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.