Create a hub for student journalists to record school events

TIE blog journalism

BIO

Christie Simpson teaches English to high school students in Perth, Australia. As a TED-Ed Innovative Educator,  she is dedicated to boosting student engagement and critical thinking skills.

IDEA

Teachers must ensure that students leave school with a fundamental understanding of the power of language — and the way it can be used to persuade, inform, entertain and inspire. One way to do this: start a school newspaper or student reporting/media hub.

INNOVATION PROJECT

The Harrisdale Hub is a student-driven media project designed to tell the stories of the students at Harrisdale Senior High School via blogs, video and podcasts. The students in the hub first pitch story ideas, and then decide on the media format to best capture and tell each story.

“The Harrisdale Hub evolved quickly in terms of content ideas and student engagement,” says Christie. Initially, students had good ideas but were reticent about trying multimedia options. Now, student ideas and requests for access to resources are many and varied. “We have to maintain a roster of camera and microphone access to allow all students to capture the stories they want to share in the ways they choose to share them,” she says.

Christie continues: “What has impressed me the most is the collaboration among students. Reporters actively seek out photographers to capture their stories. The podcast team writes scripts, rehearses together, and negotiates interview times with special guests. Video news reporters actively engage with members of the school community to capture the content needed for their stories. Meanwhile, all students have been dabbling with editing media content. The students have taken to it amazingly well, and I’ve been delighted by their passion and commitment.”

Below, read Christie’s tips on how to start a student reporting/media hub at your school:

  • Be prepared to limit the numbers of students at the start. I took on nearly 45 students at first, which was untenable.
  • Have a structure for booking/using tech. Timetable it.
  • Take time to train students in how to use the tech. We tend to assume they know it all, but they really don’t.
  • Be clear about protocols for your school/district. Several students at our school were not to have images published, which I learned after spending several hours editing video that contained images of some of those students.
  • Let students drive the content decisions. They know what their peers and families want to hear about. Let students tell the stories that are important to them.
  • Keep the bloopers. They’ll come in handy at graduations, etc.

This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers. Art credit: Shutterstock.

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