During a typical school year, students visit KET’s Media Lab by the dozens for workshops on using multimedia in learning projects. This year, the Media Lab mostly comes to them, via the internet.
Cynthia Warner, KET’s multimedia education consultant, is making the pandemic’s “new normal” work for students across the state in the virtual setting.
“Teachers and students can still expect the same quality instruction as they had in the Media Lab. It isn’t as personal and we don’t get to see one another’s work as we could in the Media Lab, but we still have fun and it seems to be very effective,” said Warner.
The workshops teach students about media production and editing and allow them to explore apps like GarageBand and Tinkercad—making project-based learning come to life.
The workshop presenter shares his or her screen in Webex or the teacher’s virtual platform and students view the session while working hands-on on their devices. If students are learning from home and have only one device, they utilize the split-screen feature for the session.
“Sometimes, students are in person and the teacher shares my virtual lab to a large display in the classroom. Sometimes, some students are in person and some are virtual, so there are many options,” Warner said. “I just work with the teacher’s need to make it possible.”
Eleven workshops are offered:
- Video & Green Screen Editing with iMovie – (iOS), K-12
- Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Rush – (iOS, Android, Windows), 4-12
- Pre-coding with PBS Kids ScratchJr – (multi-platform) – An introduction, K-3
- Graphics and 3D Modeling with Tinkercad – (multi-platform) – An introduction, K-8
- Stop Motion Animation with Stop Motion Studio – (iOS and Android), K-8
- Animation with Do Ink – (iOS) – An introduction, K-12
- Music Production with GarageBand – (iOS), 4-12
- Adobe Photoshop Express – (iOS and Android), 4-12
- Basic Photography – (any camera), 4-12
- Photo Editing with Snapseed – (iOS and Android), 4-12
- Finding Reliable Information in a World of Misinformation: Student Media Literacy – (multi-platform), 6-12
Because students are working with different platforms at home, KET is now offering a greater variety of workshops. “We have broadened our offerings to include more topics, such as 3-D design, media literacy, and photography. So, once we return to in-person Media Lab sessions, our list will be even greater than before,” Warner said.
Warner misses being able to interact with students personally, assisting them while they are working within the apps and software. Typically, students in virtual workshops have their cameras off so they can reserve bandwidth to view the workshop. “I only see work that students are willing to share. However, some students seem to blossom in the virtual setting,” she noted.
Warner said they can also record the session so students without the proper devices can watch at a later time.
“We just go with the flow and do what it takes to make sure everyone is successful,” Warner said
Feedback from teachers and students has been positive. Sam Northern’s students at Simpson Elementary School were excited to work with ScratchJr, a computer coding program, and planned to make a project for presentation.
Warner said many teachers scheduled two or three sessions at a time. “Conway Middle School in Jefferson County is a repeat customer,” she said.
Warner has also received a workshop request for a workshop from a teacher in Canada.
“The teacher is having to reschedule because school was suddenly canceled and there was a faculty meeting during the time we had originally scheduled. I hope to reschedule soon, because I think it would be cool to work with Canadian students,” she said.
To sign up for a workshop, fill out the form on the website.
Sessions last about an hour and can be scheduled for Mondays through Fridays during the hours of 9 am to 2 pm ET.