Thursday, July 30, 2009

Multimedia Scrambles Brains

  • Numb and Numb-er
  • Nine Oklahoma High School Teachers Won't Be Left Behind
  • Foundations Funding Innovation One Teacher at a Time

This is what happens when high school teachers go back to school. It's just gory...nearly impossible to describe. Back in the day, there was a commercial that said, "here's your brain on crack." Then, you saw an egg frying. Well for some learning about websites live Coveritlive, Twitter, Twitcam and Tinychat can feel the same way. "This is mind blowing." That comment can't be attributed because too many people have said it. You can go live instantly on the Internet with a group of total strangers if you choose to so. You can do a real time search through Twitter and any number of websites.

Nine educators from schools in Oklahoma, Sooner Country signed up for a seismic mind shift. After all, they teach art, science, english and more, the old fashioned way, they do it. Now they are facing themselves as they learn how to create "it" (whatever "it" is). THEY have to pass this test and the questions, the multimedia tools and mindset are changing everyday. On top of that, they are trying to keep the peace with the digital natives, their students. The kicker is they've got a serious deadline, four days to get "Tweetie" with it (To the tune of Will Smith's Get Jiggy With It.

The instructor mashup is courtesy of the Radio Television News Directors' High School Broadcast Journalism Project and the Oklahoma Scholastic Media, thanks to a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. It is all going down at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at Oklahoma University in Norman.

Organized by Carol Knopes, a veteran journalist with RTNDF, the workshop facilitators include (really this is a give and take) Tammy Parks, the explorer/experimenter extraordinaire, who takes her 8-12 grade students from Howe Public School virtually everywhere. They produce a weekly television news cast called Camera! Lights! Education!. Janet Kerby, a retired and rewired broadcast educator and the professor and Multimedia Maven, Dr. Syb catapult the sheltered into the cyberspace without a safety net. Each one had her day in the virtual courtroom teaching the traditional shooting video techniques, writing for the web and ethics. But the unconventional story telling tools like livestream definitely shattered some norms. And, then there was Wes Fryer, a former high school educator turned entrepreneur who started Story Chasers and the Speed of Creativity websites. Since attention spans are short, here's a little "sumthin' sumthin" for your digital palate.

Fryer is a new media thinker and trainer, this is his take on where social media and storytelling meet. Don't forget, just take small bites or you WILL choke on the multimedia madness.

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