Monday, September 5, 2011

The 'Formative' Newsroom

First post of the year. Welcome back y'all.

There are some major changes in store for RTV. First and foremost I got my proverbial crap together and purged all my old useless resources that I had and changed my classroom into a meaner, cleaner, news making machine!

But now to the good stuff. Once again, I'm turning my class upside down and starting from scratch with a totally different approach. I HOPE that with the help of my tweeps and my assessment gurus on call that I can help my students to the next level. What is that level? I hope a group of students that are more purposeful and reflective about their work.

Here's the plan.

Where do I Start? I'm new!
Students in RTV Broadcasting will be in one of three levels. These are based on the Alberta Education CTS modules at 1000, 2000 or 3000 levels. Newbs come in doing the lower modules and work their way up.

Two Teams
Students have been placed into two teams. Team Black and Team Gold. It's actually Team Black vs. Team Gold. I would like to have a little friendly rivalry to push effort and help motivate them a bit. Maybe vote off a students at the end of each week like Hell's Kitche
n (kidding). There is a good mix of 1000, 2000 and 3000 level students on each team. (10, 20, 30 in my class).

Are you ready for a Challenge?
On our class wiki each week, students will be given a challenge. These challenges are related to a job in the newsroom and linked from the curriculum. Students will have to work with their team to get the news done as well as complete the challenge at their level. The teams will be given a challenge for the week with instructions for what I'm looking for in the newscasts. We aren't going to be good at the beginning, but we will be constantly working to
be better.

Where do we get the time?
Here's what is new for me. Last year was a crazy pace for our news team. It was time to switch it up. Instead of rushing to get things done daily, each team will only do two newscasts a week. We flipped to see who was going to go first. Team Black starts tomorrow. I have done this to allow teams to have a full day in between to prepare graphics, stories, do editing, promotions, and anything else I throw at them.

When do we get the time to stop and THINK?!
I didn't give students the number one thing they were asking for and that was TIME. So, I'm going to give it to them, but they need to be accountable for this time. Several thing will happen with this time, and most of it is on me. I will sit down with the team after each newscast and give them time to talk about how their efforts ahead of the newscast and during the newscasts contributed to the quality of product we saw broadcast that day. This is where I can give my feedback and talk to individuals about changes they need and to see how their stories and newscast will change for the next day. They will then get the rest of the day to prepare in their team.

The Director will watch me run the first post-mortem of the week and it will be his or her job to run the second one with me present. By the end of the first month I hope that I will only be a fly on the wall in that post-mortem meeting, with small additions to help refocus on the challenges and outcomes.

Reflection Fridays. Putting it all Together.
I've pulled newscasts from Fridays. We have many Fridays off in our district as it is, and I want students to have a showcase of their learning from the beginning of the semester to the end. That's why on Friday they will blog and have lots of ammo to show evidence of their learning.

Here's an example of a beginner level students challenge for the week. I will be showing them about "streeter interviews" and they will pair up with 20-level students to complete a news package. Their challenge is to create the lower third identifiers and tell me why they have
chosen effective fonts and contrasting graphics:

Assignment 2- Our First Week of Broadcasts

Due: Sept 9 by the end of class

Team Challenge: Add lower third text to news broadcast and packages

Outcome: describe the impact of each element on the visual message; e.g., line, shape (2D) or form (3D),

colour, texture, depth (perspective), light, direction (motion), mass (visual weight), tone (black

and white) or value (colour), space (positive and negative)

Outcome: Discuss the use of the elements and principles of design in purposeful text creation; e.g., attention-getting text versus readable text.

1. Read up on what the priniciples and elements of design are here.

2. Read up on font terms. What type of font did your team choose and why?

(capline, topline, midline, baseline, beardline, serif, san serif, ascender, descender, bowl, counter)

3. Comment on the font choice that your team has made. What characteristics of your font choice make it appealing for the news? Use font terminology to explain. How is readability of your text? What other font could you choose? Share it in your post.

3. How can you take what you learned about the priniciples and elements of design and apply them to the text and lower thirds on the news? Give an example of your Team's Text Graphics from this week (photo, video) Embed it into your blog. Evaluate your team's graphics. What needs to improve?

4. How was your first team debrief? What are your team's strengths that you will be building upon for next week?

5. What are you wanting to do to improve personally next week?

6. Share the resources you have found with us in your blog post at the end of the post. Embed the links in text. (I'll show you how).

More contacts, more feedback.

I'm excited will have so many chances to give feedback to students. From their individual packages, to team challenges, to post-portems, to helping one on one with setup/teardown, I hope students will really be thinking about their work each day as a way to meet the challenge and the outcomes. I'll probably need some advice about their weekly blogs so they don't get too repetitive in nature and so their summative reflections remain purposeful and deliberate.

Also another thought for my next post: What if my students can demonstrate that they have achieved or exceeded the outcome through their daily work and reflections? What does an 84% reporter look like? Why is there a mark needed if the student communicates effectively that they know what they know? What happens if a student "doesn't demonstrate" an outcome in the first unit, but does in our second? Shouldn't their mark change for the first?

Your thoughts on the two team idea? Days dedicated in the week for preparation and reflection for the teams?

1 comment:

  1. This is great Jared. I like the ownership on the students and the set time to pan and follow up on work that is completed. I expect you will see a huge growth in students. The mark is always the difficult task. I think it boils down to objectives observed and a rubric. For example on task time or display of elements of design. Student self assessment is valuable too. I hope to develop more of tius in my classes this year.