BBC Schools News Report Day 26 March 2009

BBC Schools News Report Day

journalists for a day

All articles to be uploaded to a website I made using Google sites and inviting a technically minded member of each group.

Posted link on school twitter account which has a widget feed on our moodle

built with moodle

built with moodle

( so all pupils, teachers and parents could quickly access the site repeatedly through the day to see the articles published. It was also posted to school news feed on

One group had recorded an interview with a local councillor on their mobile phone. They had downloaded this onto their computer in *.amr file type. This could not be imported into audactiy for editing. I needed to convert the file so I checked my diigo links for conversion apps. No installation available in school so it had to be an online service. The fourth link allows you to upload a *.amr file and convert it to MP3. Perfect. They emailed the file to me, I converted it and emailed it back so they could edit it using audactiy. To stream the audio file onto Google sites they will need to make a presentation with still images running alongside the audio file and upload that as a movie to YouTube to embed onto the site.

Two groups used digital video camcorders. A specialist PC (not on the school network, but not particularly powerful) is used to capture the footage via firewire directly into Windows Movie Maker. Files are saved onto removable media for editing on a networked PC.

Another group wanted to capture audio interviews. They used a Vado mini video camera with a direct USB input. The same principle of uploading the audio to YouTube applies as this is required to work with the limitations of Google Sites. There probably is a better way to do it but not one I am aware of today!

The Google Sites website has a number of options to edit. The easiest is to create a word processed page and upload it to Google Documents. This document can then be inserted as an entire web page on the Google site. Formatting changes as you upload the files. Images may move and text formatting is not as flexible on GDocs as on a standalone word processor so this may alter as well.

After lunch some 6th Formers came in to advise the pupils on their articles. They discussed layout and text content. The room is a hive of activity with video editing, consultations, web page building, reportwriting all going on simultaneously and some photos being taken. I wonder if this room has ever been this well used?

Well, as 2 o’clock rolled by things started hotting up for me. I soon realised that the pupils needed more preparation beforehand. Instruction on how to use video editing software and how to use Google Docs and Sites would have benefitted them enormously. However, a busy school schedule meant that this didn’t happen and we had to make do on the day. Some articles suffered as a result of this and audio never made it onto the site, and interviews never materialised due to rugby fixtures taking away the two pupils who appear on Google Street View images.

To sum up, a lot was learned today by teachers and pupils alike. A very rewarding and tiring experience. Deadline pressure focussed our pupils on creating an end product. Some ideas got left by the wayside. Some sparkled into fruition. It made me wonder hos I could incorporate some similar cresendo into my ICT coursework that might encourage the pupils to push harder to meet a deadline.

Please do have a look through the site. We’re not going to win any prizes; but what we do have are some excellent examples of how technology can be used to enrich learning.

BBC Schools News Report Day 26 March 2009

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