By: Kayla Bolling
Birthdays, championships, and up and comings are all part of the morning announcements. Students in the Broadcasting class read off everything that is needed to know about what is happening throughout the school, but not many people know what is happening behind the scenes.
Broadcasting is a class that can only be taken by eighth graders as an encore. It is a semester long with the teachers Mrs. Stephanie Griffith, library media specialist, and Mrs. Amy Fry, eighth grade language arts teacher. Mr. Michael Howton, principal said, “We created a broadcasting class and decided to do video announcements there because it is a great fit for them. The skills they learn will carry over to the high school. It is much more meaningful to hear the great things going on here from the students at HMS.” Aside from the announcements, the students in broadcasting make videos concerning different important topics in the school such as the winter reading challenge.
These videos were part of the reason that video announcements started. Mr. Howton and the broadcasting teachers wanted a place for these videos to be displayed. They believed that it was a great idea to start doing the video announcements like the high school and some elementary schools. To do the video announcements, the school had to purchase new technology and borrow some from the high school. For example, the lights on set had to be bought and the camera was borrowed from the high school. With the filming studio set up, students had to get training in how to do the video announcements. They practiced during class and ran through different roles to see what they liked so that they could get comfortable. The Broadcasting class has also taken a trip to the high school to see their video announcements in action. They are all still training, learning new tools, and how to improve.
The students in the class were split into groups of three. In these groups, there is an anchor, prompter operator, and board operator. All three jobs are equally important. An anchor is the person that is in the video reading off the announcements. The prompter operator monitors the words displayed on the teleprompter. The board operator controls the audio, switching the video, and makes the process flow. The groups rotated through each position for three days and then a new group of three does the announcements. This schedule rotates throughout the semester. To do the video announcements, students arrive at 7:50 AM. They run the entire show with occasional help from Mrs. Griffith. Kenna Abner, eighth grader said, “My favorite part is being able to do the graphics at the beginning of the videos because they are fun to operate and have different themes.” For instance, the bluebird that changes color to the Christmas music was created by Abner.
As in every new thing that is tried, there are always some bumps in the road. The teleprompter is an iPad that shows the script and scrolls down as the anchor reads it. It can be difficult to find the right speed that it scrolls because everyone reads at different paces. Occasionally if a program malfunctions, students have to adlib until the program is fixed. Yet, there have been no major issues. Mrs. Fry said, “The Broadcasting class always does a great job with the video announcements. I love seeing kids shine in a different way. You get to see all of their new talents. They all develop new skills, work as a team, and get involved in a different way. I can’t wait to see how the video announcements grow and develop along with the students.”