Nearly every student who is in school today will enter the workforce needing skills in media production. From social media to YouTube videos, many industries will require a knowledge of how to leverage online platforms. In the arts classroom, media production is a dynamic way for students to gain these technical skills, while also practicing aesthetic valuing, design thinking, communication, and creative writing. All of these skills can be cultivated through the use of media-making projects. For this reason, student media-making projects are an excellent way to introduce these 21st century proficiencies.
A good, basic-level media project to use with students is a narrated slideshow. The programs used to make one are relatively simple and students can either take their own photos or find properly licensed images on the web in addition to using their own voice to narrate the story. KQED has developed a new tool for educators to assist in the understanding of how to create a slideshow as well as the implementation of such a project in the classroom. Arts-focused slideshows can be used in visual and performing arts classes as a reporting, portfolio, or assessment tool, but they can also be used in other subjects, such as history and social studies, as a tool for understanding culture through art and artifacts.