What can I tell you about Washington Metropolitan High School, the school where I’m settling in? It’s a work in progress. DC Met, to use its nickname, is going through a lot of changes. The school moved into its new home near Howard University over the summer, and it’s not completely put together yet. I have a small office, but it’s currently filled with furniture that I hope is destined for elsewhere. Meanwhile I do have plenty of room in what will become the media center to do the work I need to do. For the time being I’m still pretty much mobile, doing everything from my PMC-issued laptop, but that will change once I get started and need to work with students.
Media librarian Kalah Bell and I met with the principal and vice principal last week to talk about our plans for the media education I’ll be doing. Thankfully, Ms. Williams-Minor (the principal) and Mr. Peterson saw eye to eye with us on how we’d like to handle it. As I blogged about earlier, the principal had suggested that we deliver a video morning announcements via a closed-circuit TV system. But she was fine with putting the videos that students produce online instead, and they’ll be viewed on projectors or Smart Boards in classrooms, possibly in English classes. This will save us the trouble of setting up a closed-circuit network, something I know nothing about, and it will be easier to share the videos students produce with the world outside the school.
I’ve been thinking about ways to do this. There’s SchoolTube, which I’ve mentioned before. But I’d like to find a way to share high-schoolers’ videos that would be more likely to get them in front of people who live in D.C. I’m afraid they’d just be buried on SchoolTube amid the contributions from all over the country.
Yesterday during our weekly PMC meeting, we put forth ideas for projects that we’ll collaborate on during the term of our fellowship. My idea won no adherents, but I didn’t do an especially good job of explaining it. I’d like us to be able to create a portal or site through which D.C. residents will be able to experience all of the content produced at our sites. It’s possible that the new PMC website some of the Fellows are now building will provide that opportunity. But it’s also likely to include a lot of content produced by Fellows, and material about the Corps itself, which I think might make the content produced by youth harder to find. So it would be nice if there were some sort of very stripped-down website or mobile app (or both) that would serve as a gallery of partner-produced content, and that would appeal directly to the D.C. resident. No knowledge of new media required, just quick and easy, and possibly installed on computers at libraries and community centers. Promoted directly to community members who might otherwise be unaware of what we’re doing. Building a website is one thing, but getting people to visit it and spend time on it is another.
Our website might end up serving this purpose well, but if not, I’d still like to see something like this take shape.