This is a story about the third grade dual language classroom teachers learning to utilize video news broadcasts to enhance their classrooms academic learning model while creating new meaning to historical text. This takes place at the Hollister Dual Language Academy in Hollister Unified School District. It is important because building media literacy prepares our students for higher education as well as productive members of their communities as well as society. This will also provide a model for building sustainable media arts programs that do not require special program administration but build capacity on campus for continued implementation. The program’s success has been led utilizing the arts integration pedagogy known as A.C.T.O.S, which provides guidance for building intrinsic motivated student led learning environments. This approach is also built on immersive learning environments, which provides engaging visual hands-on lessons geared toward our Dual Language Learners.
This project has just created its first live broad cast on the topic of Cesar Chavez. There were two planning sessions with four 3rd grade level teachers.
Hollister is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Central California subregion. Primarily a small residential town, Hollister is the closest rural community to Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara County. The Hollister School District is a Title 1 district with a large population of English Language Learners. 89% Latino, with 527 students enrolled. The town of Hollister has a population of 36,901.
In late 2017 teacher and local education leader Victoria Valadez from the Dual Language Academy, a Hollister School District school, attended one of the Monterey County Office MCAET Talks. It was here where she learned of the Arts Media and Entertainment field and received a brief introductionto A.C.T.O.S pedagogy. Emiliano Valdez, Professional Developer and AME Credentialed Teacher. During the later part of 2017, Emiliano was still working on a module for the California County Superintendent Education Services Association program Creativity at the Core.
After being a participant in a MCAET Talks episode in 2016, where Victoria Valadez first encountered the A.C.T.O.S. pedagogy. Click here for an overview of the pedagogy. Victoria began planning with Emiliano Valdez to create a teacher-driven model of the already popular ACTOS in Action Broadcast News in the Classroom, a program designed to integrate digital media arts practices and projects into the academic curriculum for English/Spanish classrooms. The program was adapted to include a dual language classroom with English/Spanish teachers directing the news segments and technically supervising the news film crew comprised of students. The first Phase of implementation was executed at the end of 2017-18, which focused on teacher’s grasp of the technical elements in the classroom. The second Phase will be executed in late September of 2018-19, where teachers will learn to utilize editing software to complete productions.
The Dual Language Academy 3rd Grade teaching staff have grown great proficiency in the technical elements of a digital media infused classroom and have expressed interest in a year two of the program, which we are currently developing. Three News Casts were filmed in Phase I in both English and Spanish, featuring the first student groups to begin the project. You may see samples here: Video Sample #1 and Video Sample #2.
Students have show an increased desire to deliver the news style recitations in front of the camera, which has influenced their comfort ability to speak in class and practice their presentations before a live audience while in the news room atmosphere. Teachers have reported that student’s confidence levels over all subjects have seen an increase since the implementation of these lessons. Both myself as artist lead and the teachers would like additional planning and extended implementation sessions. We will be seeking additional funding through local Arts organizations and other grant avenues to bolster these key first steps.
Why It Matters
Research shows that students who drive and actively participate in their learning are engaged in their future. Our brand of programming and committed partnerships within our own learning communities created a sense of value in these students. These student’s successes and their newly found digital voices have birthed and spawned sustainable programming throughout a rural community. Both the Elementary School and the Media Arts Educational Department within the county has seen tremendous growth and success with its original arts integration approach expanding across multiple districts and counties. The program offers a natural bridge between the digital world where our students are daily citizens and the arts education and integration efforts of our states educational goals. Thus, the program allows us all to take the stage, claim our voice, and create our future. All stakeholders involved experienced success and carved a pathway towards a true 21st century education.