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Connecting During COVID-19

April 29, 2020
What can Winnipeggers do to replenish the city’s economy? How will federal funding mitigate the effects from the pandemic? Once the state of emergency expires, which businesses and public establishments will re-open?  

Isabella Meneses Otaviano Soares, an international student in the Broadcast Media program at the Louis Riel Arts and Technology Centre (LRATC), will be asking these questions and more to Mayor Brian Bowman on The Connection podcast at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29.  

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time,” said Soares.  
Soares participated in an exchange program in Winnipeg in Grade 9 and fell in love with the city. Once she graduated high school in Brazil, she started searching for a program that fit her passion for journalism. She started at LRATC in February of this year.  

The Broadcast Media program teaches students about the production and transmission of video and audio programming for a variety of media, including radio, television and the internet. 

“I wanted to learn how the industry works,” said Soares. “I thought it was really cool how hands on the program is. We were already out and interviewing people during the second week of school!”  

Before the pandemic, students were working together to produce The Connection, a weekly newscast.   

“The students were doing exactly what you see on any major news network,” said Ken Plaetinck, Broadcast Media Instructor. “They would come up with the questions, head out to shoot, edit the video and then produce the report on the weekly happenings in the division.” 

When students started learning remotely, Plaetinck had to pivot the newscast to adhere to physical distancing and align with the curriculum.  

“When we couldn’t do our normal studio production, I threw the idea of a podcast out there. At first, we were just thinking of interviewing teachers and students for more experience for the kids, but it’s grown into daily podcasts and we’ve seen a lot more interest.”  

Although students aren’t physically in the studio, Katherine Haynes, a Grade 11 student that came to LRATC from Collège Béliveau, says that learning hasn’t slowed down.  

“The past couple weeks have been go go go – we’re still doing our regular classes from home and we put out a new podcast almost daily. Each person is responsible for their own episode. I get to interview Audrey Gordon, the MLA for Southdale, this week and I’m really looking forward to that.”  

Haynes says she misses heading out to cover divisional events for the newscast, but she’s grateful that she’s able to continue learning through technology.  

“I’ve always interested in radio, so this has been a great experience. Our program gives us access to the equipment and skills we’d be using in the ‘real-world’ so I’m excited to see where it takes me.”  

Check out past episodes of The Connection Podcast and watch tomorrow’s interview with the Mayor on LRSD TV.  
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RT @Highbury5_6: At my fellow team @CHeidebrecht1 ,@GregKiesman , @3makwa @CoreyKapilik and @LRSDTV our world just keeps on teaching. Be proud my friends and colleagues! I keep hearing how great our world is and the how amazing the videos are for the learning! @LRSD365 @louis_riel_sd https://t.co/USF0sOiVKm

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RT @ThaddeusBTeach: What a great #numeracy session this afternoon with @lavalleeLRSD. With @MicrosoftTeams we utilized virtual learning stations & live demos. ✔ @pgliljedahl @thinkingclssrms@ddmeyer 3 Act Tasks ✔ @MarianSmall Number Talks ✔ Principles to Actions #Learningisdoingbetter https://t.co/YuG1TAOLxC

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