Hey 5th grader...Want a job in media?
Today, I saw the future. And they were 11-year-old boys in t-shirts and girls in pig tails.
I visited Vincent Farm Elementary School, north of Baltimore city in White Marsh, for a career day presentation where I hoped to persuade 5th graders to become journalists. But I wasn't prepared for what I saw: 4th and 5th graders every morning put on a live video broadcast for the entire school where they share news and event information.
In the studios of WVFE (Vincent Farm Elementary...haha!), the three-year-old school has multiple video cameras, a "green room" which makes it easy to overlay background images on video, and a production booth with mixing equipment for audio and video.
Best of all -- the 5th graders were teaching the 4th graders how to produce the morning show. There were two adults supervising them, but many of these kids knew what they were doing and they were coaching their peers. They had wireless headsets to communicate between the studio and the production room. It was one student's job to count down to the live broadcast, beamed to every classroom: 5-4-3-2-1
This is the generation of digital natives. I told them a story of how, when I was their age, if I was out somewhere and wanted to call my mom, I needed to have a pocketful of dimes to use in a payphone.
They had never used a payphone.
As for me, I think the kids liked my talk. But I think the cop, the paramedics, the two guys from Geek Squad, and the Chick-Fil-A marketing guy were bigger hits with them.
Although, I was completely impressed when one 5th grade girl told me she watches "AutoTune the News" on Youtube. She'll either be a journalist -- or a Youtube star one day, I'm sure.
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