writing the news stories for each new show and are assigned a specific category such as sports, local news, school news, etc. Each student is then assigned a specific job when the actual production begins, such as camera operator, news anchor, editor teleprompter operator, etc. Students also create commercials, PSAs, special reports, etc. that are included in the final news show production. Advanced students use Final Cut Pro editing software and beginning students utilize Apple iMovie editing software.
  • Recording of various sporting events and creation of highlight videos at the end of the season
  • Recording of various activities for teachers in their classrooms
  • Recording of guest speakers at school assemblies
  • Creation of commercials for local businesses that are aired on local cable television
Here’s a dramatic public service announcement (PSA) video on texting and driving made by Ms. Grayson’s video production students.

Down the hall from Ms. Grayson’s video/multimedia classes, Ms. Roberts’ Family and Consumer Science classes use Apple iPads to produce classroom multimedia projects that they present to the class via Ms. Roberts’ pc and video projector.
On the way to Ms. Roberts’ room, I saw some music students using various multimedia tools while waiting to perform: iPads, a digital camera, a smart phone —  each student was rapt in attention to a device.

I enjoyed visiting Mason County Schools, where I saw multimedia technology effectively integrated with curriculum in a fun and effective way for early learners to high schoolers.

Cub Run School Video

Friday, November 4th, 2011 by Jeff Gray, KET

Cub Run Elementary (K-8), in Hart County, Kentucky, is a school with lots of history and lots of heart. Fifteen miles west of Munfordville, Cub Run is an updated and attractive school in a beautiful country setting that’s served it’s community for many years. Retired music teacher, Ms. Linda Childress, Library Media Specialist Alicia Estes, and music/choral teacher Stephanie Hensley, lead students in the production of a weekly newscast that has been a feature of the school for over seventeen years! Ms. Hensley is Ms. Childress’s niece. I met them at our last KET Multimedia PD Days event.

Cub Run’s school website has a page for the WCUB news. Students did a feature story on my visit to their school for the September 30 newscast that’s archived for viewing at the website. That’s a first for me, and I’m honored that they included me in their program. Ms. Estes also uploaded their September 22 Cub Run newscast to the KET School Video Project website. Kentucky schools, please upload examples of your student-produced videos so we can see what you’re doing with video!

For those who cannot view Flash elements in this web page, here’s a link to a video slideshow of my visit to Cub Run’s WCUB newscast at

Cub Run Elementary’s weekly live news show is usually 10–15 minutes long. Eighth grade students comprise the crew for the most part but younger students are included in feature stories, the pledge, and other segments. The show is planned throughout the week, feature stories are recorded, and the program is aired live each Friday morning. Students record the show as it is played through the school’s closed-circuit system and it’s edited afterwards for cablecasting and uploading to the web. The recorded newscast is shown repeatedly throughout the week along with announcements on the school’s entrance hall tv, and the area cable service plays the weekly program on a local access channel for community viewing.

Many schools produce a news program by having students read or recite news stories live through a camera over a school network or a/v system, which is fine, especially for early learners. Other schools first write and record feature stories, PSAs (public service announcements), and other segments, which are then edited together with recorded video introductions by news anchor readers for playback as a whole recorded program. That can be done using a camcorder, microphone, tripod, and pc with editing software. Other schools, like Cub Run Elementary, pre-record some story segments but introduce them from within a live program that’s shown over the school network or a/v system. That means adding an a/v switcher, a second or third camera, an audio mixer, a graphics titler, and preview and program monitors to the equipment list. Cub Run uses a SIMA SFX-11 video effects mixer to switch and mix video and effects, and a separate audio mixer to mix camera and other source audio.

Pictured above with seated 8th grade newscast anchors are l-r, Alicia Estes, Stephanie Hensley, and Linda Childress.

One-box video production studio solutions, like the Newtek Tricaster Studio and the Roland VR-5, are becoming popular alternatives to individual components for studio setups and there’s some interest from schools in that equipment approach. Either way, it’s good to see a crew of students and teachers working together to write, produce, and present a program of useful information projects.

The live, “studio” approach is popular with schools and students because it’s a time-coordinated event that offers an added level of excitement, and the Cub Run newsroom buzzed with activity. A bonus is that more crew jobs are required, producing more student involvement. One of the stories I saw presented for the September 22 newscast was about upcoming events at the next local ”Cub Run Days”  festival, a good example of a video project that serves the community. Classroom news also featured student Accelerated Reader program scores, encouraging others to read more for the project. Other news features included a slideshow story about an after school “Pizza and PJs” reading program in the library, and a video montage of the annual “Grandparents Day” event. The “Writing Corner” segment featured two second-graders reading impressive poetry they’d written in class.

It was a real pleasure to visit Cub Run Elementary and to observe their excellent work. Here’s to the next seventeen years!

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