TYLER - Students as young as three years old will help create and produce newscasts at All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler. What is now a construction zone, will soon turn into high-tech broadcast studios.
These digital labs are part of a three-phase innovation plan, costing $6 million. The end of this summer will mark the end of phase two.
Thinking back on her elementary days at All Saints reading the announcements senior Lilley Lewis said this broadcast class is a big improvement.
"It was in this tiny little closet. Not much, you did the pledge of allegiance," she said.
In the era of "fake news," Lewis said rumors spread fast on social media, and students are quick to believe what they hear.
"This will really allow the students to learn where you can find real facts and real resources," Allen said.
All Saints headmaster Mike Cobb said he wants to teach his students media literacy, adding emphasis on how important it is for students to decipher and produce what is fact from fiction.
Mike Cobb gave CBS19 a walkthrough of the digital labs. There will be a news desk, mobile trollies and a producer station, setting students up for producing quality content.
"We will have a radio station that will be able to do both broadcast on the internet and through an app, but also through radio on an AM dial," he said.
Students fifth grad and below will have what Cobb called the digital forest. Here, students will read morning announcements on a green screen, with touch capability.
"But also having them delve in to what news is for a fifth grader," he said.
The broadcast classes do not have any structure - yet. He said it's about what content the students demand, and will range from school news to world affairs.
"Having our students really go behind the scenes and go behind the curtain will have them better analyze what's out there in the world," he said.
Parent Meridith Twaddell said the new broadcast class will let her see what's going on with her kids during the day much quicker.
"As a mom, you spend a lot of time sitting in carpool, and you're waiting and your waiting," she said. "Before they get in the car, know what's happened, and be able to talk with them about their day."
Cobb said they will bring in experts to teach the courses, instead of using only in-house teachers.
"We want to really teach kids, 'What is news?' That's kind of a deep question."
Students start producing their own newscasts in August.
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