What is your name?
What school do you teach at?
Puyallup High School
What city and state is your school located in?
What different media are produced at the school?
The Viking Vanguard newsmagazine, Viking Vanguard online, Viking News Network, www.vikingvanguard.com
How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
72 enrolled +10-15 freelance
Describe your space for us.
The newsroom used to be a space reserved for the drafting class (hence the tall tables that tilt) and the video productions class. We use the space to produce all media (except for the yearbook which is produced by another teacher in a space in the main building of the school). The space has around 25 desktop computers, a separate podcast room, control room, and studio space with three-four sets currently set up. The Fastenal locker system has 24 Nikon cameras and 6 Canon DSLRs for students to check out. We are in a separate building from the main building of the school, separated by a courtyard. We have three main spaces to the room used for a variety of purposes. There are three external doors: two to the hallway between our room and the culinary arts room and one to the courtyard.
What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
The size and variety of spaces make this room an ideal newsroom. Each student has his/her own desktop space to work, although the space is also shared with an intro to photography course so the students cannot leave work behind. There are ample cabinets and drawers to store things in the main area, a storage room just off the main room where microphones, audio cables, and tools are located. The sound room and podcast room are between the main room and the studio space in the back of the room, separated so activities can easily take place in the main teaching space without interfering with recordings happening in the studio.
What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
They love the fact that they each have their own space to work including computer space. The amount of cameras and other equipment available allow them to experiment with media and storytelling. The editors are able to hold Ed Board meetings in the sound room, which allows them to also keep tabs on the staff since the windows allow them to monitor what is happening during their meetings. The podcast room is sound proof and the students love to use it not only to record podcast packages but also confidential interviews as well.
What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Adobe Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier, SNO)
What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras, Windows PCs, EasyPrompt, HP Scanners
Aside from the computers and the programs, what are one or two pieces of equipment that you have that you think other programs should have.
The lights on top of the DSLR cameras for additional key lights has been amazing, a super cheap way to get better lighting. I also highly recommend as many tripods as you can, though don’t go with the cheap options.
How is your workspace funded?
The broadcast program is funded through Career and Technical Education. The newsmag and online sell advertising space in order to cover printing and hosting costs.
Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
LED lights and more depth to the existing sets. We would love to do rotating sets with different purposes and feel that part of that means being able to make it look more like a set. The lighting that is currently set up in the studio on the ceiling is still from the old video productions teacher and his sets. We are in the process of switching them out to make the lighting work for us. I would also love to have some alternative seating arrangements (bean bag chairs, etc). so students can work in a more “coffee shop” atmosphere. I would also love to have tables more conducive to group work and discussions. Hard to have a team meeting around the current table setup.
(This is one of a series of posts where high school newsrooms are showcased. We’d love to showcase your newsroom on the site. To find out how, check out the information here and submit yours today.)