Digital Video in the Classroom

7/15/2003 By: Susan McLester and Dominic Milano

Welcome to the premiere issue of Digital Video in the Classroom. This supplement is the result of a collaboration between sister CMP Media publications, DV and Technology & Learning. You've been chosen from our broader subscriber lists to receive this issue because you fit the general demographic of school or district technology coordinator. We recognize your key role in making decisions about how technology-including digital video technology-is integrated into the daily school curriculum. Chances are your responsibilities include training teachers and administrators, budgeting for and purchasing products, keeping your staff apprised of the latest technological developments, and demonstrating the power technology offers to engage, motivate, and instruct kids.

The pressures of No Child Left Behind legislation, including the new focus on testing and reporting, along with cutbacks in state education budgets across the nation, make this a particularly challenging moment in history for educators. At the same time, it remains our mandate to continue to innovate. Yes, technology has helped facilitate so many of the tasks we used to do by hand, but how widespread is its use as a tool to help drive new approaches to teaching and learning? To be prepared for the 21st-century work environment, our kids need more than just high scores on standardized tests. They need to know how to investigate, evaluate, collaborate, and revise, as we all do in the "real world" workplace. As you know, technology, used well, can make this happen.

To that end, we bring you the first in our quarterly series on using digital video in schools.

In this issue, our experts focus on the what, why, and how of integrating digital video into your lessons. Included are overviews of the core technologies of digital video-Cameras (page 10), Lighting (page 22), and Editing (page 26), as well as a case study on how Mendocino County's Pathways Program (page 32) has been successfully integrating video in ninth and tenth grade language arts and social sciences curriculum for 12 years. In addition, we invite you to pass along "Showcasing Your Students' Work" (page 36) and Hall Davidson's "Making Connections" (page 18) to your less technically savvy colleagues. We've tried to strike a balance between technical detail and practical in-context how-tos for implementing digital video in ways to engage your kids. And to help you substantiate the case for a more enhanced learning experience through digital video, we've included sidebars on page 36 that offer direct tie-ins between curriculum standards and exciting projects, such as school television productions, staging imaginative debates between historical characters, and more.

Let's face it. Our kids are a visual generation. Encourage your kids to embrace the power of digital video to create their own projects, to tell their own stories, and to guide their own learning in ways previous generations could only dream of.

We hope you'll find this first issue helpful, and we invite your feedback. Enjoy.

Susan McLester, editor in chief, T&L smclester@cmp.com

Dominic Milano, editorial director, DV dmilano@cmp.com


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