Computer Projects for Middle School: Current Events Show

Organizing Current Events Show

Middle school students generally love to use any technology available. Some students are quite savvy and can make professional looking products, while others will struggle. However, this project is a fun way to integrate technology in the classroom. In addition to using technology, students will need to research and to report current news to their fellow classmates.

Current Events News Show

The news show should include current events. Students should include at least three segments and no more than five segments. For a three segment show, the choices are as follows:

Choose two:

  • national news
  • state news
  • local news
  • school news

Choose one:

  • book review
  • question of the week for math, social studies, science, or language arts
  • review of video games, movies, music, etc.

Technology Needed

In order to complete this technology project, students can complete the whole news show on a computer that has an internal camera and a digital video editing program. However, when working with a room full of excited students, it is best if the teacher has the following available :

  • 1-4 video cameras (These cameras will need to be hooked up to a computer. If using Macs, the digital cameras are very easy to use and download video. However, video cameras with tapes can also be used with a firewire cable.)
  • iMovie (video editing on the computer)
  • a digital video projector

Note: I have students make video programs on a regular basis in my classroom. I highly recommend iMovie. There are more sophisticated editing programs out there. However, what I like about iMovie is that there are video tutorials and everything you do seems to be intuitive. Students can sit down at the computer and with a five minute explanation can start editing their video clips right away. Shows can be projected on a screen instead of having students crowd around a small computer screen. Complete news shows can be burned on a DVD so that parents can see final products.

Group Organization

Students will need to be placed in cooperative groups of 3-5 students. As with all groups, each person in the group needs to have a job or a task to complete. These are the following tasks:

  • 1-3 students can be an anchor or reporter
  • 1-2 students can edit the show on the computer
  • 1 person can be the camera person
  • All will help organize and write segments of the news show

Once groups are formed, students need to appoint a leader of the group. The leader needs to keep the students moving in the right direction. The group needs to complete the following tasks:

  1. Make a name for the news show
  2. Decide what segments will be included in the show and in what order
  3. Complete research for the segments
  4. Write what will be said during each segment
  5. Decide who will talk on camera, who will tape, and who will edit the show
  6. Practice going through the whole show without cameras
  7. Tape the segments
  8. Down load video clips of the segments, make titles, add music and edit the show
  9. Prepare the show to be viewed by the teacher and class

News Show Assessment

It is best when students are assessed individually and as a group when working in cooperative learning groups. The teacher can assess the students’ individual tasks for one grade. In addition, the teacher can assess the group’s show as a whole with a rubric. Example criteria for the rubric are as follows: content, teamwork, presentation skills, organization of show, and video editing.