August 18, 2012 First Week back at school
return to collaborative project

August 16 Thursday first class of the 2012 – 2013 school year

I had written out my syllabus back in June, spent four days of about 10 hours each day with each day’s classes and homework and a, what I thought, a great schematic approach; I had the standards for each class that we would address, homework so we could begin with a flipped classroom approach and oh so much more. This year our school is really embracing American-style state standards. For technology I am not so sure this is going to be a good way, of course we meet standards just by doing… The notion that we will miss something in a year using technology is absurd but then I am a part of the system.

My first class was Broadcast Journalism. With last year’s success of our TV show, DAISlive, assembled primarily by my middle school publication class now a past event, I am moving it to the high school as a full-fledged journalism course. Also, this year, at this time anyway, we are able to use Google Sites and I have my students all signed up to view it as well as to create their own.

I plan too much. Surely we would get through my first lesson in 90 minutes but there was a little hiccup at the start when after fifteen minutes I realized there was no one in my class. Forgetting for a moment that I have two areas this year, I was in the computer lab, the other is in the basement, two floors away, the newly created video suite, I soon had us on our way to a new year of classes. There are only ten students so we should have a solid core to produce with. My new video suite is a windowless space of about ten by 20 feet that I have divided and subdivided. There is an overhead projector but no screen and the brownish wallpaper will not quite do the trick but I have requested a screen so we will see if one actually appears. I found an unloved sofa, green and a bit dirty with a non-descript 1970s sort of style; meaning the thing is as ugly as a sofa can be, but it is in our ‘recording area’. I have put in an order for a green screen but as we do not have the editing suite that I ordered a couple of months ago, there does not seem to be a hurry to put one up.

First observations is that I have an excellent crew; probably the top students in the school. I have a good international mix with probably only a couple of Americans and the rest from Korea and China. I want to push into e-broadcasting and have schools in other countries as part of our broadcast.

I went over half of our syllabus and we did not get to the part where we will have homework each class that will be reviewed in the class the next time we meet.

Next class, tomorrow, Monday, I will start discussing the creation of a story and at the same time we will need to put together some material for our first production to be aired on Tuesday.

Second day of classes August 17 Friday Publications

Publication is a class I had as a rotation for Middle School Applied Studies last school year. We have six rotations of subjects such as robotics, Literature Theater, student government, video class, something else – can’t remember, and my publication class. Last year I started DAISlive, our video newscast, and we prepared material for that with me spending way too many hours editing each show twice weekly. As well we used InDesign to create little e-magazines. This year we will produce a completed e-magazine called DAIS-in-Focus every six weeks.
The first day was fine. Middle schoolers after a summer break all over the shop and it was managing to get everyone some space. I only have about ten students and they come from a wide range of places: USA, Manila, Korea, China, Philippines and there were a couple of other countries tossed in the mix. English only will be a priority in classes this year. They all made a Google Sites webpage and we went to visit the video studio which is in the basement without a window and with black mold greeting us. Our next class is next Tuesday and we will start journalism in earnest then.