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History 1958-1968

History 1958-1968
written by Lowell Wilson, President, 1973-1976

WDAVI began its second decade as an active and growing state association. Membership was over a hundred, with dues at $2.00, and both Spring and Fall Meetings were held annually. Three or four newsletters were published each year. As an affiliate of DAVI, the Department of Audio Instruction of the NEA, WDAVI's president was automatically on the DAVI Board of Directors and reported back about national activities through the newsletter. WDAVI had over 50 members who were also DAVI members in these early years and often had national DAVI leaders as speakers for its annual meetings.

Due to the initiative of WDAVI, in 1961 Wisconsin hosted a North Central Regional Leadership Planning Conference. This invitational conference, sponsored by NDEA, Title VII, Part B, included 15 educational leaders from each state: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. During the conference, participants were briefed on the implications of newer media and then given time to plan how such media might be effectively implemented and utilized in their respective states.

Also in 1961, Bob Wheeler was appointed State Supervisor of Audio-Visual Education, a newly created post in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. As audio-visual aids consultant, it was his job to insure maximum use of equipment in all Wisconsin public schools. Described as a man with the "zeal and purpose of an African missionary," Bob provided forceful and creative leadership in helping Wisconsin become a leader in the use of the newer media of instruction. He believed that "every agency concerned with education" would have to cooperate in the use of technology to improve instruction and looked to WDAVI for help in many projects.
Another milestone for the association was the holding of an Audio-Visual Standards Conference in 1963. Concerned with the education of teachers, the following resolution was approved: "That certification requirements for all Wisconsin teachers be adjusted to include a requirement of two semester hours of training in the selection, utilization, and evaluation of audio-visual media of instruction". Standards for audio-visual building coordinators and directors were also being developed at this time and a variety of steps for getting state action on these were undertaken.

During the early years of the 1960's, WDAVI supported the establishment of a student group known as WAVY-- Wisconsin Audio Visual Youth. This group had its own constitution, logo, "hall pass" pin (red background with AV in white), and held annual meetings in conjunction with WDAVI. Many students became interested in audio-visual work and developed skills that led them to jobs and advanced education through their involvement in this group. In April of 1965, DAVI held its national convention in Milwaukee. Hosting this conference was a major effort for WDAVI, as over 3,500 people attended. The theme was "the Media Specialist and Educational Change." The social "Round-Up" was held at the Milwaukee Museum with lots of German hospitality--"the most successful and well-liked Round-Up to date," the Dispatch reported.

In May, 1966, after the efforts of many members of WDAVI, school administrators, and the TEPS Commission, the AV Certification Standards were approved. The standards identified the required courses for audiovisual coordinators and directors. This effort coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of audio-visual courses being offered around the state. Master's programs in media also expanded during this decade as well as audiovisual centers in all state universities.

In 1967, WDAVI adopted a new constitution as membership grew to over 200. A Project Planning Committee is set up this year to work on the development of publications, audio-visual materials and other projects.
Presidents during this decade included D. K. Mereen (58-59); Don Scott (59-61); Chuck Hocking (61-62); Robert Krueger (1963); Maury Iverson (1964-65); Viggo Rasmusen (1966-67); and Warren Randall (1968).
One item of discussion at several Board of Directors meetings in 1968 was the lack of communication between library and audiovisual. According to the October, 1968, Dispatch, a WDAVI statement entitled "The Role of School Librarians and Audio Visual Specialists" was included with the January, 1968, issue of the Dispatch. No copies of this statement were located in the archives, but it apparently was reprinted by a number of other states.

In 1969, a set of Joint Media-Library Standards was published by the DAVI and AASL, the American Association of School Librarians. The concept of a total media program was endorsed by both associations and was already being implemented in Wisconsin schools under the term “Instructional Media Centers.”
At the end of this decade, many changes were taking place in schools across the state. Federal grant money had helped educate many teachers and audiovisual specialists about instructional technology. Equipment and resources were being purchased and used. IMCs were being built or remodeled and staffed with professionals. Classroom television is becoming common in schools. And WDAVI takes a leadership role in Wisconsin by inviting school librarians to its spring, 1969, conference at Chula Vista to share ideas about the new national Standards for School Media Programs.