The Talon, Hanaford’s new student-run online newspaper, is in its fourth month of operation, and has been live online for about two months. The ten fifth grade editors have been working with me weekly to learn about newspapers in general and how the writing for newspapers compares to the type of writing they do in their classes.
The team spent the first month of weekly meetings establishing the type of newspaper we wanted to bring to Hanaford and what each of our roles would be. Just as the students are learning how to write for a newspaper and balance deadlines, so too am I, as their adviser, learning how to teach something that had been a previous career for me to young students.
As we head into the new year, we have been finding more and more ways to incorporate the cart of 25 iPads into our reporting and writing. Students have had a few opportunities to use the iPads to take notes, record videos and take photos as it related to reporting on various stories around school. Events such as Spirit Day and field trips, COA presentations and holiday parties have all been documented well thanks to our iPad cart. We can’t wait until we have an iPad in the hands of students in all grade levels, documenting projects, experiments and other aspects of day-to-day life at Hanaford!
In consideration of this amazing technology we have, we decided that our “newspaper” would be primarily online, opting for the School Newspapers Online (SNO) platform, which provides sites and support through WordPress. This is an amazing opportunity, as it allows us to upload photos, stories and video right from our iPads, though we are all learning the difficulty of trying to pump out enough stories to keep us “current” online.
We are all looking forward to expanding our team during the month of January, opening positions up to reporters in the fourth and fifth grades, and teaching them what we have learned during the first semester. We are all incredibly grateful to EGEF for giving us this amazing opportunity and for putting this technology in our hands!