Sunday, February 8, 2015

Storm Radio -- Fusing Technology and Authentic Audience

Today's blog post is from Paula Neidlinger, Language Arts Teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School in Plymouth Community School Corporation.

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps — we must step up the stairs. ~Vance Havner

Developing a progressively technology-rich curriculum, such as a school radio station, requires a growth-mindset and a proactive leader such as my principal, Mr. Reid Gault, who supports re-envision of the role of technology in the classroom. My passion for radio and television stems from my pre-teaching career in broadcasting and telecommunications. Through a shared vision and unique plan for students and teachers, a new class was inducted into our curriculum this year, Interactive Media. This class has enabled myself and co-teaching partner, Phil Scott, to empower students to innovatively craft their own digital learning experiences through independent and collaborative discovery and creation. The class components include the following: PTV2 news channel, web design, social media, podcasting, school newspaper, and a radio station.

One of the greatest benefits of 21st century technology infused classrooms, is the integration of authentic audiences. Launching a student-led radio station has enabled our students to reach listeners worldwide with “live, local” shows produced solely by students. Our station is on-air 24/7. We are able to broadcast live through automation and streaming; we’re always on the air. No streaming servers to support or drain on facility bandwidth, which is a concern in most school corporations. All that is required is a Mac and an Internet connection. We are able to keep listeners engaged with recorded programming – recorded and scheduled by us during our class time, or live, during dances, lunch, sporting events, and before and after school, all assisted by Backbone auto-rotation software. This week, we will be introducing live call-in talk shows, three times a week. Join us at 574-914-4494 at 7:30 a.m. on our very own Storm Radio live talk show.

Through Backbone, we are able to build and manage our own library of recorded audio from CDs, iTunes and other sources; create and design playlists by dragging and dropping songs, create student-produced station IDs and student-produced commercials and other items onto the playlist window from CDs, iTunes or our own self-produced Library; and access our automation system from anywhere and make changes to our library, playlists and schedules with just our Mac and an Internet connection. Most importantly, we have a Global audience. We are able to reach listeners worldwide with our “live, local” shows and spread the news about our community and school, via phones, tablets, computers and car radios.

How are we funding our station? Currently, we have secured six sponsors from our community. Students have produced commercials for each of our sponsors, which we run throughout the day and night. Additionally, we were able to utilize technology monies for our initial investment with Backbone. There is initial equipment that will need to be purchased in order to launch your station, which I have outlined below. Although we have a TV studio, our radio is run from a mobile cart, which enables us to move around the school as needed.

Indiana Standards addressed:
  • 8.ML.2.1: Identify and analyze persuasive and propaganda techniques used in visual and verbal messages by electronic, print and mass media, and identify false or misleading information. 
  • 8.ML.2.2: Analyze and interpret how people experience media messages differently, depending on point of view, culture, etc. 
  •  8.ML.1: Critically analyze information found in electronic, print, and mass media used to inform, persuade, entertain, and transmit culture. 
  • 8.SL.1: Listen actively and adjust the use of spoken language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. 
How do you launch your own radio station?

Backbone Radio System Requirements:
  • Apple Macintosh (Backbone Radio OnAirStudio and OnAirDisplay Clients): 
  • Hardware: Intel Mac (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mini) 
  • OS X 10.7 and above 
  • QuickTime 7.x or later 
  • Audio input for live sessions, or low latency USB audio converter 
  • Memory: 1GB minimum 
  • Hard disk: 100MB available minimum, 150MB per 100 songs or audio clips (estimated) 
 Technical Product Features:
  • QuickTime compression using MPEG-4 
  • 3g phone codecs supported 
  • Live streaming 
  • Music database with custom type names and color codes 
  • Text and/or image annotation with individual clickable links 
  • Standard Rotation for Unattended operation 
  • Randomization according to common broadcast rules 
  • Limits repeat of individual clips or artists 
  • Standard rotation applicable to all database types, including commercials 
  • Scheduling 
  • Fixed time schedule items can repeat at specific intervals 
This is a sample of a Backbone Radio Remote Equipment Package.



Contact Information: George Capalbo
Backbone, 200 Friberg Parkway, Suite 3003, Westborough, MA 01581

“Ride the Waves” - STORM RADIO- ..... Follow us and listen live at STORM RADIO, LJH Digital Storm, or download the free TuneIn app on your phone and search for Storm Radio.

ALERT......BIG ANNOUNCEMENT…. after just five months on the air….. 
The IBS High School Golden Microphone Trophy Award FINALISTS have been announced, and five groups of Lincoln Junior High students have made the finals. The 75th Annual IBS New York City Conference is focused on New Trends in School/College Radio/TV/Webcasting and will be held at Hotel Pennsylvania, across from Madison Square Garden and PENN Station in New York City, New York, March 6-8. The conference will Feature over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions and tours, and 1,400 attendees from all over the world! Over 200 IBS Golden and Silver Microphones will be presented at a gala ceremony.

The following LJH students are finalists in the high school division, as there are only high school and college divisions at this time.

03: Best Spot News
- Storm Radio, Lincoln Jr. High, Mooney’s Ice Cream On Location - Trenton Arvesen, Nikki Laucis and Britney Klotz
04: Best Campus News
- Storm Radio, Lincoln Jr. High, Daily School News - Macy Carter and Elexus Whiteman
11: Best Sports Talk Program
- Storm Radio, Lincoln Jr. High, NFL + Local Sports Talk - Korey Kopetski and Adam Hunter
12: Best Sports Update
- Storm Radio, Lincoln Jr. High, Plymouth Local Sports - Kelsey Owen and Carly Poczik
- Storm Radio, Lincoln Jr. High, Sports Talk On Location - Shawn Frantz and Soren Houin

Are you interested in launching a school radio station? Is your vision to empower students to innovatively craft their own digital learning experiences through discovery and creation. Please share your ideas and inquiries.

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