Tucker has a complete news production studio in her classroom. She has previously used Windows® MovieMaker™, Apple® iMovie™, and Adobe® Premiere™, with some success, but thinks these programs are much too cumbersome for students to use to edit and produce newscasts.
“Visual Communicator Studio gives us many more possibilities than standard video production software,” Tucker says. The students appreciate the chroma key abilities used in conjunction with the included green screen.
Using the included material the students can add any background they choose, making video productions truly customizable. The students can easily add transitions, animation, video, or any of a large number of still pictures to their productions. The thirty-second animated graphics are well-designed and are very professional looking–much more than anything Tucker has seen or used before–and are offered at a very reasonable price. According to Tucker, there are so many images available within Visual Communicator Studio that her classes have to import very little of their own material.
Her students find using the software exciting and fun while they watch the transformation of a broadcast; from the first scripts to the final product. Because the students find using Visual Communicator Studio exciting, they work hard at all the stages of production so that the end product is truly of professional quality.
“It is as close to being in a professional studio as you can achieve in a school setting.” Tucker says. “The kids enjoy the realism and, in comparison, older technology seems amateurish.”
Makes lessons more creative, not more work
This reaction is just what Scott Carrico was hoping for. His goal is not to burden teachers, but to provide technology that enhances the educational experience of a visual and technologically adept student population.
“I think Visual Communicator is revolutionary,” says Carrico. “It will empower young people to learn while keeping them excited about the process.”
Bonnie Tucker agrees. “When I saw all the backgrounds and other offerings, it triggered so many project ideas in my mind. It offers something that we’ve never had before and we’ve only scratched the surface.”
Conducting the news
During a typical day, Tucker teaches one middle school class and four high school classes. She tells the students the topic of the news segment they will be working on and breaks the class into groups that include anchors, weather reporters, sports reporters and field reporters. One last group primarily consists of students who have been specially trained to run the editing board, digital video camera, and portable lights.
- EdisonLearning Joins with Digital Learning Collaborative to Improve Online Education - December 6, 2021
- Class sets video - August 21, 2021
- Wasted Technology: Why Many Teachers Don’t Use the Programs Their Districts Provide - August 17, 2021