Rapidly changing digital technology is opening up a whole new window of opportunity for youngsters in Leeds.
Whether it is using cutting-edge equipment to create their own virtual movies or use complex code to create programmes, a whole new technical world is at their fingertips.
And youngsters in east Leeds know how to make the most of these exciting new opportunities.
Teenagers have been given the chance to take to the airwaves and create their own programmes as part of East Leeds FM.
The station was granted nearly £18,000 from Leeds Community Foundation’s Jimbo’s Trust to provide a creative programme for the area’s children.
Over the space of a week they have been out and about on the streets of east Leeds armed with microphones and mobiles as roving reporters.
The team then edited their own packages and used the station’s mixing desk to help create their own live radio shows.
Among those taking part in the exciting project was 11-year-old Kacie-Lee Holdsworth.
She said the experience has opened up a whole new way to harness the power of technology.
She said: “It has shown me different ways to use technology .
“I have learnt how to use the mixing desk and how to do recordings on the street talking to people.
“I think it has definitely helped us but I think children can be more digitally savvy because they have grown up with technology.
“Mobile phones weren’t invented when parents were born but when children were born mobile phones were around so I think children have a better understanding of technology.”
The experience of harnessing digital technology has also helped Maryam Dodo, 17, to develop her skills.
And she claims the experience has helped to boost her confidence.
The teenager added: “It was great to have access to this technology at the radio station.
“It has helped me a lot because without coming here I would just know how to use my own phone and laptop.
“This has showed us the use of different technologies.
“We have learned how to use the radio room and this has also helped us to build our confidence.
“I have realised that there are more opportunities now.”
Over the space of a week youngsters were given lessons in how to become journalists before they were handed assignments.
They then held live phone-in interviews over the radio waves and interviewed YEP reporter Laura Bowyer to find out more about being a journalist in a bid to test their newfound skills.
The team from across the city also learned how to use the studio microphones and stage their own shows which were broadcasted through internet radio.
And the youngsters say the experience has enabled them to see a whole different range of technology to help broaden their horizons.
Amy Stansfield, 15, added: “I normally tend to use my phone and laptop but I only tend to use it when I am doing my homework.
“But this has really helped to broaden my horizons about technology and what is out there especially when it comes to the equipment in the studio.
“There is a lot of equipment out there.”
East Leeds FM project manager Sam Taylor said he hopes the different kinds of technology available to youngsters helps to inspire them.
He said: “We have sent youngsters out and about with recording devices and it was a great opportunity for them.
“It is so simple to use this equipment and it also makes courses like this more accessible for young people.
“It is also a great way of giving them a responsibility and also allowing them to be creative.”
Youngsters at Roundhay School have also harnessed the power of radio waves to learn more about digital technology.
The students are given the chance to create their own shows and recordings using specialist equipment in the classroom.
Hope Primus, 17, said: “We also get to use websites such as Twitter to find out what the big issues are .
“And the experience of running the show really helps children to grow - not just mentally but technologically.”
WHO TO CONTACT OVER ONLINE SAFETY ISSUES
CEOP: Information for children, adults or teachers on staying safe on the internet
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000, email firstname.lastname@example.org
West Yorkshire Police on 101
Internet Watch Foundation
ChildLine on 0800 11 11
HOW IMPORTANT IS DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN?
This week the YEP is looking at the digital lives of children in Leeds.
We want children, parents, carers and teachers to tell us a little bit more about how they consume technology. Can you go the day without any form of technology?
How much of a role does technology play in your lives?
Do you find your children tell you everything you need to know about how to use the computer?
And what are your top tips for children in Leeds about how to stay safe online?
Tell us your thoughts at www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk.
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