AES Provides Multimedia Opportunities for DeKalb Central Students
By Chris Schweitzer, General Manager, AES
We all know that one of the best ways to learn something is by doing it.
That’s exactly what AES set out to do through our partnership with DeKalb Central Schools and, specifically, BaronTV (BTV).
While AES has supported student broadcasting efforts for some time, we formalized it this past year through our support of the high school’s multimedia education and internship program.
“The opportunity to produce content that goes on the public television network is incredible,” says Jed Freels, Multimedia Education teacher at DeKalb High School. “Our students provide programming from 5-9 p.m. every day. They are learning every skill it takes to produce a broadcast. It’s been exciting for them to see that what they are doing is real and being viewed by our community.”
Junior Eva Hallman agrees: “Not many people have the opportunity to get firsthand experience of what they want to do while still in high school. I fell in love with anchoring, and now I’m looking at colleges for broadcasting,” she shares. “BTV and AES have helped me find and pursue my passion while still in high school.”
Cross-training produces quality programming and better student experience
Eva is one of 40 students at the high school taking a BTV class or participating in the internship program. Student positions include anchors, writers, video editors, producers, tech engineers, camera operators and sound/music engineers. While students serve in primary roles, they all cross-train to learn more of the skills needed to create a broadcast from beginning to end. For example, Eva serves as a lead anchor but she’s also learning how to run the prompter and edit video.
“We’ve designed the program so that each person learns multiple roles and tasks,” says Jed. “It shows them all that is involved in producing a segment and how you rely on every role—writers, camera operators, teleprompter controllers, etc. All are parts of the puzzle and each piece is needed to do it well.”
Jed says this approach has helped the students work well together and also be focused on ways to improve and provide quality programming.
Community benefits from partnership
The students aren’t the only ones benefiting from this partnership. AES and our viewers benefit from the regular community programming. Choir performances, games, school board meetings, band concerts, theater performances and more are all aired online and on AES Channels 10 & 22, thanks to the BTV crew.
What’s good for the school is good for the community—and vice versa. This partnership illustrates that firsthand. AES is privileged to be a small part of the high school’s vision for its students’ educational experience.
“This partnership is the best of both worlds,” says Steven Teders, Superintendent of DeKalb Central Schools. “It allows us to provide technical career education, and AES receives regular programming that showcases this community. It’s amazing to have that opportunity for everyone.”
We’re excited about this renewed and expanded partnership with DeKalb High School. It has a lot of potential for growth. But we are most encouraged by the impact and contribution to our local students’ professional development, and our subscribers’ access to unique and authentic local content.
Check out the BTV crew on the AES YCN channel.