3. Determine ways to fit the video board into the curriculum.
Once administrators and teachers understand the full breadth of resources needed for the successful operation of a video board, look for ways to incorporate these tasks into the existing curriculum. In addition to video production, we’ve identified other opportunities to include the video board in our various classes. Students interested in marketing and advertising can learn how to package and sell ad space to businesses in the community. Since most small businesses don’t have the resources to produce their own ads, our video production students can provide those services. Graphic design students can develop custom animations. Those interested in a career in broadcasting can get involved in sideline reporting from events. Finally, technically skilled students can learn how to run the video board.
4. Harness enthusiasm and build structure into the curriculum.
Perhaps the most difficult obstacle we had to face was managing student excitement. This enthusiasm is great and we want to continue to encourage it, but it needs structure to be successful. For example, we had students handing us flash drives containing videos just hours before a varsity game. Unfortunately, we often couldn’t use them because the board operator didn’t have time to review them, then format and program the videos on the board. Once we better understood the process, we were able to build a concrete plan to systematically approach video production that includes deadlines, compatibility, and quality standards.
5. Think beyond sports.
A video board provides a lot of opportunities beyond sporting events, so it’s important to seek input for other ways to use the board. One exciting thing we’re looking at is creating a film festival to showcase student-written and -produced films on the board, along with the awarding of prizes. This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, and it provides a great event for the whole community.
Finally, look for ways to help students include their efforts in their portfolios and college applications. This real-world experience is a terrific stepping stone for students looking to further their education and begin a career in broadcasting, visual arts, and business.