New Elective Explores Media and Communication

New Junior School Elective Explores Media and Communication
Posted on 10/29/2018
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Media and Comm Design students leading EdchatCreativity and communication have Lakota’s junior school students thinking about media in a whole new way. Media Design and Communication, a new English elective, gives students the opportunity to explore communication through a wide variety of tools and media. Students are also challenged to apply media and communication to real world learning.


Topics range from social media to podcasts to photography, videography and more. Student feedback has been very positive, many wishing it was a full year. The class encourages creativity and a willingness to learn about many topics students haven’t studied before. “I like that it stretches normal learning,” said Meredith Brown, a seventh-grader at Liberty Junior.


Classmate Maddie Henderson agrees. “I like all of the opportunities it gives us. It gives us a chance to explore things we’ve never tried before.” Students have also had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers about different professions.


Mike Murray from SpotOn Productions spoke to Moriah Walker’s classes at Liberty Junior. He was a big hit with seventh-grader Emily Fuller. “When professionals come and talk to us, it gives us inspiration about what we might want to do,” she said. “(Mr. Murray) had a dream as a kid and followed it. It inspired me that if there’s something I’m interested in, I could follow it and turn it into a career.”


Members of Walker’s class recently did something no other Lakota junior school student has done before: they hosted a #LakotaEdChat. The ed chats have become a staple for Lakota staff members on Wednesday evenings. What started as an opportunity for staff to come together and discuss different topics each week has grown to include participation from parents, community members and even students. While students hosting is not new, until now it has only been high school students facilitating the online discussions.


Walker had encouraged the students to follow along on ed chats during their social media unit. She offered the opportunity to her students to actually host one and several jumped at the chance. The group of about 11 students met over a three week period during their advisory time to create the topic and questions. “I asked them what they would like to talk to the Lakota community about, either to get their point of view across, or find out what teachers and parents think,” Walker explained. “They felt that we would be able to connect more with ‘Reducing Stress’ as an overall topic because this relates to both students and teachers.”


Maddie was excited to lead the chat. “I liked the thought of being the first kids (at Liberty Junior) to do it. Actually doing it gave me a whole new perspective.” She also enjoyed being able to talk to a wide-range of teachers. “I like it that teachers were able to see what we’re struggling with and what we need help with.”


Meredith agrees. “It gave me a sense of leadership. You’re stepping up and doing it.”


The group was shocked to see how many people participated in their chat, including Kate Law. “I was surprised to see some of my former teachers participating,” she noted. The group was especially excited to see Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria, tweet to the ed chat that he had been following along.


The district as a whole has been encouraging student and teacher voice. Over the past year, ed chats have been noticed at a local, state and even national level. Emily is happy that the adults are listening. “I like it that I actually have a voice and that the teachers and administrators are actually listening to us,” she said. “We’re talking about things that will make our school day better.”


The community is invited to participate, or just follow along, on Wednesday evenings. Search #LakotaEdChat at 8:00 p.m. to join the conversation. To view an archive of the Liberty Junior ed chat, click here. Pictured: Students in Moriah Walker's Media Design and Communication class hosted #LakotaEdChat on Oct. 10.