With COVID-19 continuing to impact the way that schools around the country operate, the online presence of student media becomes even more important. One challenge that many young writers struggle with is finding ways to tell stories with more than just words on a page or static images. During her “There’s a Multi Tool for That” session at JEAai this past summer, Monta Vista High School adviser Julia Satterthwaite highlighted ways that staff can use a variety of multimedia storytelling tools.
Satterthwaite said it can be daunting for a program to add multimedia storytelling tools.
“If you’re like me you look at professional publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN, etc. and you’re looking at their multimedia content and thinking ‘how in the heck can my students do that?’” Satterthwaite said. “I want them to do these cool immersive, fun exciting things but I’m not really sure where to start.”
That thinking is what drove her to encourage her editors and staff to find new tools and try them out, often by seeing what others are doing and finding a way to reproduce it.
“My editors look for new tools and present them to class for staff members to try, so looking at what other programs are doing is part of our culture,” Satterthwaite said.
Her presentation included several examples from El Estoque, her students’ online publication.
“I wanted to curate ways that my students have actually used these. So you can see the way that high school students are using the tools so that you’re not so intimidated,” Satterthwaite said. “While we are trying to emulate the professional publications, it’s nice to see the way that high school kids are actually using the tool.”
As the virtual session ran, many participants added questions, comments or their own tools they use in the live chat. Adviser Matthew LaPorte highlighted the importance of using multimedia tools.
“I appreciate the ideas for ways to use the multimedia tools to break up text,” LaPorte said. “Especially on an online platform, readers are expecting this and it can be difficult.”
Here is a direct link to the project and an additional link to this site’s multimedia tool guide:
Link v.1 (fit):https://www.thinglink.com/card/1340049703173095427
JEA Digital Media Multimedia Tools Guilde: https://www.jeadigitalmedia.org/multimedia-tools/