Now hear and see'this'

The reasons students get involved vary, said Connelley. Some enjoy working with the technology while others envision a future in broadcast news.

The entire operation is almost entirely student run. Connelley and Jim Smith, his fellow advisor and a social studies teacher, show up early to load slides and set up some equipment, but once the students show up they're doing to reading, adjusting sound levels and switching cameras all on their own.

The advisors are there for support, but they like to stay out of the way and let the students take the lead.

"Just sort of being chaperons is our ultimate goal," said Connelley.

It's always a whirlwind operation, though, due to the limited time students and staff have to prepare. From when the studio is opened to sign off, as few as 15 minutes might pass. The slides used during the announcements are posted to the district's Web site so parents can keep up to date on the happenings at the school. There are hopes to eventually post the video from each broadcast.

Use of the studio isn't limited to the announcements. Students can use the equipment for video editing projects and guest speakers or administrators can use the system to address multiple classrooms quickly instead of pulling students out of class for an assembly.

"They can come down here and see the whole school in minutes," Smith said.

The equipment was entirely paid for outside of the district's operating budget through grants from Time Warner and Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited.


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