I’m adviser Jennifer Parsons, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Jennifer Parsons

What school do you teach at?
Greenfield Junior High

What city and state is your school located in?
Gilbert, Arizona

What different media are produced at the school?
Newspaper: GRZEXP.com

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
Newspaper – 7/Yearbook -13

Describe your space for us.
Our workroom may not be much, but it’s our little home away from home. The publications workroom is attached to my main classroom where I teach 8th grade English the rest of the day. The kids can use both classrooms, but most staff retreat to the comfort of the workroom with the bigger computers. While we are a 1-to-1 school with Chromebooks, the only place the newspaper staff can access the WordPress web site we use is on the desktop computers. Along the same lines, putting together your yearbook online using Chromebooks makes things…tiny. The desktops allow the kids to get a better feel for what things are going to look like as a finished project and allows the staff to manipulate our photos better on the big screens.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
The biggest benefit to our workspace has to be that we have the desktop computers with the big screens. Most of all, it’s a space that the publications kids can call their own and use how they see fit.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
The couch with emoji pillows and the surfboard table are a favorite spot to have meetings and planning sessions, making it feel more like home.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Newspaper uses the Google Suite and WordPress. Yearbook uses Herff Jones eDesign and the Google Suite. Both staffs use Instagram.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
Our computers are all district issued HP products, both desktops and Chromebooks. We use various levels of hand me down Nikon cameras thanks to donations from parents, but mostly the Coolpix L series and the D3100, D3200, and D3300 cameras. We don’t have anything else.

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.
Nothing. We only have computers and a few cameras.

How is your workspace funded?
The only funding we get comes from the few tax credit donations we get from parents each year. There is no district funding for the publications program on our campus.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
We would love Photoshop, but we don’t have access to it at the junior high level. We would also love Macs instead of our PCs, but we are just happy that we have what we have!

(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 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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