Journalism and iPads – Day 1

DAY 1:

Today, I passed out or had iPads checked out to two classes of journalism students.  Lots of anxiety and planning were poured into this project over the summer, but as usual my students simplified it down into being able to do more and being really excited about having the chance to use this new technology.  The class went smoothly, a checkout agreement was signed by both students and parents and then they were able to check them out of the library.  Students organized apps, made Twitter lists, and wrote their first blog.

A one-to-one experience is the goal of this experiment.  My goals are for them to be better consumers of digital media, create amazing content for the website and the newspaper, blog about their experience for other teachers and students to learn from, and create a Storify of their top tweets from the past month.  Below is a run down on what we did to get ready and some of the assignments students will be completing.  I will update this blog hopefully once a week on how the process is going.

Students get their iPads on day one of an experiment to see how students can use new technology in the classroom. Photo by Jonathan Rogers




WordPress – PS Express – iMovie – Sketchbook Pro – Google Drive – Storify – Podcasts – AP Mobile – Hootsuite

The above apps are what we chose to load for journalism.  There are more apps on the iPad and we will add more as time goes on.  Most of the pre-game or setup for the iPads we did without even knowing we were going to use iPads.

The biggest steps were to have WordPress log in names and passwords for the website.  The other pre-game or pre-iPad unit set up was to have a Twitter account, Hootsuite account and a Storify account.  Students need to set these up on regular computers.  Most of it can be done on an app, but I find it much easier to do on a computer.  The biggest task that is easier to do on a computer is creating Twitter lists.  When having them build Twitter lists my first step is to have them brainstorm writers and publications they enjoy, follow them, and then follow who they follow.  If they do this they should have a list of over 50 writers and publications they enjoy if not well over a hundred.  I also suggest they look at my high school journalism list.  A few of them even set up a Pacemaker Twitter list of high school publications.



The students have been given weekly assignment and one unit assignment with the iPads.


Every week they will have to write a 500 word blog entry reflecting on their use of the iPad.  These blogs will be posted on their staff blog pages.

The second weekly project is to follow a Twitter list of more than 50 journalists and publications they enjoy reading.  From that list they will then use Hootsuite to star their favorite posts and then from what they have starred they will create a Storify to share their favorite journalism tweets from the month.  If I could use another app to complete that project I might get an app bonus!

They need to record all their interviews every week on video.  If a person doesn’t want to be video interviewed then they can record their voice. These videos and audio samples will be used to write their stories and to create internet exclusive content.

Post a story every week using an iPad.  All stories breaking or not will have to be read over by an editor before being published.  Any questionable sources, criminal charges, athletic injuries will need to be thoroughly fact checked.  Recently, the staff has had a few good lessons on the importance of confirming official sources when dealing with injuries and school suspensions.  Printing gossip and a firm discussion of how to do no harm in journalism and what should not be printed will be a key component of the first week.


Video Features – Art Projects using Sketchbook Pro – Video Tutorials for the Staff – A Series of Podcasts –

The above options will be given for students to complete over the next month along with the option of pitching me an idea.  The will work in teams of no more than two on these projects and weekly progress reports will be turned in via their blogs.  Participation points will also be worth 20% of their grade based on how well they are using their class time.







2 thoughts on “Journalism and iPads – Day 1

  • October 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Awesome! Love this. Where did you get the ipads? Grant? Who gets them when they have to give them back?

  • October 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    It is a district test project to see if the school should go one-to-one. Seven other teachers from all subject areas will also get to teach a unit with them. I should have mentioned the class felt a great deal like Christmas today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.