Cuero students live stream daily announcements (w/video)

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Dec. 14, 2013 at 6:14 a.m.

"Ten minutes before we go live," Christi Opiela said as her students went through their cue cards one last time.

Cade Pakebusch, 11, lifted a classroom chair and placed it between two other chairs on set.

Opiela, a multimedia teacher at Cuero Intermediate School, was preparing her students for their daily morning broadcast.

Cuero sixth-grade students are the first and only Gobbler students to broadcast their morning announcements live over the Internet, Opiela said.

"They do birthdays, and if anyone has announcements, they can come do them," Opiela, 40, said. "Our principal even does stuff up there."

The lights went dim.

Emily Stavinoha, 12, walked over and took her seat at the anchor desk.

Students are chosen to anchor based upon grades and behavior, Opiela said.

"It gets you very nervous, but it's also exciting," Emily said. "It makes you feel really good for being one of the people that do it."

Their first broadcast was in October.

"It's very interesting to me," Kesli Prakta, 12, said. "I'm so glad that I moved to this class and that she started something new."

On top of the morning's announcements, students in her multimedia class also work on stop-motion animation projects, a school newsletter, newspaper and yearbook.

"I have a couple of kids that I hope go on into the field," Opiela said. "I hope to instill in them the love of media I have."

The broadcast is recorded on an iPad and shared live through a video streaming application.

This year, more than 1,400 Cuero school district students were issued iPads.

"It's turned out to be a really good effort," Principal Bill Hamilton said. "Thanks to CISD for allowing us to do this and a big thank you to our technology department for helping us put all these things together."



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