What is your name?
What school do you teach at?
Carmel High School
What city and state is your school located in?
How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
80 on the HiLite staff
Describe your space for us.
Our newsroom is a relatively open space. The computer “lab” is really just one half of the room while the classroom space on the other side is for direct instruction (usually for intro/prerequisite courses). I’m actually looking to get tables instead of desks because I like collaboration. We also have a small conference room (that used to be half of a darkroom) that students use for budgeting meetings and small photo shoots. My office is across from the conference room.
What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
I like the fact that we’re all in one space. It makes it easier to monitor and for management team members to flow around.
What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
My kids said they like that our room is a flexible space – everything’s sort of integrated together, which makes it better for a team approach. However, they also like having the separate conference space for smaller projects and conversations.
What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Adobe CC 2015 (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.).
What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
27 iMac desktop computers, 15 Mac PowerBook laptops, six Canon 70D cameras, 1 Canon Rebel t2i, 1 Beastgrip Pro (for iPhone video), 1 Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot camers (for kids who are a little intimidated by the larger cameras). With all equipment but the desktops, students can check it out and take it for use overnight.
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 BeastGrip Pro has been pretty neat. My kids don’t use it much yet, but those who have have really liked how convenient it is. They’re already used to using their phones, and the BeastGrip just makes their phone videos look and sound better (I got some peripheral lenses and mics for it).
How is your workspace funded?
Our district takes care of everything now; we’re on the district’s regular five-year (or so) replacement schedule. There was a time maybe 10 years ago when we had to buy and replace all of our Macs out of our HiLite budget – not so now, thank goodness. We still buy our own cameras and the like.
Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
Definitely. I have a big dream of revamping our space. I’d like to start by replacing all of the desks with tables, as I mentioned earlier. I’d also like to change out the center island of computers with three hex tables, which would allow me to add four additional computers to the room. Additionally, I’d like to make the space more flexible by adding a tall table at the back of the room with electrical outlets (for students who bring their own computers) as well as movable comfy chairs and tables for small-group collaboration. In the current conference room, I’d like to add studio lights in the ceiling and add backdrops so we could do better staged shots. I’d also like to see the space painted to something that’s a bit warmer; I’d like it to feel more like a coffee shop than a prison. Since we don’t have windows, we need something to warm the space.
(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.)