In a recent Radio Broadcasting class, Jamestown High School senior Mark Soderberg digitally recorded his original short story in a soundproof booth in the enhanced JHS Media Suites using Logic Pro computer software and Dolby THX microphones. Mark then used a computer to edit his recordings creating a unique, audio short story presentation.
Mark and his fellow classmates in Chris Tehan's class analyzed a typical story plot, including the establishment of characters, description of setting, including understanding how suspense rises to a climactic moment. Students wrote a short story including all elements including plot, dialogue and descriptive language.
After their stories were edited, students ''became'' the characters in their work, acting out the stories using their own voice. The students also created, mixed and integrated their own music and sound effects.
Jamestown High School senior Lynnsey Olson and fellow classmates work at editing carrels with MAC Digital Media Workstations in the enhanced media suites.
Radio Broadcasting, a JHS English elective, combines digital production skills and techniques including: audio, visual art, conceptual art and design, writing, editing, and presentation. In addition to the computer labs in the VideoWorks and Radio Broadcasting classroom, the state-of-the-art suites include five soundproof recording booths, five editing carrels with MAC Digital Media Workstations equipped with audio mixers, microphones, digital scanners, digital cameras and state of the art audio, video and graphic production software. JHS Radio Broadcasting students are just one of many JHS classes that will use the JHS Media Suites.
''In addition to the Radio Broadcasting projects, I have also used the soundproof booths to practice and record my speeches for public speaking class,'' Mark said. ''It's nice to have privacy to work on, and listen to, my speech before I present it in class. We are lucky at Jamestown High School to have all of this technology to incorporate into our studies.''
The JHS media suites were one portion of the Phase III Capital Projects approved by the public in 2005. The media suites are just one component of a joint initiative between Jamestown High School and the Arts Council for Chautauqua County. Jamestown Media Arts Project (JMAP) provides a media-connected experience to standard classroom curriculum. JMAP is funded in part by the Arts Council through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts and includes providing media arts educators. JMAP actively involves students in every aspect of making media. Teachers, in concert with media professionals supplied through the Arts Council, guide students as they become competent in analyzing, researching, interviewing, writing, shooting, editing, performing and speaking. They also learn to solve problems creatively and work in teams as in any current real world job environment.
''The media suites are fantastic,'' said senior Alex Glazier. ''I'm interested in going into the music business and the new microphones, software and mixing equipment are of professional caliber use so I will have a leg up going into college already knowing how to use all of this equipment.''
Currently, media educators Ed Tomassini; Eric Basile, a former JHS VideoWorks student who now holds a B.A. from SUNY Buffalo in Media Studies; and Dennis Drew work with the VideoWorks and Radio Broadcasting programs. These media educators will also broaden their scope by working with teachers in core curriculum to help them better integrate different types of digital media technology into their classrooms.
''It has been shown that using hands-on technology combined with abstract concepts helps students better understand and remember subject matter," said JHS Principal Joseph Yelich. "We are proud to be a 21st Century school that provides the technology skills to not only enhance different curricula throughout the school, but also give students the skills needed to succeed in college and the workforce. If we are preparing our students with an eye to the future, we must provide up-to-date technology and the necessary skills to use them in a digital world.''
Government & Economics/Radio Broadcasting II is another class that will benefit from the media suites. Students learn to demonstrate mastery of the current and historical issues of government and economics via a variety of media formats such as radio, film, web design, podcasting, vod-casting and journalism. For example, a recent economics project about types of businesses, such as sole proprietorships, corporations and non-profits, required students to pick a business with a local connection and create a recorded business profile. They researched the business, created interview questions, approached the owner for an interview and recorded the interview on iPods. Students used the media suites to download their interviews, create voiceovers and produce an audio business profile.
''Students approached businesses such as Labyrinth Press Company and McDonalds to showcase the different types of businesses in our area,'' said teacher Bradley Peterson. ''They gained real-world journalism experience by completing extensive research and formulating questions that were pertinent to the local and national economy. They also gained an understanding of what it is like to own, or run, your own business - a key component to learning about economics in a real-world way.''