By Cody Brazil
Potomac State College took the classic phrase “start them young” very seriously when they invited students from Christian Home Educators of Hampshire County in for a demonstration of journalism technology.
The young members of CHEHC were amazed from the start when a “robot” rolled into the classroom with Dr. Charles Julian’s face on the screen. The students could not imagine where he was or how he was able to talk to them as if he were in the room with them.
After learning about different cameras, students had the opportunity to handle the technology.
They learned that GoPros are used to capture footage in potentially dangerous areas and that GoPros can withstand outdoor environments. The participants shot their own videos with a GoPro. Library staff member Nicholas Gardner assisted them with shooting their videos and with teaching them how to edit their footage.
The students also learned about green screens and how to position themselves in front one. With the assistance of library staff members Virginia Kline and David Miller, the students delivered stories while adapting to the changing backgrounds.
“It was neat to be somewhere where I really wasn’t,” said Jesse Michael, a seventh-grade member of CHEHC, about reporting using a green screen.
The students viewed virtual reality videos shot with 360 degree cameras, including a video that gave them the perspective that they were on top of the World Trade Center. They used a 360fly to understand how cameras capture video from many points of view.
“The virtual reality glasses were really interesting,” said Lindsey Allen, another member of CHECH.
“Journalism is an exciting, changing field. I hope the students left understanding the field is fun, creative, and uses neat gadgets for telling stories,” said PSC Journalism Professor Amber Butcher.
Butcher organized this event in an effort to give back to the community. She wanted them to leave with an understanding of the changing technologies that journalists use. Butcher hopes that she was able to inspire an interest in the field by letting the young participants work with some of the actual tools of the trade.