As Digital Communication Evolves, Students Are Geared To Lead

If you’ve ever walked the halls at Lake Catholic, you know that morning announcements are a part of daily life. Yet, Lake is creating morning announcements like no other – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to transforming communications both in and out of school.

This year, Lake Catholic premiered their new television studio – known as Cougar Broadcasting Network (CBN) – where a team of students records daily morning announcements, hosts interviews, records content for the school’s YouTube channel, and much more. The area, which lives in the school’s media center, also hosts a Lake Catholic class on digital media and communications, helping students incorporate hands-on experiences into the school’s curriculum.

“The idea for this new space started three years ago, but it’s definitely evolved over the years,” says Rich Smith, Director of Technology & Innovation at Lake. Smith notes that the entire studio is a student-driven project, with the students designing the space – including a spot for on-camera interviews – determining the equipment needs, and even painting the backdrops.

An Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union grant funded the project. “Previously, we had a table and a computer that we’d use to pull together announcements. Now we have a desk, new lighting, microphones and camera equipment,” says Smith. Some of that equipment allows for remote broadcasts as well: streaming masses, sporting events, and more.

While the morning announcements are produced via an after-school school club, other events are part of the year-long Digital Media class that Mr. Smith teaches. “We expose the students to different aspects of digital media – from sound to lighting to social media awareness and usage.” Already in its second full year, students have also visited local broadcasting stations.

“Our students are so proud of the work they’ve put into this. It shows their pride in their school and the mark they want to leave behind. It also really raises awareness for what we as a community can do when we work together,” Smith says.