Chromebook Community Communications- Are You Listening World? – Public Service Announcements-Grades 6-12


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The capacity of Chromebooks and other connected devices to support students in not only acquiring writing, reading, and research skills but also in developing job needed , career, college and life speaking skills is often overlooked and under-publicized.  Ironically now that there is an educational emphasis on developing speaking, small group and online oral communication skills, the range of tasks and formats for students to do so is still limited and often include abstract training exercises with no real-world audience and actual needed initiative purpose.

Not the case with this use of the Chromebook network to support student public service announcements that evolve from aspects of their studies which they choose to advocate authentically.

Students produce their own Public Service Announcements to inform and convince an audience about an important issue or situation.   Of course, students identify an issue discussed in a content class or a school issue as the PSA focus.   They research this issue using the full range of Google, audio file, videos, maps, hangouts, slides and other features.  They maintain all of this research as individual files on which the teacher or teacher teams can comment.  Drawing on and attributing their research, students then produce a PowerPoint-based announcement suitable to present to their audience. Their finished PSA product is comprised of text, images, and recordings of their own voice narrating the message.   They have fully tapped their Chromebook device and studio capacities to generate a dynamic public service announcement customized around an issue that affects their lives and about which they genuinely want to share their perspectives.

How to engage the students:

  • Show the class several YouTube videos of actual public service announcements. Select examples that make use of voiceover narration over still or moving images for best effect.

Using chromebooks, you can curate factually substantive and grade and age appropriate videos for the students to screen as anchor texts.

  • In a whole class discussion talk about the merits of the PSA approach to communicating as well as what it would take to create such a PSA. Be sure that the students come to understand that PSAs are used to inform and convince the public about important issues.
  • Explain to the class that they will be working on their own PSAs, that they will research a topic, write a message to relate that topic, search for and collect images to support their message and position.
  • Have the students:
    a) as a whole group brainstorm topics for PSAs (themes on health,  safety, ecologic awareness, consumer awareness, bullying, self image, hunger, dealing with grief and natural disaster– all work well)
    b) Based on the brainstorming and further individual thinking have each student post within their chromebook community for their peers and moderating teachers only, a paper with 3 possible personal choices for a PSA.
    c) After some further discussion about which suggested themes were more popular or most relevant, have each student commit to a single theme as the basis for their own PSA
    NOTE: This project  will work either as a single effort (each student produces his own product) or as a small group-based project.   The discussion can be videoed or recorded as well and used to start off peer classes as they do this project or with onsite or online adult community to get them to comment.
  • Have the students read (and record their reading of) at least 3 (or more) articles or informational websites based on their theme so that they can provide the following:
  1. A short summary that explains the issue their PSA will address, as well as their opinion about that issue (2 – 3 sentences at a minimum). They will include this as part of their ongoing individual writing portfolios.
  2. At least 3 information points to include in the PSA to support its message.
    (for instance:). Make certain they attribute these correctly using school preferred APA or MLA citation format or other formats/
  3. As students are researching and reading information on their theme, have them locate and download images that they can use to accompany the text of their message. In doing so they are learning how to present research with diagrams and images –the desired-on learning on display PARCC and CCSS criteria.
  • Have students open and create a PowerPoint presentation (file), creating
    – an opening slide to announce the theme and principal message of the PSA,
    – a slide that presents the main point the student will make
    – a slide for each of the points to support the principal message
    –  a final,  closing slide that restates the principal message and that leaves  the audience  with something to do or remember
    These slides can of course be saved using that feature on the Chromebooks and refined as the students prep their final presentation.
  • Each slide should carry a text headline (larger than body type) and or a sentence (or two) of text that makes the point intended for that slide.
  • Students next insert a photo(s) or other graphic(s) into each of the slide, further communicating the point each slide addresses visually. The photos are readily available to them since they have curated them and saved them as part of their research.
  • Going through their full slide presentation, have the students write a sentence (or more) of explanation for each slide. This may include the text already in the slide or it may include additional narration to explain the point.
  • Using a microphone students should have several recorded “takes” to speak and record the narration that was written for the slides in the previous step of the project.

    NOTE: PowerPoint has this audio recording function already built in to it and requires no further steps than using it.

  • After adjusting the images, text, and audio recording to “finish” the PSA, move on to the final step, sharing them. Teachers can comment publically and of course invite select outside adult audience for feedback and distanced peers.

 The PSA emerges as a PowerPoint presentation (file) with photos or (scanned) drawings relating to, and supporting the communication of a student chosen topic. Interspersed with the graphics are short text titles, headlines, and captions. Optimally, the PowerPoint features a student performed voiceover narration to accompany the visual portion of the announcement. The voiceover is recorded and embedded in the finished PowerPoint presentation which may be shared with an audience in several ways.

Note how this product driven and student centered public service announcement addresses all the standards (not that the excited students realize it):

Standards Alignment

Common Core Standards in ELA  
Reading: Literature and Informational Literature Key Ideas and Details: RL._.1RL._.2RL._.3
Craft and Structure:  RL._.4RL._.5RL._.6
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:  RL._.7RL._.8RL._.9
Range of Reading and Complexity of Text:  RL._.10
Writing Text Types and Purposes: W._.1W._.2W._.3
Production and Distribution of Writing: W._.4W._.5W._.6
Research to Build and Present Knowledge: W._.7 –  W._.8W._.9
Range of Writing: W._.10
Speaking & Listening Comprehension and Collaboration: SL._.1SL._.2SL._.3
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: SL._.4SL._.5SL._.6
Language Conventions of Standard English:  L._.1L._.2
Knowledge of Language:
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: L._.4L._.5L._.6
for Students
1.       Creativity and Innovation: a – b
2. Communication and Collaboration: a – b

3.       Research and Information Fluency: a – b – c

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: a – b – c

5. Digital Citizenship: a – b – c

6. Technology Operations and Concepts: a – b- d

The creation of a PSA deeply involves students in the learning and deepening of research skills (focused, non-fiction reading) as well as writing for a specific purpose and audience. It affords a particularly clear and effective way to model and illustrate the power and use of Voice as a function of addressing one’s audience effectively, as well. Further, in order to accomplish these, the students naturally and deeply turn to examples of successful PSA creations upon which they can draw vital insights as they approach the challenge of creating their own.

Rather than pondering how to get their perspectives and voices out in the world as young citizens, students can be researching, imaging, and speaking their own minds on issues that concern them cogently and clearly – courtesy of Chromebook situated and developed Public Service Announcements.  In doing so service learning and career key speech delivery are fused into a real-world media product.  Listen world, it’s we, the students, speaking to you!!! This what we have to say!!

Suggested Texts
– Public Service Announcement Ideas:

– Watch Student-Created Public Service Announcements: For the Community
– Ad Council PSA Central

– PSA Outline (Read, Write, Think)

Sample PSA Videos:

– Stop Texting and Please Start Driving

Sample Slide Show-based PSAs

Dr. Rose Reissman,

Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5

About Sector 5,

Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on and and find further information at For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.



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