Monday, December 28, 2015

Forecaster Article on Harrison Middle School Media Club

A lot of kids use digital media in the classroom and at home. At Harrison Middle School, students have made it part of their extracurricular activities, too. The goal of the Digital Media Club is to “mostly just develop some skills around video production, but also to show them it can be fun,” said Mike Arsenault, the instructional technology integrator who advises club members. According to Arsenault, more than a dozen students participate, most of them fifth- and sixth-graders.

The club, which was started last year by a student who now attends Yarmouth High School, was able to buy technology and equipment with a grant from the Yarmouth Education Foundation. Around $6,000 from YEF was used to purchase cameras, Final Cut Pro video editing software, cases, tripods, shoulder mounts, microphones and an iMac computer. “My goal is to introduce the kids to the tools so they can use them in the classroom,” Arsenault said. The kids mostly work on video production in the club, but Arsenault said they’re free to work on a variety of things, such as photo editing, animation and using GarageBand software. “A lot of this is creating whatever they feel like creating,” he said.

One thing the club recently created was a video with 317 Main Community Music Center. Arsenault said the club was approached by Amy Sinclair, the music center’s director of marketing and communications, about collaborating on the project. “She was great working with kids through the shoot and with editing after the shoot,” Arsenault said. Five students worked with 317 Main to create Project Wonderland, a holiday video showcasing musicians at the center. The students did camera work and editing, and were also in the video. Seventh-grader Eleanor said she used a lot of skills she already had when working on the video, but also learned new things about editing. “I really like editing,” she said. “It was really fun.” Arsenault said he was impressed by the work the students did on the project. “I knew it’d come out well, but I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “They did a great job with it.”

The club doesn’t have any plans to partner with community organizations in the future, but will focus on doing school projects, Arsenault said. “There’s always so many great things going on within the school, but we don’t always promote them enough,” he said. Although Arsenault wants to do more digital media projects at Harrison Middle, the school already is known for its innovative technology. It has been named an Apple Distinguished School since 2007, with the exception of the 2013-14 school year. According to Arsenault, the award is presented to schools that have innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, a flexible learning environment and also show visionary leadership. Arsenault, who’s a Google Certified Innovator, said the club is a great way for kids to learn about digital media but, more importantly, it’s a way for them to see that creating things with technology is fun. Eleanor said the club has taught her both of Arsenault’s objectives. “Sometimes I wonder if I can do something on iMovie and Mr. Arsenault always knows, and helps me,” she said.

Mike Arsenault, Harrison Middle School’s instructional technology integrator, works with students at the Dec. 14 meeting of the school’s Digital Media Club.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Logo Design Project Using Functions

Grades: 12
Teachers: Roberto Borda
Subject: Math
Project Name: Logo Design
Resources: Logo Design Web Page

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Digital Discussions

Grades: 9
Teachers: Alice Barr , Suzanne Hamilton, 9th grade teachers and administration
Subject: Information Technology and Core Values
Project Name: Digital Discussions
Resources: Digital Discussions

All 9th graders participate in 4 sessions about Digital Citizenship before the first quarter ends. We want to help students understand how the core values fit in to their online lives. We also want to expose students to appropriate online practices and help them make good choices about their digital lives.

Digital Discussion Website
  1. Kick off: Digital Compass Activity - Students view a scenario about a dilemma. They choose the answer that they think fits. 
  2. Session 1: Digital Footprint - All students participate in this session in small groups of 10. They watch 2 videos, do a reading and then have a discussion. This is followed by a time for reflection.
  3. Session 2: Choice between Multitasking, Privacy, and Digital Overload. They follow the same format as Session 1
  4. Session 3: Choice between MultitaskingPrivacy, Digital Overload, Digital Activism, and Be a Creator. They follow the same format as Session 1
  5. Session 4: Students create a product based on one of the sessions they attended. Here's an example of a project.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Career Exploration and connecting to the Community

For three days each spring, all sophomores and juniors participate in Career Exploration. They have the opportunity to go to local businesses and job shadow. We have noticed that more and more students are being asked to bring their computer with them and often participate in activities for the business. One student worked a travel company that specialized in trips for teenagers. The student was asked to look at many competitor websites and pick the best aspects of each site. Another student shadowed the social media strategist at an advertising company. She learned about Google Ad-Sense and how to reach certain demographics. Students have participated in all kinds of experiences from ski patrol, to the weather station and everything in between.

On Thursday, Some of those students participated in an event at the Apple Store in South Portland. The idea was to promote how MLTI is preparing students for careers after high school. Our students were there to promote the idea of how the job shadow allowed them to follow their passion in the arts. The worked with VIA, a creative ad agency in Portland.

Here they are speaking about their experience.