Pages Navigation Menu

Three story ideas worthy of student media exploration

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Looking for stories that enable your students to make a significant difference?

Here are three possibilities for localization and expansion:

• Should schools monitor students’ social media sites
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2013/12/23/schools-monitor-media-400/2/

This article raises the issue whether software can or should be expected to determine if students’ postings can be considered cyberbullying. The article seems to raise the same concepts and approaches those who supported Internet filtering did, saying software could be so finely designed to judge why students meant. Cyberbullying is a serious issue facing schools, but numerous groups also argue attempts to limit it must have a constitutional basis. Background on this topic should be extensive.

• SR: the right to be nonpolitical
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/magazine/the-first-amendment-right-to-nonpolitical-homework.html?_r=2&

Should homework assignments involve students in political activities? A similar question might challenge giving students class credit to engage in essay writing for contests or other prizes. Do your schools have policies on these practices?

•  Shools not inspiring student to participate in civic life, Stanford scholar says
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/november/civics-education-report-112613.html 

The premise of this article is that students are not taught who to become engaged in society, that facts about democracy, citizenship and government are not enough. Active participation, the author urges, is the key. In your school, what is billed as civic involvement, and are the students given a real change to make a difference?

 

Read More

It’s all in the words used

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Change can be a good thing.

So can responsibility and appropriateness. Add accountability.

Generally, we would also agree cyberbullying – or just bullying – is not a good thing.

However, control in the guise these terms that dictate speech without common definitions and legal framework is not responsible and not appropriate. It is not acceptable. It is not reasonable, another favorite word of control. It is just not acceptable.

And that’s the problem being played out in California’s Lodi School District as debate rages over an imposed social media policy that could remove students from their extracurricular activities for inappropriate expression.

Of course, inappropriate is not defined.

As Bear Creek High’s newspaper editor said, as reported  by the Student Press Law Center, “The district has decided that they are allowed to remove me from my extra-curriculars if they do not approve of my opinions,” Williams’ statement reads. “What vexes me most severely is that this contract is not a threat but an ultimatum: students must choose either their rights or their passions and personality. The district has made some foul errs in the past, but this time, they have gone way too far.”

The SPLC also reports California Senator Leland Yee, who authored legislation protecting student expression, wrote in support of student actions.

“While the problem of cyberbullying must be addressed,” Yee said in the SPLC report, “we must do so in a focused manner.” Yee wrote. “The policy of punishing students for saying anything deemed to be ‘inappropriate’ goes too far in restricting student speech. Policies regarding cyberbullying must be carefully and specifically written.”

Not only should cyberbullying and bullying policies be written precisely, with protecting student expression in mind, so should use of terms like inappropriate, responsible and acceptable.

Part of the solution in Lodi’s situation is what seems to be a board move to involve students in the decision-making process. Enough eyes and minds, from students to board members, from the ACLU and senator Leland Yee, might guarantee the policy is reasonable, appropriate and responsible, all with terms precisely definable and agreeable to all.

That would indeed be meaningful change in the learning process.

See here for more information.

 

Read More

Social Media Toolbox available to help those
considering, and using, social media in journalism

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Marina Hendricks, a member of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission, has developed a “Social Media Toolbox” for use by student journalists and their advisers.

The toolbox, available at hendricksproject.wordpress.com, features 16 lessons on social media plus related resources. The lessons can be used as a unit or individually, depending on the needs of students, advisers and school publication programs.

As a unit, the lessons are designed to help student journalists and their advisers navigate the transition into using social media as part of their publication programs. The unit starts with ethical decision-making to help guide students through the process. It continues with exploration of reasons for using social media, consideration of how social media tools are employed by journalists, and evaluation of the school community’s use of social media through a survey.

Other lessons focus on legal issues, social media policies and roles, cyberbullying, reporting using social media, and tutorials for implementing popular tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The unit concludes by challenging students to design an educational program on social media for the school community.

This is a fantastic educational opportunity for students and teachers to determine the impact of social media in a scholastic journalism setting and for administrators and communities to see how they can support and enhance a journalistically strong – free and responsible – social media program.

About the author: Marina is senior manager of communications for the Newspaper Association of America in Arlington, Va. In a previous life, she ran a program for teen journalists sponsored by The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia. She also served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Charleston, teaching an introductory journalism course. She completed the “Social Media Toolbox” as the final project for her master of arts in journalism education at Kent State University, under the supervision of Candace Perkins Bowen, John Bowen and Mark Goodman.
Read More

‘Social Media Toolbox’ available for those
considering, and using, social media in journalism

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

SJW-2012

Marina Hendricks, a member of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission, has developed a “Social Media Toolbox” for use by student journalists and their advisers. The toolbox, available at hendricksproject.wordpress.com, features 16 lessons on social media plus related resources. The lessons can be used as a unit or individually, depending on the needs of students, advisers and school publication programs.

As a unit, the lessons are designed to help student journalists and their advisers navigate the transition into using social media as part of their publication programs. The unit starts with ethical decision-making to help guide students through the process. It continues with exploration of reasons for using social media, consideration of how social media tools are employed by journalists, and evaluation of the school community’s use of social media through a survey.
Read More