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Digital Renovation: What we learned at UNR

From June 17th to June 20th students from as far away as Utah attended the JEA Digital Renovation Conference. The conference was held at the stunning University of Nevada at Reno campus. With new-found information in how to bring multimedia into the journalism environment, students were prepared to take their papers to the next level.

What will we do? How will we grade it?

Change will be managed easily with the addition of digital portfolios, regular group bonding exercises and new online document saving techniques. Casey Elsa The class will have new team bonding excercises will help make the team much more connected and ready to create work that is exceptional. Some of the bonding activities covered b y Renovation expert Rachel West included: The Arm Game Have students raise their arms at their sides for as long as they can. When they have all dropped their arms, then they may try to hold up their arms again with the help of their teammates. This should show everyone the strength that they will have in a team that is not present when they work alone. The Snowman Building Activity Each student will work with a team that has been given some marshmellows, a

Gaining inspiration for an online move After attending classes at UNR’s Renovation, the move to an online newspaper will become easier. Just follow Michelle Balmeo’s four simple steps. Casey Elsa

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$199-$319 with wifi mic

Canon Vixia with SD

Can’t decide what to buy for your journalism class? The following items will make multimedia content possible for any journalism class.

Sunpak Tripod

Step Four: Give students a work quota that includes 1 print item and 3 online content items per month (this may need to be adjusted to 1 Step One: print item and 2 online content items while Assess student strengths and interests to de- the class is getting use to the online format). termine their beats and areas of focus. Plan to rotate the students through different beats Each school and instructor has a different apeach time that the sport’s seasons change. proach. For instance, Kelly Wilkerson adviser of The Hub, Davis Senior High School divides her Step Two: class into two groups. The first group is made up Make a schedule for assignments that will of 2/3 of the class and they work on the print verbe completed for both the web site and the sion. The second group is made up of 1/3 of the print edition. Stagger the due dates for each class and they work on the online content. The student and each assignment so that the web groups are switched a couple of times per year.

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Step Three: Make the schedule available to all students via Google Docs. This will help the class keep track of the editing that needs to be completed and the deadlines that are ever looming.

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content is not all coming in on the same day.

IPod Touch for filming

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ach journalism class has its structure. Ours is not exactly typical, but what is typical? With approximately 25 students we will need to make a deeper commitment to online journalism. Our class has 2 computers and two usable cameras. We have one video camera that has never been used. The question that we have to ask is, where should we begin? According to Michelle Balmeo, adviser of El Estoque, Monta Vista High School’s journalism course, we should try the following process:

$220 be sure to get the SD card slot built in too

$50-$120 depending on the size

spoon, some toilet paper and some stickers. The team will then use these materials to quickly make their leader into a real life snowman. The fastest team wins a prize. All of this is great but the grading is also something that can become an issue if students are not taught to include self-reflection in their work. This issue can be dealt with using digital portfolios. Renovation’s other expert Don Bott shared the benefits of having students work on and reflect on their work each semester . This gave the studenets an opportunity to show their accomplishments and creativity. Having an end product that is easy to grade and a joy to read would be an excellent way to cap off each semester of journalism.


Casey Elsa - Santa Rosa High School