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November 19, 2019

10/31/2019 8:57:00 AM
Mineral Point School offers Pointer Media class
In today's society, especially in the news industry, it has been realized that students are becoming more and more engaged in the news that affects them. News is entailed with website updates, production, layout design, marketing and sales, and also branding.
At Mineral Point High School, a media class offers #PointerNation students the opportunity to not only view news, but to create it firsthand. This was able to happen, thanks to Mineral Point's Excellence in Education Foundation.
The Pointer Media Class is a project based course, and a student's grade is based on participation and projects.
Excited to see what Mineral Point's Pointer Media Class is up to, the Dodgeville Chronicle recently went to the district to see firsthand how students have been reporting their news.
Everyday starts with videotaping and editing the "Wake Up Mineral Point" news segment that is released in the morning. Students that help in this segment are Gabe Sporle, Noah Springer, Henry Dailey, Mallory Lindsey, Ella Chambers, Isaac Lindsey, Griffin Albaugh, and Sadie Owens.
This three minute news segment features sports news, "Word of the Day," birthday shoutouts, the day's lunch menu, and also extracurricular club announcements. These are posted everyday on the Pointer Media Website.
There are over 40 videos that have been posted since the class's beginning.
Students are also learning how to write articles for the website, take and edit photographs for school and athletic events, interviews for news segments, and also sell advertisements for the school's yearbook.
This is the first year that the Pointer Media Class has been offered, and staff members have seen great strides in the students that are signed up for the class.
"The biggest thing is that there are opportunities for kids that they haven't had before," Principal Matt Austin said. "It's great to see these guys work together and produce something. They know what a time frame is, what a deadline is and how they have to get something put together in a matter of an hour."
Austin added that day one, there were students making the "Wake Up Mineral Point" segment right at the computer, and it has integrated into the video production being in front of a green screen.
There was a lot of interest to put this class together, and staff members were able to travel to Brodhead a school that also offers a media class.
Library Media Specialist Kris McCoy also added that Pointer Media was able to acquire the green screen, video camera and microphone through donations. The district also received a grant from the Excellence in Education Endowment fund that allowed them to acquire additional cameras, another microphone, and a teleprompter.
"One of our motivations was that we wanted to see what we can do as a school to move our kids from consumers of information to creators," McCoy said. "It's about pushing these skills and no matter what field a student goes in, these are transferable skills."
Kristen Staver said that the Pointer Media Class used to just be the yearbook class.
"There were just so many things to do, but just not enough computers," Staver said.
Leslie McCaulley is the middle school art teacher and is able to do graphic design, a necessary component for layout. Staver and McCaulley put their heads together and felt it would be a great start for students to help with the middle school yearbook; and work their way up.
Staver also added that McCoy and her were at a reading convention and felt that students want to create content.
"They enjoy producing it," Staver said. "It's much more fun than getting the lesson and teaching it."
Staver also pointed out that a former student of MPHS attends UW-Milwaukee interviewed for a sports marketing position, but it went to a candidate from a bigger school, with more social media opportunities.
"It made me think our kids have just as much talent, and they should be able to have those opportunities, even in rural schools like us where it's more challenging," Staver said.
Speaking of Social Media, "Blue Crew" is the social media platform for the class. "Blue Crew" is responsible for posting social media updates, filming athletic games, running time out music for games, and also come up with themes for the student section at athletic events
Dan Burreson, social studies teacher for MPHS, also helps with preparing the daily announcements along with providing guidance to the students on what stories need to be working on, along with ensuring that all components are going in the right direction.
"What's great about it is, we're giving the students the guidance, but the students are then taking care of it," Burreson said. "They're involved with putting everything together. They're delivering the content instead of receiving it and they're also learning that time management and working together are very important. It's amazing to see how much the students have grown throughout this whole thing."
More information about the class can be found by checking out

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