DigiKids Deliver the News

20120111-165629.jpgThe staff is on deadline. Photos are needed, copy is being edited and designs need tweaking. There is a frenetic energy that feels like a newsroom.

It’s not, exactly.

It’s the computer lab at Clive Elementary, where about 12 fourth, fifth and sixth graders are working to put together the news of their school.

The activity is called DigiKids. Each Wednesday after school the students determine assignments, interview school staff or their classmates, write copy and take photos. They then design PowerPoint slides with the information in brief news chunks. They recently began incorporating video clips of events and interviews.

All the news they collect is broadcast on a big screen TV in the school’s lobby for staff, students and visitors.

It may not be CNN, but these students are serious about the news they deliver.

On this Wednesday, Elea is concerned that the clip she just shot is not going to download. A group of DigiKids next to her is in a deep discussion about what photos should be used for the Clive Open House slide.

Adviser Ms. Rayner is bombarded with questions, which she calmly addressed with just enough humor to keep the room of young journalists on task and having fun. A Title 1 math teacher by day, she has been supervising DigiKids for about four years. It is a program that provides the kids an 20120111-165943.jpgextra learning opportunity for writing, technology, graphic design, communications skills and more.

Why sign up for all this work when you could be playing at home on an early out day?

“I like working with the computers and learning the technology,” said Ari. “I also get to learn more about what is going on in our school.”

Next week’s assignment? Shooting the sixth graders set off volcano eruptions in science. Should make for good footage.