This is Part 4 in a series of posts dedicated to documenting my work as the organizer of the Stewart Student News. View Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3.
Beyond the hour-long session I had attended at a tech conference 4 years prior, I had no training or serious background knowledge about the workings of a student newscast before getting started. So to say that this was a huge learning experience for me is an understatement. There were certainly times where my lack of experience compounded with the busy school year took their toll. There were weeks where I really wanted to just put the program on pause. And on some days my effort with the News Team was far from my best. But the students continued to come & the parents continued to volunteer. People around school continued to ask "When's the next Newscast coming out?" and suggesting segment topics. So on we pushed, and when the school year came to a close, the students had published 10 webisodes of the Stewart Student News (about 1 per month) that have been viewed more than 2,000 times. Looking back at my initial brainstorming notes from last summer, it's interesting to think about my misconceptions and lofty goals. Here are some things I learned & that the students accomplished:
What I Regret
When I began this project my biggest goal was for students to have a voice in Telling the Story of their school community. I do feel that we accomplished that. The students blew me away with what they are capable of in regards to creative ideas, technical skill and teamwork. By heavily involving students from 3 grade levels and getting the support of several parent volunteers, I also really hoped that this project would be sustainable. I didn't want it to just be "something that Mr. Wilson did". Time will tell if the model we created will be carried on in the future by adults so that many more students will be part of a News Team.