Sunday, July 13, 2014

Budding Journalists: You're on the Air!

You may not know this but Fort Thomas Independent Schools provides fun summer enrichment classes for kids. This year I chose to participate in two classes, one of which was "You're on Air", a podcasting class. If you want to sign up for this class next summer, I have all the information and other kids’ feedback you need.

The wonderful Stephanie Griffith, the librarian at Highlands Middle School (HMS), teaches “You’re on Air”. This class is offered twice, to students entering grades 2-4 and also grades 5-8. It runs for one week, one hour daily.  “You’re on Air” is located in the HMS Library. The class limit is 20 students and it costs $45.

In this class, you use Audacity software, which is loaded on all computers at the school, to create and save podcasts. Using Audacity, you can record and add effects to your podcasts and create different kinds of podcasts like book trailers, play-by-plays for sporting events, and commercials. Ms. Griffith directs students to various websites to find cool music to add to your podcasts. One of those websites is http://www.jamendo.com/en/welcome.

One of the biggest benefits of this class was meeting people from other schools. Because we became friends they let me interview them. Two of my good friends that I met in “You’re on Air” answered a few questions so I could give their feedback to you.

Piper B., a fifth grader at Woodfill, said her favorite part of “You’re on Air” was experiencing how to use the cool websites that we used. She said she didn’t have a least favorite part because it was all so cool. To create a sufficient podcast we were taught to add music, effects, and to speak loudly. Piper said that the hardest part of making one of those was adding music and talking loud enough to be heard over the music.

Another friend that I met, Sydney L., a fifth grader at Woodfill, said her favorite part was learning new things and her least favorite part was when it ended. Sydney said the hardest part of making a good podcast was trying to speak over the music when recording.

Now after hearing how much kids your age liked “You’re on Air” you might be interested in being in this class next summer but your parents might want to know more. The instructor, Ms. Griffith, wants to let the parents in on some stuff and her opinions of the class that she thinks might be useful.

Her favorite part of teaching this class was seeing the excitement on our faces after hearing that our voices have been successfully recorded. She didn’t have a least favorite part but she definitely has a part that was the hardest for her and that is managing the different ability levels of differently aged students. Since she taught 2 different age groups she said the hardest part of doing that was getting enough work done with the younger students to keep their class moving along at the same rate as the older students’ class. One more thing she wanted everyone to know was that if you want to hear the podcasts done by participants this summer, just go to the Fort Thomas Independent Schools Webpage, go to Highlands Middle School, up to quick links, go to media center, and then go to “You’re on Air” and everything will be right there!

Here’s a link:
http://www.fortthomas.kyschools.us/olc/page.aspx?id=72055&s=409

Thanks for reading my article, and I hope I persuaded you to join “You’re on Air” next summer!

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by Lexie Crawford, FTM Budding Journalist

FTM is opening up its platform to students in Fort Thomas who have an interest in Journalism. "Budding Journalists" is a new feature, and Lexie Crawford is our first writer to take the plunge. Let's welcome Lexie to the #FTMFamily!




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