International Student Media Festival 2009 | Print |
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Every year, thousands of students in all grades across the country and internationally produce media for educational purposes, dramatic use, web publication, and classroom projects. These are often submitted for judging in local and state competitions. The best are then entered in the International Student Media Festival to vie for the Excellence in Media Production award. 

The 2009 International Student Media Festival was a big success. We received media projects from 4,374 students and their 461 media specialists/teachers. From over 1,100 entries submitted,  444 projects were named as Excellence in Media Production winners; 96 of those were selected as Judges’ Favorites; and 23 projects earned a Best of Festival designation. With the high-caliber of projects and that many talented student producers on our hands, we knew this year’s festival needed to be something extra special.  

The International Student Media Festival was held in Louisville, Kentucky at the historic Galt House Hotel and Suites, overlooking the Ohio River.  The activities commenced on Thursday, October 29th with a pre-festival field trip. Our “Taste of Kentucky” field trip began with a viewing of the KentuckyShow!, a multimedia presentation introducing Kentucky’s people, culture, history, music, and spirit. Next, attendees were whisked off to visit an American Saddlebred Horse Farm to see the gorgeous “weanlings” and have lunch at Claudia Sanders Dinner House (headquarters of the original KFC). This educational experience culminated at the Falls of the Ohio State Park. Attendees were able to tour the starting point of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition and look for fossils in the park’s 386-million-year-old fossil beds, which are among the largest, naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world.  We had a lot of happy folks at the end of the trip. 

We launched ISMF on Thursday evening with a “Tech-or-Treat” Meet & Greet party for all registrants. The party included a game show hosted by Promethean using their Interactive Whiteboard and ActivExpression remotes, a Scooby-Doo bouncy house, a creepy walk through Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, CANDY, games, and much more. It was one of the biggest festival kickoffs ever for ISMF! Also unveiled at the Meet & Greet was our new Viewing Café. Laptops provided by Apple displayed a menu of all winning media projects, and festival attendees were encouraged to browse at their leisure. The Viewing Café was popular throughout the festival.

Friday morning began with a fun, inspirational keynote presentation from Educational Technology Artist Roxana Hadad. As Director of Math, Science, and Technology at Northeastern Illinois University’s Chicago Teacher Center, Roxana designs, develops, and implements program services for Chicago-area students and teachers. She shared her belief that empowering students to take an active role in their education and community will help them become lifelong learners and civic participants.  ISMF attendees were encouraged to be brave. It takes courage to put your personal work out there for public view since creative endeavors are very personal expressions of who we are.  But it’s the sharing of our ideas and personal expressions that make us so valuable to life.

After the keynote address, students, parents, teachers, and media specialists attended their first day of workshops. This year, workshops were offered part of the day on both Friday and Saturday, giving the students time to absorb all they learned. This year’s topics included Garageband, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Photoshop Elements, Premier Elements, MIDI Magic, Scratch Interactives and more! Our Corporate Partners sponsored all of our workshops, and we couldn’t have done it without them. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Apple, Adobe, Promethean, and SoundTree for provisioning our workshops with presenters, software, and equipment.   

The Awards Ceremony, held Friday evening, was an exciting and student-centered celebration of Excellence in Media Production.  We altered the format this year in order to bestow personal recognition to each winning student media producer, in turn.  One by one, students and teachers traversed the stage under a large screen detailing the individual’s name, school, project title(s), and winning designation(s). They announced their names proudly into the microphone, were draped with a Festival medallion, handed a personalized certificate, and congratulated by members of the ISMF Steering Committee. Students also had the opportunity to pick up the trophies they would present to their schools back home.  Throughout the Awards Ceremony, door prizes donated by our Corporate Partners were randomly awarded to media producers. We thank Adobe and Studio eWorks for the great software. The 2009 ISMF Award Ceremony gave every winner a much-deserved chance to shine. The packed audience cheered until the last name was called!   

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Connelly and Mahnke Award winners. These annual awards are presented to the classroom teacher, media specialist, or technology specialist who was nominated by peers, parents, or students and is judged to have demonstrated the power of student-produced media. The steering committee had a difficult time selecting just two winners from the large pool of dedicated nominees.  This year’s winner of the John & Marilyn Connelly Award is long-time ISMF supporter Joan Goble from Cannelton Elementary School in Cannelton, Indiana.  Joan was truly surprised and humbled by this honor.  She was called on stage where she received a beautiful platter, donated by Winters Associates, and a check for $1,000. The 2009 Mahnke Award was presented to Susan Goins from Howard Middle School in Macon, GA. Susan gratefully accepted a plaque, donated by the ECT Foundation, and a check for $500.00. Both award winners are committed to the use of student-produced media in education and encourage students to produce media projects across a variety of disciplines. Congratulations Joan and Susan. We appreciate your dedication to teaching via media production!  

Our festival continued on Saturday. After two workshop sessions,  we wrapped up with a “Boo” Halloween Cruise aboard the historic “Spirit of Jefferson” steamboat on the Ohio River. The ISMF planners ensured that the festival ended with a bang just as loud as the kickoff! Costumes were paraded, lively music was played, lunch was served, and dancing ensued. It was a perfect way to gear up for the 2010 International Student Media Festival!

Katie Leigh is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications and Journalism with a double emphasis in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations. She is currently the Event Coordinator for the International Student Media Festival.




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