Maestro Chicano


The Program Logic Model and a Pivot Toward Media Arts Education

Posted by on January 22, 2021 at 8:10 PM

This Blog post was originally published in summer of 2019, but I had to erase it and repost due to random rascals on the internet spamming it with pesky ads in the response section.


The Program Logic Model and a Pivot Toward Media Arts Education


As I have worked to develop and evolve SO PBS’s Education strategy I was excited to learn about Program Logic Models because developing our station's education logic model will more keenly guide our work and engage with the media arts education community in Southern Oregon. Moving forward I hope to align my education work more closely with media arts educators. Seeking out and working with media arts teachers seems to make more sense for folks I work with at SO PBS and also to a few select school administrators who are my advisors. Lately I have been working more and more with teachers who have some sort of video production component at work in their curriculum. Anyhow, the essential question of this blog post is: what’s a program logic model and how does it work? In a nutshell, it is a planning device and a way to explain the relationships among resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes of any program or project.


Logic models initially start with consideration of inputs, which are usually based on needs. Via two years of work with teachers and students, SO PBS Education has discovered that media arts training and support are a huge need in our teacher community. Next resources are considered. In our case those resources are things like a traveling class set of iPads; film production equipment; Adobe software; PBS’ educational resources; and most recently PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) curriculum and Level Up tutorial videos. As the Education Coordinator organizing and leading professional development trainings, I’m also considered a resource. Next up are activities. Activities are what we do with these resources.


Various primary and secondary teachers and I are experimenting with various PBS media arts curriculum in the classroom that involve PBS Kids ScratchJr coding and SRL video production lessons. These activities engage upper elementary students with coding; news making training with middle school students via SRL lesson plans; and advanced SRL training and filmmaking training with high school students. I co-teach these learning or training activities and in the last year about 200 students and 30 teachers have been reached. I’m most excited about the SRL work because a local school district has an interest in a partnership in terms of an SRL class that I might teach. Anyhow, the number of students and teachers I work with are considered outputs and are quantitative figures.


Outcomes are the final part of the program logic model and my favorite concept. Here at SO PBS Education, I have seen that short-term results of our SRL interventions with media arts teachers and students leads to increased video production knowledge and skills. I have observed consistent changes in behavior due to our work, as well. For example, a local elementary student with chronic absenteeism started to come to school because of my weekly ScratchJr workshops. His teacher told him he could join our pilot group if his attendance improved, and by the end of the year it was north of 80%. This is an incredible result! Some day I hope to report long term outcomes like a media arts students partaking in an internship at our station or perhaps due to our interventions in the classroom we’ll inspire a student to apply to a media arts related program at a loca institution of higher education.


There have been meaningful changes in condition or quality of life for a local middle school video teacher who was unsatisfied with the trajectory of his video skills, and so we started working SRL curriculum into his leadership class. In addition to our work in the classroom, he and I developed a media arts Professional Learning Community of local media arts professors and media arts teachers in his district. By the end of the school year he was optimistic about the trajectory of his leadership class and the potential for a video class at his school that could someday morph into an SRL class. This outcome I consider to be a mid-term outcome.


I look forward to reporting more outcomes in the upcoming school year (2019/2020) as our SO PBS Education program logic model continues to mature and address real needs in our community. At this point based on feedback from school administrators, teachers, and students it looks like a pivot to video production related models of teacher engagement will dominate next school year. These outcomes are the ultimate goal of a program logic model, and can be share with folks interested in the work of an organization, like for example a grant organization that wishes to fund certain activities that have outcomes that align with the mission of their organization. I hope that my work for my station garners this kind of support some day.

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