Last week I was in Lac qui Parle County doing some Facebook for Business training. It was great to spend time with businesses on the front lines and to about how local businesses are using social media to sell more. (I have posted the PPTs from the class online.)
While I was in the area I also got a chance to visit Lac qui Parle Valley High School and catch up on one of their BBC (Blandin Broadband Community) projects. Ryan Giles and his students are turning into video stars. The students produce a weekly news segment and cover a wide range of school activities – including live streaming many athletic and other school events. Their YouTube channel is called the Eagle Eye News Network.
I happened to arrive during homecoming week. The class had live streamed their homecoming coronation earlier in the week and were excited to see that more than 1000 people had viewed the archive. (There are only 400 kids in the building!) In fact, they have found that they are able to reach many more people with their archived shows than they are in real-time events in person and/or online. For example, their largest live viewership for a football game was 56 people; but more than 700 had viewed the archive of that game.
The live streaming has meant opportunities for partnering with the local radio station and others. The kids are very professional!
It was also fun to see the class that creates the videos at work. As I said, the students are responsible for a weekly video program, which is shown Friday morning at school and archived. They also create music videos and public service announcements (PSAs). In class they work together, they work with little direction and they seem to enjoy themselves. (Mr. Giles gets a big nod for taking on the technology project, making it fun and getting these kids to motivated!)
I am including one of their PSAs below – about driving the speed limit. This video turned into a school-wide project – really a community-wide project. It starts with a student being stopped by a police officer for speeding. One of the middle school classes did the math to figure out how much time a student can save by driving 70 miles an hour versus the speed limit of 55 miles an hour on an average distance drive to school. Turns out it’s about 2 minutes. Another class figured out the cost – not only of the ticket but of the insurance increase. And of course they discuss other dangerous outcomes of driving too fast.
Video is used effectively as a reason to integrate school subjects and to collaborate with other classes and grades. The kids clearly take their work seriously. As a former English teacher, it pains me to say it but the kids polish their work for video in a way that they might not do for a written assignment. Part of the reason I’m sure is that these videos are for public consumption. It’s a great use of broadband in the classroom! (I should note that the class already seems to be feeling the pinch for broadband and they are looking for more – uploading video is a bandwidth hog!)