Making news today: content creation in the classroom
The continued development of software such as iMovie and GarageBand has given young people the tools to become content creators. The proliferation of Internet sites such as YouTube and MySpace have provided publishing vehicles where they can now contribute their content and communicate with their peers around the world. Social commentators and educational researchers are suggesting there is a growing divide between how these digital natives spend their leisure time creating and sharing media and the void of such activities in educational settings. It is argued that learning is, in fact, taking place for young people in this informal environment. But, how can we formalise this learning and close this purported growing divide between the social and educational environments? This paper reports on a research study that was initiated in the early days of iMovie and at a time before YouTube and MySpace. This project has been a collaborative effort of university-based academics and high schools teachers, supported by Apple Computers Australia and WIN Television, to design and implement an educational program in which students analyse media and create and share digital video news. This paper describes this educational program in which students create, contribute and communicate, and the research investigation that is being undertaken to understand the teaching and learning outcomes of the program.