Light Shines on Mediak

Dimond High school has a Mediak class. Mediak stands for Media Education Development In Alaska. In this class, students study video making, magazines, radio broadcasting and photography. Aniela Whah-Wills Mediak teacher at Dimond tries to have her students learn by doing. Right now they are working on a video project. It’s the last project of the semester. Another project that they have going is the media journal. Here, they watch news and break it down. “Here’s what works, here’s what didn’t,” said Whah-Wills Professionals are able to come in to class and tell students what they do and how much they like it. “[The project is] sharpening their skills for being a journalist,” said Whah-Wills. The class is having a movie night on December 17 . The student’s movies are going to be shown then. “This class is a more formal class of the afternoon class,” said Whah-Wills. Mediak also has a class after school at the cook-inlet tribal council . The class starts at 5:00pm. It is located at the corner of Bragaw and Debar. They have a lot more editing software than Dimond’s class. Whah-Wills, taught at West high school last year. This is her first semester teaching her own class. Andrew Byrd, Assistant Media Constructor helps students anyway he can. He enjoys coming into school and teaching how to make videos. “I get to meet a lot of cool people,” said Byrd. He worked at East, West, and Service high school. Not only does he teach, but also he works on his own audio, writing, photography, and musical things. He has made commercials that are aired on TV. He was nominated for an Emmie at age 19. When asked if he was disappointed that he didn’t win Byrd said, “Just to be nominated is cool enough.” Byrd is very valuable to Whah-Wills. During class he drives students around to shooting destinations. He also helps with the labs. For the sound tracks for the movies that are made in that class, other people’s music cannot be used because of royalties and copyright issues. “If they need me to record something for them I will, bit I really want them to do it themselves because then they can really call it their own,” said Byrd. The cook-inlet tribal council building has microphones, an audio mixer and a whisper room that students can use if they want. Usually in class students use a program called Garageband which is convenient because its royalty free. Whah-Wills wants more students to sign up for this class next semester. Its an English elective.