Let Poynter Help You Take Your School Newspaper Online

Apply today for this Poynter Institute workshop:
Taking High School Media Online

Join Jim Streisel, adviser of a 2009 online high school Pacemaker winner, and Poynter faculty member Wendy Wallace in this intensive (and fun!) weekend that will help you take your student journalism online. Spacer Spacer

Course dates: June 25-27, 2010, Friday evening through Sunday afternoon
Location: The Poynter Institute, 801 Third Street S, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tuition is free, thanks to a grant from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.  Participants are responsible for travel to Tampa/St. Petersburg and lodging.  (Some financial aid is available. Watch this space for links and tips to keep your costs low.)

Application Deadline:
April 25, 2010.  (Applications for this workshop are closed.)

Curriculum will include how to create and maintain a basic Website using WordPress or similar software, as well as:
  • fundamentals of video/audio
  • how to create an audio slideshow
  • digital storytelling
  • writing for the Web
  • options for organizing your staff
  • how journalists use Twitter and other social media.

Priority will be given to applicants with at least three years of teaching experience and to advisers:

  • from diverse backgrounds or from schools with an ethnically diverse student body
  • from schools with 25% or more students on free or reduced-rate lunch
  • seeking to reinvent or reinvigorate a journalism program
  • seeking to build journalism academies or specialty programs
  • with strong print programs who want to migrate to digital technologies.

Enrollment will be limited to 22 advisers.

Over two days, participants will experience the hands-on training that is Poynter’s trademark. Participants may bring digital stories and photos from their schools to incorporate in the beginnings of a site that they can expand with their students when they get home.

The format and content are based on a similar workshop the NAA Foundation funded in 2009 at Ball State University. Christie Gold, adviser at Freedom High in Tampa, took what she learned at that workshop and helped her students take the Revolution newspaper online.

"In 18 years of teaching I have never worked so hard but gained so much from a workshop," Gold said.  "It energized me for the coming year."

Advisers will leave with basic skills in reporting, writing and editing for online and with the confidence and knowledge to involve their students in taking their journalism to the Web. They will have created the beginning of a Website and populated it with enough content to get their students excited about the possibilities.

Lead teacher for the course will be Jim Streisel, MJE, adviser of print and online publications at Carmel (Ind.) High School.  The HiLite won a 2009 Online Pacemaker from the National Scholastic Press Association. Streisel is the author of High School Journalism: A Practical Guide.

News University, the e-learning division at Poynter, will share some of the workshop lessons through Webinars and live chats when school resumes in the fall. Watch for details at www.newsu.org.

The Poynter Institute is a non-profit school devoted to promoting excellence in journalism. It serves journalists, media leaders, students, educators and citizens in the interest of democracy. Many consider Poynter the nation's leading source of journalism training, supporting people producing journalism in all its forms – print, broadcast and online – to help them serve their communities.

The Poynter Institute (take a virtual tour) owns a modern, airy building of computer labs and teaching spaces. Seminar participants use MacIntosh iMac computers loaded with the latest software. Classrooms offer wireless internet access and full projection and multimedia capabilities. A library on the premises includes more than 10,000 books, videos, journals, reports, magazines and newspapers.

Still can't decide?

Randy Swikle, Illinois Director for the Journalism Education Association, writes:

"Wow! If I were still in the classroom, this is one event I would not want to miss.  Jim Streisel is one of the most inspiring, innovative teachers in the country. His journalism students have always been on the cutting edge of technology. Wendy Wallace is an online expert with a diverse journalism background and a delightful personality. She is a best friend to scholastic journalism. And if you've never been to Poynter, your visit alone would be well worth your 'travel bucks.' "

How to apply:

Application deadline is April 25, but we will let you know before that if you've been accepted so you can make your travel plans.  (Applications for this workshop are closed.)

If you have questions or need help with the online application, call Wendy at (727) 553-4311 or email her.


Do I have to be a high school journalism teacher to take this course?

You need to be the adviser for student media at a public or private high school or be someone who will work with students to do online journalism in the fall of 2010.

What will travel and lodging cost me?

Two airports serve St. Petersburg -- Tampa International Airport and St. Pete/Clearwater Airport -- and many airlines, including Southwest and Allegiant Air.  Poynter finds that most workshop participants can fly in for $200 to $325.  Within a mile are a number of hotels, including a Hampton Inn, Hilton, Marriott Residence Inn and Hotel Indigo, with rates from $110 to $150/night.  If you are willing to share a room with another participant, you can make the lodging especially affordable.  Or drive in and stay with a friend (or your grandmother!).

Here's a map and a little more information about what's nearby.  We're right across the street from one of the world's largest collections of work by the artist Salvador Dali, at the Dali Museum.  Beach Drive offers lovely shops and restaurants.  Check out this list of events in Tampa Bay that weekend, plus there's a show Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center ("I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"). The Mahaffey Theater is within walking distance, and Ruth Eckerd Hall is just 45 minutes away.  You'll probably be jazzed but tired after a full day of class and eager to have a relaxing dinner at the Parkshore Grill, 400 Beach Drive Seafood and Tap House, or Fresco's Waterfront Bistro and take a stroll along the beautiful downtown waterfront on Tampa Bay.  Or maybe you'll drive 20 minutes to St. Pete Beach and have dinner at the Hurricane or the fabulous Don CeSar and dig your toes in the sand on the beach.

Do I need computer programming skills to take this course?

No. You should be comfortable with computers, certainly. After all, you're about to start an online publication, right?  But you do not need to know HTML or any other programming language.  We'll work most with WordPress, and we'll give you some information about that before you get here to help you jumpstart your project.

Will I receive a degree or certificate? Will it count for college credit?

You will receive a certificate of completion. We will work with you if you want to explore options with your school district to earn continuing education credit for this class. But you will need to make those arrangements. Poynter is licensed and accredited, but we are not a degree-granting institution. You will not earn college credit through Poynter for this course.

I still have questions! What do I do?
Give us a call. Call or email Wendy at (727) 553-4311 or Jim at (317) 679-6915.

  • Profile picture for user WWallace

    Wendy Wallace

    Wendy Wallace leads Poynter's marketing and development team as Director of Advancement. She works closely with foundations, corporations and individuals who support Poynter's teaching and other work.


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