One touch, one button: Students gain tech skills while showcasing internships

One Penn State Brandywine instructor thought outside of the box for his students’ internship presentations this semester.

Michael Sturm, instructor in human development and family studies, introduced his students to the One Button Studio, where they created individual multimedia presentations they presented to the campus community to showcase their internships.

"I think it will be a good experience for them long term,” Sturm said. “Many of them shared their videos with their site and their supervisors, so it adds another skill set for them, and many of these students are going to end up going into the nonprofit world and social services, where if you can bring some technical skills, it's great. Usually people don't have them."

Shown is student Yema Vandi's multimedia presentation she created with the Studio, where she talks about her internship work with the Elwyn Development Center.

Yema Vandi

The One Button Studio is a simple video recording setup that is available at several Penn State campuses for students and instructors alike to create high-quality video with just the touch of a button and the use of a flash drive.

Sturm introduced the studio in not only HD FS 495B Internship: Advanced Project, but also in HD FS 490 Introduction to Internship Experience, where students created 30-second elevator speeches to prepare them for securing an internship in HD FS 495.

In the past, Sturm had his students in HD FS 490 create posters to present the organization for which they were interning. This time around, students created two- to three-minute videos that incorporated photos and text through the use of iMovie.

“I thought that my final project helped engage those watching about the information about my internship more compared to a poster board or something more basic,” said senior Kelsi Wiest.

Wiest, who interned at ReMed, a rehabilitation center for individuals with trauma-related brain injuries, said the studio experience was also much easier to create videos than other methods.

This is the presentation Kelsi Wiest recorded in the One Button Studio to showcase her internship with ReMed.

Kelsi Wiest

The only hitch Sturm encountered was the clashing volume of the videos when they were presented, as the videos were set to loop as interested students talked with each intern.

"I intend to do it again in the fall for both courses, specifically since I did it in the 490 course for elevator speeches, so the students have already had an intro to the One Button Studio,” Sturm said. “So, next semester when they move into their internship and they have to create their video about their internship, I think it will be a little smoother."

Some places his students interned included high school counseling offices, a brain injury treatment organization, early childhood education settings, and an alternative school for teenagers who had been removed from their local school because of behavioral issues.

Not only did using the studio help his students gain extra technological skills, but it also gave them skills to help them in their future human service careers.

Sturm said, "They all had to be on camera, so I think it's very important since they are going into human service work, where they're going to be working with people, that they have a chance to critique both their presence and their nonverbals."

In the future, there will be the possibility of getting student consent to use their videos on the internship website or the Penn State website, Sturm said.

Senior Courtisha Chavis said using the studio was a really simple process, and it really helped her give a better presentation. Her presentation focused on her internship at Melmark, which provides a variety of services to children, adults and their families affected by a broad range of intellectual disabilities.

“I think the One Button Studio is something great for students to learn how to speak professionally while using professional gestures, body movements and eye contact," Chavis said. "It also helps students to be more confident in what they want to present in their presentations.”