HOME, Inc., a Media Literacy non-profit organization, in partnership with Young Achievers Science and Mathematics School provides a full-time Media Lab Instructor to teach uniquely designed Media Arts classes for 4th through 8th grade. One of the keys to our success is student centered individualized learning, where all learning starts with what the student knows. It is asset based and is flexible allowing for the greatest opportunity for students to grasp large concepts, find their own perspective on a subject or challenge and apply what they know to real world problem solving.
Students at Young Achievers learn the nuts and bolts of digital media from making posters in PowerPoint, learning Garage Band, navigating the internet and learning how to use it as a research tool. By mid-year they are ready to create commercial or public service announcements. By producing a commercial or PSA they learn how write a script, storyboard their shoot, shoot their work on a Flip-Cam, and edit the final piece in iMovie.
In the spring of 2011, the Media Arts class focused on constructing a news website with topics pertinent to the community we are building at Young Achievers. Students were asked about their deepest concerns and which topics around the Young Achievers community matter most to them.
Below is a narrowed-down list of topics the students are passionate about.
- Student government
- Providing a sense of humor through Media
- Technology at our school
- School Uniforms
- Field Trips
- The Tsunami in Japan
- School Sports
- End-Of-The-Year Field Trip
- New and Upcoming Films
The 7th and 8th Grade Media Arts students chose these topics as Young Achievers journalists and learned to look at a story from every side, an overarching facet of News Media. Our web based platform allowed students and teachers to access learning at any time and anywhere they have access to the internet. This provided a great level of flexibility to accommodate students and allows teachers to manage learning opportunities anytime and anywhere they choose. As we build a unique, caring, and diverse community on the summit of Wellington Hill, the students need to know that they hold the power to create change, and we have already begun our steps in the direction of an amazing community.