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Balance Publishing Company
Final Draft

Balance Publishing CompanyBalance Publishing

“Radio Dramas Help Reluctant Readers”
By Linda Pliagas

Before the age of computers and television, American families would come together in their living rooms and huddle around the radio to listen to their favorite programs. Little did we realize what a great teaching tool these productions are.

“Writing and producing a radio drama is a real-life activity that not only draws the student in, but integrates all the language skills,” explains Don Kisner, owner of Balance Publishing Company.

His company, based in Sanger, California, has been producing and selling radio drama-related materials for grades six through adult since 1984.

While Kisner was teaching, he noticed that it was a “real problem” to get his students motivated to use language arts. As a theatre arts college major, Kisner was the perfect person to bring the excitement of radio dramas into the classroom.

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Final Draft K-12 Teacher Workbook

Final Draft
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Available from www.finaldraft.com

Review by Linda K. Foster

Our educational system was not designed to teach today’s students. They represent the first generation to grow up surrounded by the use of computers, video games, mp3 players, cell phones, video cams and many other easily-available digital toys. It has been estimated that the average college graduate has spent fewer than 5000 hours of his/her life reading, compared to over 10,000 hours playing video games and over 20,000 hours watching television. Technology is an integral part of a student’s life and, as a result of the omnipresence of technology, today’s students think and process information differently from their predecessors, making it increasingly more challenging for educators to stimulate a desire for learning.

In an effort to assist educators in teaching basic writing skills and visual presentations, Final Draft has developed the Final Draft K-12 Teacher Workbook which incorporates the use of Final Draft and Final Draft AV into the classroom curriculum. Lesson plans based on elements of Final Draft and/or Final Draft AV are used to inspire creativity and engage the student in the educational process.

The Introduction to the Teacher Workbook provides a reasonable and rational explanation for using Final Draft and Final Draft AV in the classroom. As noted, the Teacher Workbook is “…designed to help K-12 teachers use Final Draft software to meet technology requirements and teach 21st Century skills through project-based learning activities.” The Workbook is geared for use with 6th grade and up, but elements from both programs can be used for instruction in any grade level, if presented in an age appropriate manner. It combines aspects of Final Draft and Final Draft AV to help build literary and communication skills through the use of written and visual media. The use of these two programs helps students develop a foundation for writing and transform written exercises to the visual media.

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