Madison City Schools release videos to answer tech questions, relieve stress

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MADISON, Ala. — The Madison City School system is releasing videos to make the virtual learning process a little less stressful for students and parents in the school system. While they have a how-to element, they also work to help ease anxiety during a time of uncertainty.

Daniel Whitt works with the district as the coordinator of instructional technology, but he is also a parent and a teacher at heart.

“I used to teach video production at James Clemens High School and so then when I moved up here, my video production skill set really came in handy,” said Whitt. “So we thought, rather than writing a 15 paragraph email… What if we made an 18 minute or an 8 minute follow up video and sent that out to the community?”

The school system has published two videos so far, which have gained around 30,000 views. One of the main goals is to answer technology questions that families have.

“It can range from anywhere from what to do if you don’t have the technology that you need,” said Whitt. “Here’s who to contact or here’s who to contact to get your Chromebook or your wifi for your home… all the way down to usability, like please use Google Chrome because that’s our preferred browser.”

But the videos also help relieve stress by helping families navigate these constantly-changing times.

Whitt says he works to “inspire that mindset of understanding that change is the norm, change is the only constant right now, and it may forever be.”

By addressing questions and concerns in a video format, the number of calls and emails to the schools and IT department goes down.

The process of getting the video together is a group effort, Whitt says. “We may write a script, collaboratively between my incredible team and Tommy Paone and the IT department. Without him, none of this would be possible. Once it’s written, we set up a teleprompter, really basic, I stand in front of a green screen and press record.

Within a few hours, Whitt and his team have answered several questions and set the minds of families at ease. He says it’s important and parents and students have somebody they can trust, try to connect all the dots together.

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