The Student Digital Video Initiative (SDVI) will integrate the Project Based Service Learning (PBSL) methodology with digital video documentation of the project processes to tell the community based stories of the students. With the assistance of their teachers and world class Community Partners, students will design, implement, and report out about news, cutting edge education, and important issues in their communities. All projects will be academically rigorous and students will achieve mastery of grade appropriate curricula across a wide range of disciplines and state mandated standards. We believe that PBSL is the most effective pedagogical strategy for ALL students and that there are 4 Hallmarks which makes PBSL so effective: Ownership, Engagement, Citizenship, and Working Cooperatively. Concurrent with the design and implementation of their projects, students will learn how to shoot, edit, and create video documentaries of their real world stories. As 21st century citizens our students will need to use technology as we used the #2 pencil for most of the 20th century. With the explosion of viral video into our culture and its influence on information, politics, and business, it will be incumbent upon our future leaders to be proficient in the manipulation and transmission of visual images. Many cultural pundits believe that the video documentary will be the standard by which we send and receive packets of information. The SDVI addresses these cutting edge cultural imperatives and gives our students the tools to become leaders in a global, wired society.
The SDVI is a template for use in and out of classrooms anywhere in the world. With YouTube and other "viral video" sites now an integral part of our cultural, information, and political fabric, it is becoming critically important for our younger members of society to achieve the technological and real world skills necessary to function as 21st century citizens and leaders. By combining the real world context of PBSL with visual documentation skills, the SDVI will also provide the teaching and learning environment for students to achieve mastery of grade appropriate curriculum and standards across a wide array of disciplines. Organizations that want to close the Digital Divide and effectively educate our students in a real world, global context while giving them the tools to flourish in a wired world will want SDVI. Visit the Knight News Challenge to comment on this developing idea.