Teaching journalism and advising student media matters more than ever, but the challenges of 2020 have made it increasingly difficult. With so many questions about whether, when and how schools will reopen for face-to-face instruction and constantly changing conditions affecting the possibility of in-person conventions and learning opportunities, JEA can offer reassurance.
Wherever you are and whatever you need, JEA will continue to develop new models and resources to help. Through digital, virtual offerings, the Journalism Education Association is pleased to introduce anywhereJEA, a commitment to the scholastic journalism education community for ongoing, continuous support.
Earlier this month, 232 attendees had the first opportunity to experience a reimagined JEA program by participating in JEAai, the annual Advisers Institute, in a unique virtual conference setting. In a platform researched and coordinated by JEA Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, advisers had opportunities to learn and interact from anywhere via live sessions, on-demand content, video, chat, meet-ups, shared work spaces and interactive components like messaging, polls and contests.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to JEAai was an indicator of how well we can still serve members, even if it looks a little different,” Glasscock said. “We maintained the same high standard of excellence in our programming while becoming more accessible to advisers. This meant that advisers who haven’t been able to attend in person could join the experience for the first time, and those who regularly attended received the same value.”
JEAai was just the first of multiple anywhereJEA experiences in the works. Virtual roundtables is another one of the opportunities that are being provided.
“We are all in such different places, but we have many of the same concerns,” Adwers said. “Our goal for these roundtables is to create a place where teachers and advisers of all levels can share ideas, troubleshoot and develop possible solutions. We also hope to get ideas for new content or adjustments to the JEA Curriculum Initiative.”
Serving members online and in new ways is a priority for all JEA leaders. Contest Chair Nancy Smith, MJE, met with her team in June to develop a virtual format for the National Student Media Contests beginning with the fall contests. Students will have the opportunity to practice their skills, compete for recognition and gain valuable feedback from judges through an online scoring system regardless of whether an in-person event is possible for the National High School Journalism Convention.
Similarly, Certification Chair Amy Sorrell, MJE, has been researching options for remote proctoring of the Certified Journalism Educator and Master Journalism Educator exams. Soon members will have the opportunity to test without traveling. Certification will be available anywhere.
As journalism teachers continue to navigate uncertain times, JEA will adapt.
“Great educators are nimble and flexible, and members should expect nothing less from us as a top-notch professional association. We are excited to model the ability to reinvent signature programs, adjust services as needed and explore new offerings,” said JEA President Sarah Nichols, MJE. “Teachers are nervous and frustrated, and it’s essential for us to provide connections and support beyond our standard offerings. Embracing the anywhereJEA mindset, we can help each other learn, improve and innovate in order to provide the best learning experiences for students.”