Community access video workshops available for local teachers

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Don’t just watch TV, make it! Two teachers at Gavilan took that
phrase to heart.
Don’t just watch TV, make it! Two teachers at Gavilan took that phrase to heart. As part of their joint communications / poly sci class, Denise Besson-Silva and Marc Turetzky worked with CMAP to train their students in how to make public service announcements. The class of about 20 students were given an orientation and producer’s workshop by CMAP staff. They were also “certified” through a day of training in using CMAP’s Canon GL1 digital videocameras to videotape their PSAs. The result? Seven student produced public service announcements to air on the access channels.

Students were able to check out our six Canon 3-chip videocameras and shoot footage for the PSAs both on and off campus. Students worked from a “storyboard” or shot sheet, that detailed what types of images and audio would be a part of the video.

One group tackled the topic of homelessness, using one of their own as a “model.” A student stood on the street, with cardboard sign in hand, asking for money. The PSA is meant to bring awareness of the homeless problem in our community, and hopefully stimulate dialogue in finding solutions for such issues.

Another group produced a piece reminding people to wear their seatbelts. The images they chose (mostly off the Internet) are more shocking than those you would see on mainstream television. The group wanted to bring the point home, and use shock value to remind people to buckle up.

“Gavilan is a learning community. We saw an opportunity to build a bridge between the poly sci and communications class, as well as an opportunity to partner with CMAP as a resource for students,” instructor Denise Besson-Silva explained. “The idea was to utilize a communication medium, television, to teach students how to effectively express political views and opinions.”

Other topics covered in the PSAs are underage drinking, reading to your kids, drinking and driving, littering and drug use. The PSAs will begin airing on CMAP’s channels in the coming weeks.

The students were enthused by the project, and enjoyed using tools like videocameras and editing suites for a class project. Both Besson and Turetzky plan on continuing the project next semester with another class. With the video training under their belts, perhaps we’ll see some of these students returning to produce public access shows!

Because CMAP serves the educational community in Gilroy, Hollister and San Juan Bautista, other schools can take advantage of this opportunity as well. CMAP offers curriculum bundles for teachers who want to get “certified” in CMAP’s equipment, and then train their students in the equipment for the purposes of producing educational videos for Channel 19, ED-TV.

Videos can be as simple as a 30-second PSA, or a one-hour student produced talk show. Teachers can also take advantage of CMAP’s free regular video workshops that are scheduled on a monthly basis.

As resources allow, CMAP staff can also customize training for any classroom project that involves video. I would encourage teachers to give us a call if they’re interested in utilizing video in a classroom setting. We can help!