Temple Times Online Edition
    FEBRUARY 24, 2005
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MediaSmart Seminars help educators harness media technology

Along with the three R's, many schools have added a V to their curriculum: video production classes. When they were first introduced in the 1970s, the concept of kids making movies in school was considered to have marginal educational value. Today, video production classes using high-quality equipment are a common feature in most area high schools and attract academically talented youth. In some communities, the programs they produce are aired on school TV networks or local cable community access stations.  

Beginning next month, area educators from kindergarten to college will come to Temple's Center City campus for the first in a series of MediaSmart seminars that will explore strategies for effectively integrating media and technology as tools for communication, problem-solving and creativity.

On Wednesday, March 9, Jeff Benton, director of the communication program at Springfield High School (Delaware County), will focus on "High School Video Production: Then and Now."   The program which is free and open to the public begins at 3:30 p.m. at Temple's Center City campus, 1515 Market St.  

"Video production classes in secondary schools have not generally been examined by scholars in media studies or education," says Renee Hobbs, associate professor of communication at Temple and director of the MediaSmart Seminars. "High school teachers see real benefits from giving teens the chance to become "authors" using media and technology tools.   But these courses bring with them special challenges as well as benefits, which will be addressed in the program."

Sponsored by Temple University's School of Communications and Theater, MediaSmart Seminars are an ongoing series of free public events promoting networking and professional growth for K-12 and college educators, students, and individuals in nonprofit, social service and community organizations in the metro Philadelphia area. The seminars showcase the work of innovative local programs that help children and youth develop critical thinking and communication skills through the use of media and technology.

For the complete schedule of MediaSmart seminars, visit http://mediasmartphilly.com

For more information, contact professor Renee Hobbs at 215-204-4291.