Spotlight on Reynolds Institute
September 19, 2011
Filed under Top Stories
Sofia Denise Marie Close is a 25-year teaching veteran in her fourth year at Middle College High School, an award-winning campus within a campus at Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo. Her students have launched Panthers Present, a web-based news site for the campus. Here, she recounts her experience at this summer’s Reynolds Journalism Institute, a boot camp for high school teachers and staffers.
This summer I attended the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno. Together 34 journalism teachers selected from almost 90 applicants nationwide spent two weeks learning from media professionals and each other about producing publications online. The YouBet Gazette can be found at http://reynoldsreno.ning.com/. With the increasing pace and growth in social media, it became a perfect opportunity to sharpen skills on interfacing with technology and developing ways to use that with students.
We teachers were lucky to be under the tutelage of Karl Grubaugh, the Dow Jones Journalism Teacher of the Year and adviser for Granite Bay High School Gazette in Cameron Park, Calif. His publication is nationally recognized, and I plan to implement many of his instructional and organizational methods in my writing classes. I remain available to share any materials and links with our staff this year.
Allow me to share a few of my favorites: David Calvert, who specializes in corporate and editorial journalism and is a visual storyteller in Reno; Dori Maynard’s Fault Lines Project, which examines content through racial, gender, geographical and age perspectives; Frank LoMonte, director of Student Press Law Center, who explained and defended California Ed Code 48907, and Frank X. Mullen, an historian who reports for the Reno Gazette and broke the story on the Fallon cancer cluster.
Certainly we can agree today, in this fast-moving world and with the wide availability of many tools for communication, that things are changing. Todd Felts, director of graduate studies and assistant professor at Reynolds, said, “Social media is being meta-noid.”
Students who write clearly and coherently on non-fiction topics have an advantage both in academics and employment. See this website for the benefits for students when learning journalism: http://www.jideas.org/naa_dvorak.php.
Dean Bill Winter told us we didn’t have to give up two weeks of our summer to go to Nevada, but we did because we want to better serve our students. “If it’s good for kids…”
Because it’s good for kids, we need a strong journalism program. Because it’s good for kids, we need an online newspaper. See what we have so far at http://www.pantherspresent.webs.com/