Introducing Raider Student Network

By Stephanie Sanchez, Communications Specialist, PreK3-12

Students are thinking like real-world television producers in the all-new Broadcasting course offered to Middle School students.

"It gives students a way to visually tell stories," said Mrs. Cristina Salup, who is spearheading the Broadcasting curriculum. "Students are constantly telling stories on social media, but in my class they're taught how to effectively represent their stories."

Salup's students have a big task ahead of them every day: they are responsible for the full-scale production of Raider Student Network (RSN). The in-house, student-centered television program delivers campus news that is relevant to Middle School, showcases student achievements, highlights sports and shares important announcements.

Broadcasting courses are open to students in grades 6-8 as electives, after they successfully complete Computer Technology. Salup, who has a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications, has professional experience in the television industry.

The courses focus on leadership and management of the broadcast production process, rather than on the final product and equipment operation. Students gain technical skills by using the TriCaster Mini, editing video in Adobe Premiere Pro and operating cameras and teleprompters. Just as importantly, they're also mastering the art of responsible journalism. "My classes dive into the rules of good digital citizenship, copyright and fair-use laws," Salup explained. "They'll also develop critical thinking skills when they storyboard. They need to identify who their audience is, decide what's appropriate for that audience, research the subject they're presenting and learn to write for television – which is much different than writing a paper.

Not only do Broadcasting students have the opportunity to be news directors for their own station, they also meet professionals actively working in the field. Francisco Caballero, Manager of Technical Operations for Univision; Rachel Alves de Lima, a "Today Show" producer; and WSVN reporter and anchor Ann Keil '02, a Gulliver alum, are all expected to make classroom visits this year.

"My favorite part is how hands-on these courses are," Salup said. "It's what we want it to be, and each student interprets it differently. Students learn teamwork and flexibility. If equipment isn't working you need to adjust and work around the issue."

Raider Student Network connects students' Lower School learning and experience putting together the "Early Bird Broadcast" with the full-scale production that is RaiderVision at the Preparatory level. "We have amazing students and a wonderful set of teachers who are guiding them to accomplish such incredible things," Salup says. "I want Middle Schoolers to shine, and this is the perfect outlet to announce all that they're doing."