Our journey to Louisville, Indianapolis, and Chicago wrapped up with a post-trip breakdown session, where we reviewed some of what worked, and some of what could have been better. Teachers also talked about what part of the experience will be helpful in their broadcast classrooms this fall.
One journey leads to the next. From getting off of a motor coach and finding a story away from your normal surroundings, to teaching students to look around, talk to strangers, and come up with a focus, the mobile journalism technique is invaluable. It also fits with the technique we have never strayed from at our workshops since the summer of 2000---"Teacher as student."
We take you back to the days when you were in that chair, listening and watching others bring lessons and tips, and then finding yourself incorporating those approaches in a realistic assignment, usually that very afternoon.
When you start thinking about your broadcast classes this fall, and how you can make them better, or different, or just a little more meaningful, think about the bus tour, or mobile approach. You don't have to actually get on a motor coach and cross the country. Instead, how about meeting up at the county fair, the fall festival, or driving to a unique town a few miles away where you know there are lots of great stories?
Taking students into those situations, where they have a finite amount of time to find and shoot a piece, relying on one another in the field, and then turning it all into a show you share with your viewers....it is a rewarding experience. If they are afraid to approach strangers, or go see about "that thing over there," then maybe the kids are getting away with softball stories that offer few challenges. Are they? Only you, or they, can answer that.
Have a great school year.