The annual Ohio Educational Technology Conference [OETC] strives to challenge, inform and inspire educators through the use of educational technology.
The Conference is the nation’s third largest state educational technology conference, and is attended by more than 6,500 educators and innovators. For this three day event, twelve students from the broadcast journalism and video productions classes of North Canton Hoover High School traveled to Columbus.
Hoover senior and broadcast student, Anthony Massa, said his favorite part of the conference was how it represented a real-world application of broadcast journalism.
“I knew going into OETC it was going to be a great learning experience, but the opportunities School Video News offered to us within the conference were so much more than that. It’s one thing to do stuff at school everyday, but actually getting to go out and cover events at OETC was something totally different because it was branching out past our community,” he said.
With a real world experience comes real world obstacles: long hours and deadlines. The three days were filled with filming interviews, creating packages, and recording voice-overs produced by the students in very limited amounts of time. Senior Mckenna Petree, a Video Productions student, felt this was the most challenging aspect of OETC.
“Although it could get quite overwhelming, it was a great opportunity to have to work at such a quick pace. The day started around seven in the morning where we would meet with our producers and plan our days which didn’t end until around seven that evening. It was crazy busy and stressful but seeing the finished product made it all worthwhile,” she said.
From educators to vendors to keynote speakers, the staff had a wide variety of options of which they could choose to cover. Junior broadcast student, Hayley Fatzinger, explained how although this was beneficial, it at times added to the chaos.
“Learning to break things down took some getting used to. We didn’t have any time to waste, so you had to be certain what you were taking on was going to be beneficial to the project,” she said. “However, the people we interacted with made it easy because they are so passionate about what they do. It was incredible to be given the opportunity to help them share that.”
Massa agrees. “Being in charge of interviewing vendors, I had to decide which were the most diverse and beneficial to my package because I could only do so many,” he said.
The students were also presenters at the conference. They, along with their teachers, discussed their latest show added to their channel, Storytellers. The attendees of this session were educators from all over seeking advice on how to start programs similar to North Canton’s within their own schools.
“I thought it was very beneficial to be able to tell teachers from other schools what they can do, even it it’s on a smaller scale, if they are interested in starting a video news show. It was amazing to see teachers from elementary schools asking about how to start something like that, and I was glad to be able to share my insight on how teachers could help students get involved in something I find very rewarding,” Fatzinger said.
Despite any obstacles, at the end of the three days spent in Columbus, the staff successfully completed their projects. “Our days were hectic and stressful, but in the end I think all of the packages turned out really well. It was very important to us to be proud of what we’re putting out there and I think we did just that,” Petree said.
Fatzinger agrees that it was very fulfilling to see all they accomplished during their time at the conference.
“I definitely think we portrayed the messages we set out to in our final packages, and to be given the responsibility to do so as high school students was amazing,” she said. “An experience like what SVN gave us at OETC gives us insight on whether or not this is what we really want to do with our lives. I am very proud to be a part of such a program and there’s no other way to describe it than an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.”
Jamie Landers is a junior at Hoover High school. She is involved with the school Newspaper, The Viking Views, and her school’s broadcast class, HVTV News. Aside from academics, she participates in the vocal music department, theater, agape girls, a mentorship program with middle schools girls, and is in charge of media relations for Hoover's French Club. Jamie hopes to attend The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.