I’m adviser Randy Jackson, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Randy Jackson

What school do you teach at?
Forest Lake Christian School

What city and state is your school located in?
Auburn, CA

What different media are produced at the school?
Our students produce three yearbooks, video projects, audio projects, web design and a weekly news program.

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

Describe your space for us.
I wanted the room to be a creative a inviting space instead of the typical stale room of computers. Stained wood, corrugated metal and painted walls give a more “coffee house” sort of feel. The large tables in the middle of the room is a great place to collaborate on projects. The tables have wheels, so they are easy to move around when needed. We even have a coffee bar.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
Our workspace has created a more fun and creative environment for the kids to work and has definitely increased productivity and the popularity of my classes.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
I believe my students enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere and the freedom it brings to be more creative.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Students are limited to programs because our computers are so old. However, we are hopeful for new computers soon. With that said, we use programs hosted online such as Jostens Yearbook Avenue, as well as InDesign and Photoshop.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
Because of lack of equipment, students are mainly shooting with their own phones. We have a few phone gimbals, and a few canon DSL cameras.

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.
A green screen for sure.

How is your workspace funded?
I purchased everything myself out of my own pocket.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
I would like a bigger TV that is true to coloring for reviewing student photos, etc. I would also really like several backdrop rollers permanently attached to the wall for easy access to green screen, high key, etc.

(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 26th 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 is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner 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 X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

One thought on “I’m adviser Randy Jackson, and this is my newsroom…

  • June 22, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Okay, Randy. Your space is seriously cool. I want to take your class now.

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