SUMMIT, NJ - Two Eighth Grade cycle classes at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) -- "Today’s Talk" and "Digital Newsroom " -- are beneficiaries of a grant from the Summit Educational Foundation providing portable green screen backgrounds.

A “green screen” is a special effects technique for layering two images or video streams together based on color hues (green).  This technique is commonly  used in many fields to remove a background from the subject of a photo or video, particularly in the news casting, motion picture, and video game industries. 

The idea is to film or photograph against a pure green background which is then replaced with whatever background image desired.  

LCJSMS eighth grader, Alisha McDonnell used the portable green screens to create a video entitled, "How to Decorate a Cupcake", for Today’s Talk.  Students use the screens to film assignments around the school in well-lit, quiet locations. 

Class participants film many of their own segments, but come to the Digital Newsroom when they require “more elaborate camera angles and setup than other assignments”, says McConnell.  Students in the Digital Newsroom filmed her, and later added the bakery background to her video.

“The collaboration between Today’s Talk and Digital Newsroom is a way to extend the learning between classes and provide authentic support for the use of technology," explains Dory Marcus, LCJSMS teacher and grant author.  “The ability to have multiple green screens has allowed the students in both classes, which meet at the same time, to record shots that will be incorporated into iMovie as “on-location” video.” 

In the hallways of LCJSMS, budding reporters can be found in front of green screens interviewing other students as part of their news reporting assignments.

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