Monday, 20 November 2017

Newscast Brainstorming and Understanding

This is one of the follow up posts I will be doing as I continue to explore newscasting in my class.  We now have the padcaster and Ipads but are just waiting for cases so that the Ipads are safe in the students hands.  This week I will be finally opening the padcaster equipment to see how it all works and I look forward to trying it all out.  In the classroom we are starting to explore what the newscast will look like.  I gave the students a general chance to brainstorm ideas.  I also handed them out my starting personal brainstorm on topics as well as my starting criteria.  The hopes are that during class the students will expand on my brainstorm and we will make adjustments to the criteria. 

After students brainstormed they came up with some new and interesting ideas that I hadn't thought of.  They were very interested in creating with the green screen some comedy skits and try to make some sort of news article out of it.  Such as walking on water and have the a water scene in the background and the kids walk across.  This lead to many different ideas that involved some fun content.  That being said I then talked to them about articles that we could do that would be newsworthy for our school.  Students struggled a bit with this idea. 
After our brainstorm I felt I needed to give my students an idea of what does something mean to be newsworthy.  I had no idea how to do this but luckily I was able to quickly find a series of lessons by PBS on exactly this topic.  Anyone interested can follow this link.  PBS Student Reporting Lessons

I adapted the first lesson a bit so that it fit into what I wanted to accomplish but generally the students had to write down news that has been  important to them.  Students wrote down things about wildfires , hit and runs, the death of an athlete, how safe is our school in case of an earthquake, and of course Donald Trump.  From our list we were able to come up with things that make news worthwhile.  Our list basically followed the list by PBS 
  • Timeliness Proximity
  • Conflict and Controversy
  • Human Interest
  • Relevance
There job now is to find different news articles or television reports that fit into these four categories.  I am going to follow a few of the lessons here by PBS that will hopefully give my students a better scope on reporting news.  Our newscast may have already changed to include some comedy along with some newsworthy items.  I am also finding that starting this it may take a little longer than my original plan to get the first newscast complete.

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