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Still open to suggestions regarding the Videojournalism textbook for high schools. See post immediately below for the overview and table of contents. Read and let me know what is missing or you don’t need.
Here’s a summary of feedback so far from teachers and co-authors, plus some re-thinking on my part.
Can we just begin with the gear section?
I would guess many teachers would rather cut to the chase and focus on teaching writing, shooting, editing and not begin with history/law/ethics.
No – in fact we may expand that section. This is a book introducing students to videojournalism. A very big part of VJ is ethics, knowledge of history and law, albeit an overview. Ethics is the heart and soul of journalism. Knowledge of rights protects journalists. History helps you understand why things are done a certain way.
We will (in the teacher’s PowerPoints) change the order in which you have to teach. I understand that getting gear into student hands as soon as possible is a great way to excite them about the class and its possibilities….but these lessons have to be in there early so students know what they can/cannot do.
Christine Stricker wants more on scriptwriting. Me too…I admit it is an area I struggle with. I’ve developed some short lessons and templates (and suggest LOTS of practice) to help. We’ll include fact sheets and raw video with interviews to assist in that area.
The suggested “do’s” and “don’ts” brought up something we’d used in the past – giving good and bad examples. We will try to incorporate as many of those as possible into the book (both in text and video examples).
One of our original considerations/now a firm decision is to include a DVD with raw video, examples and in the teacher edition PowerPoint lesson plans with video embedded to drive home points/he.p students visualize lessons.
The questions is – would that help? Would teachers prefer completed examples or perhaps also raw video files that students can view and log and then write their own scripts and edit?
Also in teacher edition – national standards? A guide to tie in with your state standards? Interested? Let us know.
Angela – thanks for the mention in your blog. I welcome professional input, but the book is meant to be a basic beginner book for high school students. Please please send me your input…but I need to keep this focused on my target audience. (I do want input on the newsroom flow though…what works/what doesn’t…how a video story progresses through a newsroom and onto the web.)
We are also trying to avoid being product specific as much as possible. Technology is changing so rapidly that we can’t get into how to use one camera/program to shoot/edit. By the time we go to print, it will have changed.
Lisa touched on something we will include – a resources chapter with recommended websites/links/etc. The best way to stay current is to use the Internet as much as possible.
Which brings up another point. What FORMAT would this work best in?
Larry keeps returning to the idea of a binder or spiral-bound book so that material can be changed easily. Then book would be a workbook – a consumable.
Is there a preference for such a book or is the traditional bound book preferable? You let us know. (I kind of lean towards Larry’s idea. He is the practical one.)
So keep emailing/adding comments.
One fun thing I’ve learned – I contacted my district curriculum person about using the book in binders for a trial run next term (Spring 08) and was told it needed to be approved by the curriculum committee. Apparently what I use as teacher-generated materials in class is different when I put it in a binder (and mention it is a precursor to a book).
Note to myself 10/01/08
Ya know…this makes a good notebook (as I’m about to head out the door to pick up a van load of students for a field trip to Caples Lake).
Question: Where did I put the chapter on converting video to files and types of files and getting it on the Internet?
Answer: in the back of my brain of course. Mentally told myself we need something in that area and then forgot to note down. This should be the final chapter – almost. Once you’ve exported to the correct file format – then what?
Well, I’m always prepping my gear the minute I’m through using it…mentally preparing for the next story. Actively looking for the next story. It never ends.