Friday, February 9, 2018

Daily Announcements At OHE - Figuring It Out!

This year, our OHE principal, Mr. Labatte, asked if I would begin recording and managing the morning announcements each day. This is a daily offering in most schools, so it isn't breaking new ground. Video announcements are an excellent way to make all school announcements, kick off each school day, give students an opportunity to shine (and record with green screen!) and help set the tone in the school. 

Being responsible for the school announcements is a time consuming task that almost everyone takes for granted as part of their elementary school landscape. So for everyone affiliated with a school, make sure to thank the adult responsible for the school announcements. There is much behind the scene work they are doing to bring it to your school! For my part, I am regularly thanked by our principal and staff. In addition, Mr. Labatte already had the technology (Touchcast & green screen) ready to go, the work flow figured out when I took it over.

Our special features are Staff Book Talk (which is everyone on staff including kitchen staff, clerical, & custodians etc) & twice a month we do a Student Shout Out (that Mr. Labatte announces and records). We also have special announcements like the upcoming Book Fair and such. Many of the special feature announcements & the daily weather are recorded in the "start from scratch" screen in Touchcast and then imported into the news recording.

Mrs. Burkle, our media clerk, produces a script for each day of the week in 5 separate Notes on the iPad (so she can save and use them each week) and then just cut and paste them into the TS teleprompter.  I bookmarked the district lunch menu and Accuweather (a screenshot for use with the green screen), each with a shortcut on the iPad homepage near the Touchcast app.  After cutting and pasting the menu from the district menu into the script in Notes, we are ready to go!

Inline image 1

Each day after the students record the morning announcements, I edit the recording, cutting in the weather recording and the Pledge of Allegiance.  I then export the video to the iPad camera roll and import it into iMovie. Here I turn up the sound as student voices are often too quiet to be heard when being played back in our classrooms. Once this step is done this step, I upload it to our OHE NEWS Youtube channel.  Having it in Youtube is great because it gives our teachers the flexibility to access and share the announcements when it works into their daily schedule.

There are many moving parts to make it all come together. Student schedules for availability, a quiet location for the recording, and student reading ability all play a part in the behind the scenes details of recording the news. Happily the end product is great for our school and for our students!