We hope you find the resources on this site useful for hosting local festivals (school, district, regional, etc.), as well as preparing for GSMF. We would love to hear from you about lessons learned that made your festival successful.
- Start early - have a timeline in place for your school/district/region that will permit you to adequately prepare for each festival event in advance of GSMF.
- Designate a contact person(s) - the contact(s) will be the best person(s) to communicate with the next level of competition. Ideally, they should have some experience with GSMF, but it is not always necessary if this is your district's first festival.
- Brainstorm on project ideas - some districts have chosen to utilize assignments their students are already working on. Others have permitted/encouraged students to work on projects outside of class time. Hopefully, students who are past GSMF participants will be self-motivated and may have untapped creativity just looking for an outlet!
- Be flexible, but consistent - you will learn many lessons as you participate in a local festival. It may be necessary for your school or district to modify some of the GSMF expectations in order for you to determine GSMF participants. Hopefully, you will not sacrifice quality in favor of submitting larger quantities of projects. Be clear with students, teachers, parents, etc. about local expectations vs GSMF expectations, but be willing to listen to some great ideas that may arise throughout the process. Remember, you can incorporate changes for next years festival.
- Plan for GSMF submissions - you will find throughout the process that preparation along the way will help you save time when submitting final projects to GSMF. An example is project packaging: Following GSMF guidelines at the local level, including implementing mail merge features available when you utilize the registration database will permit you to be prepared for project submission as soon as local winners are declared.
- Learn from your mistakes - GSMF is committed to cultivating a community of excellence with student media projects. At the local level, if you discover a great project that just needs some tweaking to become excellent, encourage your students to make improvements between levels of competition. And as hosts/facilitators, make notes of what worked and what you'd like to improve for future festivals.
- Share - one of the most gratifying components of GSMF festival days is the collaboration that takes place between teachers, media specialists, technology specialists, etc. If you have discovered something that works really well for you - a software program, a tutorial that would benefit multiple districts, a teaching method to assist students in their preparation of projects, a fantastic local festival experience, etc., please share. You may opt to share on our Facebook page, or contact GSMF directly.
- Enjoy - what a privilege to nurture creativity in our next generation! Be encouraging, show interest in the thought processes of your students, brainstorm with them on their goals for their project(s), make as many resources available as possible/appropriate, help them learn through the process, discuss feedback with them after each level of competition with the goal of helping them achieve excellence. But at the end of the day, ENJOY! You are making a difference in the lives of our students!!