"GLADIATTORI": A MEDIA EDUCATIONAL TALK SHOW
This paper introduces a Media Education method based on TV talk show. Using this method, I wish to demonstrate the conscious use of TV language and structure in educational programs and experiments. The main aim is to acquire an innovative methodology for studying, departing from Plato’s dialog and the logic of dialectical discussion and the power of audiovisual language.
Talk show is an interesting program: when you watch it on TV, you are participating in a Word show. As its name says, the format is composed of a double-face nature. First, it is a conversation, a Word-centred show, in which guests and experts have a discussion about something. Second, it is a show: actually, many elements of a show are present in a TV talk. For example, a good television host uses the acting techniques in his job; when he presents a theme or introduces guests and stars, he uses typical instruments of an actor, such as his voice, facial expressions and mimic. Thus, he attracts the audience’s attention and favours the mutual participation in the show. Other performative elements are music, graphics, videos and interviews.
I think a talk show is also useful in an educational context. When you watch a talk show on TV, you can learn some notions about the theme presented in the talk; in the same way, if you make a talk show, you can have a deep approach about a theme’s notions and learn some elements of multimedia language.
In Extracampus TV (the first Italian university television, since 2003 at the University of Turin), I developed an original talk show, called “Gladiattori”, for classes and students. Gladiattori is a webtv format, based on a simple and repetitive structure, resembling the main parts of a talk show. In this way, it is possible to reproduce the original format in many episodes: each of these, is done by a class, with different contents, arguments, television host and guests. In this format all main roles – typical of a TV talk show - are covered by students, in a dynamic role-play (in which they play as television host, guests and experts, audience, assistant directors and authors of the episode). Students have three ways of activity: a base talk show; a talk show with video and interviews realized by the same class in school or in another place before the registration of the program; a talk show in which students process a historical characters.
With Gladiattori, it is possible to acquire competences for studying: students modify their study’s approach, becoming interdisciplinary, interactive and dialectic on a school or cultural theme. They gain some skills such as team building, team work, respect of roles, respect of time and achieving objectives. These elements are gained by the use of this Media situation, that allows: job orientation (students are involved in the TV production directly to learn professional approach with Media), technological competences about TV, video production, video editing and communication.
I used this project with primary and secondary school students, with different goals: with primary schools, it is important to give a methodology for organizing study and helping them to create relationships and inclusion (to overcome learning disabilities). With secondary schools, “Gladiattori” gives communicative skills and an innovative approach to a collaborative and shared work, based on the TV production. I will explain the methodology and some specific results.