New Year, New Look at the Classroom

It’s a new year. If you already feel like you’ve sapped your inner think tank for inspiration, take a look at how these schools are using their creative juices for fresh new ways to use their displays.

The kids are back in the classroom and they’re restless. You need something to spice things up to capture their attention. After all, recent trends for classrooms indicate rethinking your classroom program results in renewed “creative juices.” Project-based learning is taking schools across the nation by storm with impressive results. Adopting change yields growth, so why maximize your video display’s potential by integrating a production program to your school

Don’t panic, there are numerous schools around the nation who have successfully implemented a new production program. Not only does it offer a wider repertoire for teachers, but students are actively engage in running this hands-on technology for game day. Let’s start with some stories of programs knocking it out of the park.


Crater and real-life experiences

Let’s start off with Crater High School out of Oregon. Their program has been running for a few years, and we’ve checked in to see how things are going. Mike Rogan is the teacher in charge of the effort. His students have enjoyed their time so much that “we have had graduates come back to help out on game days, and have paid them for their time and to help train the underclassmen. It’s great to see them return and share their experiences. They’ll talk about how colleges use the exact same equipment as us and how this is a career path these kids can follow if they want to. The kids themselves realize this is a marketable skill, which I love. It doesn’t get better than that.” For more on their story, visit the blog post here.

That brings up a valid point. These kids are training on equipment that the pros use. In the classroom, students frequently ask “when am I going to use this knowledge?” If they’d like to sink their teeth into a career behind the controls while watching their favorite team every game day, look no further.


Texas and teamwork

Ryan Carrington of Crosby Independent School District is in his third year of teaching. His program started with a humble beginning and has grown exponentially. His students took a field trip to see the Astros to pick up some tips and learn different methods used in operations rooms.

“Inside the operations center,” Carrington said, “it gave students a better understanding of the game and which graphics to use with what’s happening on the field. Oftentimes, my students aren’t athletes themselves, so they really are learning about the sport itself and how to run the equipment, as well.

“We do have a few athletes in the class now, and they help teach the non-athletes about the game, while the reverse is true regarding the equipment. It’s great to see them trying to learn from each other.” It’s all about teamwork and everyone pitching in to make game day efforts successful. Read more about their experience here.


Porter County’s production process

When you’re ready to launch your new program, where do you begin? We talked to Bob Phelps, Porter County Career Center’s Technical Education instructor. “The students learn the basics of video production, and that includes framing, video and editing. They learn how to piece the information together to tell a story,” Phelps explained.


But that’s not all they do. Students have soaked up knowledge like sponges and put it into practical applications. “The students produce a television show called ‘On the Road’ where they highlight things to do in Northwest Indiana, including Popcorn Fest, Amhurst Asylum in Valparaiso and the Art Barn,” Phelps continued. “Our productions go on a variety of outlets, including YouTube and a streaming service called Cube. We’re also active on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.” In today’s day and age of social media, it is crucial to connect with fans across the board. For a peek into the class’s methods, read more here.


A win-win for teachers and students alike

We’ve heard about the benefits for students, but what take do staff members have on creating a new program? Is it worth the effort? We talked to Joe Eisenhuth, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of North High School in Eau Claire, to see if the juice is worth the squeeze.

Eisenhuth remarked, “Giving these students these hands-on experiences that mirror the skills used in the media industry careers might be the best aspect of this partnership.” From one happy customer to another, this message resounds across the board. Give the kids a chance to prove what they’re capable of and they’ll rise to the challenge.

Hear more about their experience here.


You’re not in this alone

As we mentioned earlier, we’ve been keeping tabs on Crater for a few years now. Looking back to one of our first conversations, Alex Barret, a Daktronics Sports Marketing team member, had this to say about the new program’s set up.

“Why not help students get all the experience they can?” Barrett said. “I’m excited to see where this goes. This is what Daktronics Sports Marketing is here for, to show schools the possibilities out there. It’s the same equipment from the high school level all the way up to the NFL. It’s so much more than just a video board; it’s education, it’s life skills, it’s community and maybe even a career one day.” A little elbow grease can yield a well-rounded education and bountiful opportunities. See what else Alex had to say here and learn more about Daktronics Sports Marketing.


Resources galore

Finally, if you’d like an outside community to bounce ideas off of or to learn through their experiences and tips, check out these available resources. We think you’ll find them to be very helpful:


Good luck with your new program initiative!


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