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Clayton Schools to host local media festival

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Public school students -- from all grade levels -- will be vying this weekend to see who has produced the best photographs, podcasts, web sites, animation projects, and live-action videos at the Clayton County Public Schools Student Media Festival.

Judging of the entries will take place Saturday, from 8 a.m., to noon, at Jonesboro High School, located at 7728 Mt. Zion Blvd., in Jonesboro. The school system will post the winning entries on the Clayton County Public Schools web site, after the local competition is over, according to Jonesboro Media Specialist Tracy Larson, the festival's coordinator.

"The purpose of the Clayton County Public Schools Student Media Festival is to stimulate student interest and involvement in all types of media production," Larson wrote in the brochure outlining the festival. "This is accomplished by providing an opportunity for students to show their work to an interested audience, to have the work critiqued by a panel of expert judges, and to be stimulated by the work of other students."

The competition is a local qualifier for the Georgia Student Media Festival, which the school system will host, on April 30, at the Truett S. Cathy Professional Learning Center, in Jonesboro. The state-wide festival is sponsored by the Georgia Library Association, the Georgia Association for Instructional Technology, and Georgia Public Broadcasting, according to the state festival's web site.

School System Coordinator of Media Services Leslie Pratschler said at least 50 projects are expected to be entered into the festival. To advance to the state media festival, a student must earn a "Superior" rating (which is a score of 96) at the county competition, Pratschler said. The projects, she added, will be judged solely on their content and quality, rather than how well the student does at presenting his, or her, project.

"The idea is the projects speak for themselves," she said.

According to the Clayton County Public Schools Student Media Festival web site, the students will be competing in the categories of "story," "informational," "documentary," "instructional," "persuasive," and "entertainment."

The types of entries students were allowed to produce for the festival are mainly computer-generated items, including: live-action videos; animation that ranges from illustrations to clay models; sequential stills, with photographs shown in a series (accompanied by text, music, video clips or narration); electronic picture books; electronic photographic essays; interactive stills; web sites, and podcasts.

Pratschler said the judges with be technology and media services employees of the school system.

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On the Net:

Jonesboro High School: http://schools.clayton.k12.ga.us/002/