UC Berkeley offers free online tutorials

Searching the Web for a simple Google spreadsheets tutorial, I stumbled upon the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s catalog of online tutorials for students. The tutorials are freely accessible, and they run the gamut from basics to complex, multi-part tutorials.

Here are a few that you and your students might fight useful:

Tutorial: Taxonomy Of Digital Story Packagestaxonomy of digital story packages
By Paul Grabowicz, Richard Hernandez, Jeremy Rue

Multimedia story types are cataloged, and each story type is accompanied by several professional examples.

Lesson idea: Have students spend time exploring the examples and creating a quick reference chart in their notebooks that records the name of the story type, the description, and the title of one or two good examples.


cleaning dataTutorial: Data Visualization: Basics
By Len De Groot

Using Google spreadsheets, users learn how to utilize basic spreadsheet functions and tools to create simple graphs and charts.

Lesson idea: Create a Google form with a survey and send the link to your students so they can take the survey (could do the night before). Then share the spreadsheet with students so they can practice cleaning the data and creating visualizations.


picking multimediaTutorial: Picking The Right Media For A Story
By Paul Grabowicz

Full of links to sample stories and online packages, this tutorial guides users through the process of matching the purpose and focus of a story to an appropriate medium.

Lesson idea: Give students three localized story ideas and ask them to work in teams to select the best medium for presenting that story. They should be able to justify their selection using what they learned in the tutorial.


UC Berkeley’s online tutorial collection is a great resource for teachers and students. Beyond what I have included above, you will also find basic software tutorials, including:

  • iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Audacity
  • Garage Band
  • Pro Tools
  • Protovis
  • and more…

There are also a wealth of tutorials in the Reporting and Public Records section covering how and where to find public records, and how to use those records in multimedia stories. Check it out and bookmark the page for future reference.

Michelle Balmeo

Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is the adviser of The Whirlwind newsmagazine and online news publication at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore. She's done some print stuff, some video stuff, and some web stuff over the past 16 years as a student media adviser.

Michelle Balmeo has 66 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Balmeo

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