I’m adviser Brenda Field, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Brenda Field

What school do you teach at?
Glenbrook South High School

What city and state is your school located in?
Glenview, Illinois

What different media are produced at the school?
This space is used only by the yearbook staff. The newspaper, the television and the radio broadcasting programs each have their own spaces.

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
65 students

Describe your space for us.
We have a classroom and a computer lab in adjoining rooms with an interior door in between. We have a portrait backdrop in the classroom, and in the computer lab we have 15 desktops and 14 laptops. We also have a cabinet for our photo equipment in the lab and work tables away from the main computer stations. It’s tight, but we fit a lot in.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
We’ve been able to tailor the space to our needs and we’ve all benefited from that. Although we would love to have more space in the computer lab, its size does tend to foster necessary communication and interaction between staffers.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
They love that the space is theirs. It’s truly their home away from home. There are students working and hanging out in the lab at every point in the day.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
We use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator for page creation, photo editing and graphics. We do all of our writing and copy editing in Google Docs. The editors tend to love using Google Sheets for organizing planning within their sections. We use GroupMe for staff communication, and we use Trello for staff-wide organization and management of workflow. Our marketing manager posts regularly on Instagram; we also have Facebook and Snapchat accounts.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We’re using Mac desktops and laptops. The photo team uses Canon equipment. We have a couple 5D Mark III, a couple Mark II and several 7Ds. We also have a variety of lenses: 70-200 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 16-35 f2.8, 135mm, 80mm and 50mm. We also have several external flashes. We also have two scanners, two printers and a drawing tablet.

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.
Investing in an arsenal of cameras has been a game-changer for us. Since we live in cold climate and have to shoot indoors most of the year, we couldn’t get the images we wanted until we spent the money on fast lenses. We add a few new items to the mix each year so we never have to replace it all at once. Over time, we’ve built it up to the point where we have something we can use in every situation.

How is your workspace funded?
Our computer technology is purchased by the school district, but all of our other equipment was purchased through our yearbook account. We sell a lot of senior ads.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
My editors would love to tear down the wall between our lab and the classroom. They hate that it sometimes creates a barrier between people while they’re working. I’d love to have furniture that allows for more flexible configurations within the workspace.

(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.)

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 20th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 571 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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