Creating Content

JPS Students Explore Video Through iPads

The Jamestown Public Schools District recently began implementing a mechanical device called “Padcaster” to enhance video on iPads that are used in school. The district only recently received the devices, but Washington Middle School students are already using them to record morning announcements and middle school basketball games. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

Jamestown Public Schools is using iPads to not only consume content, but to create a product too.

Each month, Washington Middle School students interview a staff member to introduce over the morning announcements. This week, two of Danielle Ellis’ students interviewed a fellow Washington teacher with an iPad using a Padcaster device that helps mimic professional video audio. With three additional microphones and a mobile stand, the iPad can be used for various purposes.

Jason Kathman, JPS technology integration specialist, said the Padcaster devices were only recently ordered yet teachers have already signed them out, like Ellis.

“One of the great things I like about it is the idea that people are now using the iPad for creating content more than just consuming it,” he said.

Kathman noted that the iPad and the new device can potentially even be used to video record lessons for students who are absent and upload instruction online. The devices can be used for any public speaking event or for students tasked with conducting an interview. The district is already using the combined devices to interview teachers at Washington and record basketball games.

“It’s pretty limitless to what we can do,” Kathman said.

Inside Washington on Wednesday, Ellis and her two seventh-grade students Alex Lozada and Brenna Phelix interviewed Jennifer Lachajczyk, sixth grade teacher. Ellis said the interviews are in association with a “staff of the month” contest that was created last year. However this year, Ellis said the video component was added into the mix.

Now, her students are interviewing a range of teachers throughout the school to introduce them to the rest of the building. The students create their own questions to ask each teacher. Each interview is aired on the morning announcements.

“A lot of kids didn’t know some of the teachers,” Ellis said as the inspiration of broadcasting the interviews.

The program is not an official course, but is in association with the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program, also known as the PBIS program.

“A lot of kids have loved the teacher videos,” Ellis said. “They get to know more about their teacher and my students and I come up with these fun questions ask them. They think it’s a lot of fun.”

Ellis hopes the Padcaster can be used to promote more games and general events around the school.

Kathman said three of the five devices are already being used with little promotion, and with a plethora of uses for the devices he was confident more teachers will be reaching out.

“I have no doubt they’ll be in more classrooms,” Kathman said.