Use Scenario 1 — Dean, Casual Computer User
Dean is 17 years old and has no access to a computer at home. He is a student at East Saint Louis Senior High School. He likes going to Flyers football games with his girlfriend on Fridays and A.M.E. services with his mother on Sundays. He also has a side he doesn’t talk with people about a lot: he thinks he could be gay. He had a sexual experience with a boy last year who might have been HIV positive. He doesn’t know who to ask about sexuality or HIV/AIDS, because he fears his family, girlfriend, or friends might abandon him if he does.
Dean has always liked music, whether it’s the gospel music at church, or the hip-hop they play on the radio. He wants to try out singing, and is kind of interested in making a music video. The kids in choir and band at school seem like an exclusive clique, so he didn’t feel welcome joining them. He’s more interested in doing something open and collaborative with other young people like himself. He notices a poster on a school bulletin board about WESL, the community-access cable TV station across the street from the high school. It says they’re shooting commercials that students get to create themselves. He saw one of their PSAs on TV once about not drinking — it had a great message and good music — and it’s something he thinks he could get into. If nothing else, it would be a nice place to go after school to relax, hang out, and learn a thing or two about video production.
Dean also sees on the poster that the TV station may be opening a public computing center. He’s excited that there’s another place he could go to check his Facebook page, browse YouTube for music videos, and stuff like that. The Public Library is a few blocks from high school, but their computers are often full, so he feels like he should only use them if he has “important things” to do on them. If he had kids someday, he’d love to take them to the library to study, especially since it’s right next to the middle school. But as a teenager, he wants somewhere different where he doesn’t have to be quiet and nice like he’s forced to be all day in school. Also, the library is closed on Sundays and closed by 5 pm Saturday and Friday — so if he just wanted to do some “unimportant stuff” like go on Facebook or YouTube at those hours, he would have to find somewhere else. Now that he’s thinking about it, there are a lot of reasons he should check this WESL Computing Center place out.
Use Scenario 2 — Using the Computer Lab as a Public Place
Angela has been an active participant with the PEG TV station in East St. Louis for a couple of years. She is an 18 year-old high school senior at East St. Louis Senior High School. Every since she was in grade school, she’s loved being in the spotlight in whatever manner possible. Working at PEG is perfect for her because she can act, direct, and produce her own short films and PSAs. Because PEG is so close to her high school, she often spends time there after school when she doesn’t want to go home or her friends are busy. The Windows computers are familiar to her from when she gets to use them at school, but the computer lab is nice because she can collaborate and explore more creative ideas than she can in school. She’s learned a ton about how to work a camera, use special video editing programs, and write and plan PSAs that will make people more aware of important issues in the community. Because many of her friends have had to drop out of high school due to teen pregnancy, she recently created a PSA to educate young men and women about the importance of safe sex. She was able to borrow PEG’s laptop and camera to visit the home of one of her friends who spoke candidly about the difficulties of being a teen mother. Using the new computer lab at PEG, Angela wrote the script, recorded a voiceover, and easily edited her footage using software on the computer. Angela wants to help others realize their full potential and help them make use of their own positive opportunities, like she’s been lucky enough to do. She would like to study film in college and believes that the experience she gained working with PEG can help her qualify for scholarships.
To celebrate the creation of her PSA, Angela wants to have a short film premiere at PEG. She wants to invite the mother and child she interviewed, her family, and some of her friends. She decides to use the computer lab because it is a large enough room to accommodate all those people. Since all the computers are along the walls of the room, there is plenty of space to serve refreshments and to seat people once the small work tables are moved out of the way. It is also a bright and comfortable space, so people enjoy being there. There are even a couple of beanbag chairs on the floor for the kids to play with. On the fun, tree-shaped chalkboard painted onto the wall, she writes her PSA title with a colorful chalk announcement. She turns off the florescent lights and uses the floor and table lamps to make it seem like a real movie premiere! A screen and a projector make it easy to show the announcement on a larger scale. While they are there, some of Angela’s friends think the computer lab looks pretty cool. They express interest in learning how to use the computer to create their own PSAs.
Use Scenario 3 — A team of teens working on a PSA project
Tanisha, James, Dominique and Kevin just got together for their first project at the PEG TV station. After watching a few of the past public service announcements (PSA), they decide with the station’s program manager Harold to do one about healthy living habits for teens. They’d recently heard an inspiring story at church of how a good or bad habit can go a long way in a person’s life. But this isn’t going to be like any other PSA. This one will look cooler, a bit flashier to appeal to friends their age. At the station’s computer lab, Tanisha, James, Dominique and Kevin each sit in front of a computer and begin web surfing and brainstorming ideas aloud. Ideas get added and crossed out several times on a chalkboard nearby until they agree on an outline. They also agree to each bring a hand-written draft of their own script to the next meeting.
At the next meeting, Dominique puts the four scripts together into a single document using Microsoft Word. Meanwhile, Tanisha clicks through YouTube links bookmarked on the computer to watch how-to videos on creating special effects with Windows Movie Maker, the video editing software they plan to use. James is sitting next to Tanisha, playing with the video camera to make sure the equipment is good to go for test shots. Opposite to Tanisha and James is Kevin in his own world with headsets on his ears. He still hasn’t seemed to have made up his mind about which tunes they’ll use as background music. After an hour, the team heads out to test shoot and practice acting their scripts at the locations they had picked out.
A couple of shooting and recording sessions later, Tanisha, James, Dominique and Kevin are back at the PEG TV station’s computer lab and ready to edit their footage. Angela, a senior at their school with a lot more experience on PSA projects, has joined to help them create a caricature of a cast to insert throughout their video using Adobe Flash Professional, a program the team’s not very familiar with. Since this program is only installed at the computer with dual monitors in a corner of the lab, the one reserved for more sophisticated video editing activities, Angela and Tanisha settle down there. James, Dominique and Kevin are huddled over a computer at the other end of the lab to cut and paste clips of the footage. While James experiments with different effects and transitions using Windows Movie Maker, Dominique makes sure nothing from the final script is left out and Kevin takes notes on time stamps to keep track of when music should be inserted. This is their first project, so they constantly go back and forth between online tutorials and asking Harold what he thinks about their editing ideas. Finally, they’re done trimming the video and creating the caricature, but everyone seems exhausted, so they all call it a day.
At the final meeting, Tanisha and James start off by trying to merge the caricature into the video, but they can’t seem to open the file with the caricature in Windows Movie Maker. After poking around the Internet a bit, they find out that the software doesn’t support the caricature’s file format, so they move over to the computer with dual monitors to use Adobe Premiere Pro, a more advanced video editing program that supports a wider variety of file formats. Now, the video is ready to be synchronized with the separately recorded narration and several audio clips for background music. However, when Dominique and Kevin try to overlap the narration with music, Windows Movie Maker won’t let the two overlap exactly at the same point. It seems like its Dominique and Kevin’s turn to use Adobe Premiere Pro to get the job done. When the production is finished, the team turns once again to Adobe Premiere Pro to save it in two different file formats, one for online video streaming and one for cable TV broadcasting. Tanisha, James, Dominique and Kevin can hardly wait to share their awesome first project with friends at school!