At least six secondary schools will be able to overcome challenges in the classroom associated with multi-media equipment.
This comes as a result of training conducted by the Media Resource Department from July 2 to 13.
The summer workshop, titled Multi-media for Juniors, targeted children aged 12 to 16 from the Ellerslie, Alma Parris Memorial, Alleyne, St. George, Princess Margaret, and Parkinson Memorial secondary schools.
They were trained in still photography, video and the use of the projector and were able to enhance their presentation skills, using Smart Board technology.
Chief Media Resource Officer, Walter Harper, in explaining the rationale for the course, said: “These students will go back into the schools and share their knowledge, skills and talents with other students and teachers. More importantly, they will become assistants to the teachers and the schools as a whole.
“So, if the school is doing something with a PA (public address) system they (the students) will be able to set up and manage the projectors, build better PowerPoint presentations and infuse video and stills into presentations along with graphics and audio.”
Explaining that the course had been conducted by the department for some time now, Harper said: “Over the last four years, we found that these students actually went back into their schools and made meaningful contributions. So each year, we try to take at least three students per school.
Failure to utilise board
Meanwhile, Course Coordinator and Audio Visual Aids Officer, Gale Gooding, in detailing the practical knowledge shared during the period, said: “We were able to teach the students how to use the interactive white board in the classroom because we found it was being said that a lot of classrooms possessed this technology but were failing to utilise it.
“So, we taught students how to use it and are satisfied that on return to their respective schools they will be able to assist their teachers. We also taught them how to set up multi-media projectors to laptops so we are certain that when their teachers have presentations to deliver, the necessary assistance will be rendered.”
Gooding noted that the training allowed hands-on experience in the use of video equipment skills like setting up tripods and actually videotaping sessions for five minutes. She also stated that they were shown the correct techniques for taking photographs and reducing faults or blemishes and were made acutely aware of the software for editing unnecessary aspects.
Pointing out that the course was highly interactive, Gooding said tours of places of interest such as lighthouses, Bathsheba and Folkestone were included to enable students to take photographs and capture some historic sites on video camera.
While stating that participants enjoyed the multi-media course, the Audio Visual Aids Officer admitted that they requested an extension.
“It wasn’t a session where they sat down and did a lot of writing; it was hands-on all the time, taking them away from the classroom. So, taking pictures with the actual camera and then coming back into the classroom and doing the editing proved exciting. It is understandable that they would want more time. We did the course last year for six weeks but given the economic situation we could not do the same this year,” she maintained.
This notwithstanding, Gooding said the enthusiasm shown had assured the MRD that the children would definitely aid their teachers in the classroom should problems with technology arise. Using Princess Margaret School as an example, she said teachers there had indicated that each year, students who complete the summer programme continued to display this eagerness towards technology.
“Teachers reported that students who came during the first year we held the Multi-media For Juniors course, wanted to produce a yearbook; so what those students did was took their own pictures to facilitate the development of the book,” recalled the coordinator, adding that the greatest benefit to students participating in the course, would be the sustained interest shown in technology.