Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Media is a term that has numerous connotations. It can mean print media, mass media, visual media and social media. Ultimately, media is communication.

 There are many ways to incorporate media into teaching. Visual elements can be incorporated into the classroom to develop interest and impart knowledge. However, when students are directly involved in creating media, the subject at hand becomes personal to them. Student-created media brings a high degree of engagement, promotes learning and social interaction and is highly customizable and collaborative (Yowell and Rhoten, 2009).

For over 10 years, True Media Foundation, a nonprofit housed in Carbondale’s Bridges High School, has provided local youth with media learning experiences. Emphasizing visual storytelling through video, students learn all facets of production. RE-1 students have participated in after-school classes led by True Media’s professional media industry instructors, receiving academic credit.  Several students have gone on to receive college scholarships based on their advanced media knowledge and even to jobs in the field.

True Media’s founder and executive director, Christopher Tribble, believes that while mentoring a small group of students each year has been successful, it is time to offer the experience directly to more students. The organization’s BE HEARD! production bus has traveled throughout Colorado allowingstudents to document such events as The Aspen Environment Forum and Aspen Ideas Festival, the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, the 2015 Republican Presidential Campaign Debate at Colorado University in Boulder, local high school football games and theatrical productions.

The BE HEARD! bus will be converted into a mobile media lab that will take learning opportunities directly to local schools. True Media will partner with teachers to incorporate student-produced media into specific learning projects in the 2017-18 school year. Fundraising efforts are underway to make the necessary vehicle and equipment upgrades.

True Media Foundation seeks teachers who are interested in utilizing this innovative method of teaching and learning. Please direct your yes or no response and any other input as to whether or not you would potentially engage with True Media Foundation in student media projects to This information will help us to discern if there is sufficient interest in our local school system for this initiative. Visit the True Media Foundation website for more info about the organization’s work with students and the community.