10 challenges & 10 rewards of taking your high school paper online (2012)

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Updated presentation for Columbia Scholastic Press Association "Digital Bootcamp for Advisers" (June 2012).

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10 challenges & 10 rewards of taking your high school paper online (2012)

  1. 1. “We are all publishers now” 10 Challenges and 10 Rewards of moving your high school paper online Melissa Wantz/June 2012
  2. 2. “We Don’t Use Paper for This” Launching The Foothill Dragon Press (October 2009) (video)
  3. 3. What are theChallenges toPublishing Online?
  4. 4. 1. Jack of all trades
  5. 5. 2. The ground constantly shifts• Online resources are developing daily Keeping up is difficult Is it possible to feel like you know what you are doing? >
  6. 6. 3. Audience expectations are high• As mainstream media and social networking sites add more digital goodies at ever cheaper cost and higher speed…the pressure is on to do the same. >
  7. 7. 4. Online = Always on• There is no reason not to publish news as or shortly after it happens.• This is difficult when you have a staff less than 5 hours a week.• When your students – Have responsibilities interests electives finals LIVES >
  8. 8. 5. Online requires more monitoring• Inappropriate comments• Inappropriate articles • The publication is like a baby, rarely sleeping always crying out for attention. >
  9. 9. 6. Online is more fragile• The freedom, fluidity and flexibility of online also creates a vulnerability that must be protected from student error and from outsiders• Your entire site can disappear in an instant. – I know this for a fact – It’s happened several times >
  10. 10. 7. Online scares some people• Some administrators worry about… “things getting out of control” and “teenagers running amok” >
  11. 11. 8. Online is forever• Digital footprints do not easily go away.• Responsibility is really on staff to use good judgment in deciding what to publish. >
  12. 12. 9. The competition is vast• At school, teachers won’t give up time for kids to read our online publication the way they might for a print newspaper.• At home, there are a million other online places for readers to go.• Everyone is a “journalist” now which means our competition is “everyone.” >
  13. 13. 10. The technology can be inconsistent...• Just like a student, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. • This is frustrating.
  14. 14. Top 10Benefits of Publishing online
  15. 15. 1. Student voices go farther.In the past 10 months: • Dragon Press visited 51,600 times (175% increase) • 115 countries (170% increase) • 229,00 page views (115% increase)
  16. 16. Student voices go farther.
  17. 17. 1. Student voices go farther.
  18. 18. Student voices travel farther.
  19. 19. 2. Student work travels faster.
  20. 20. 2. Student work travels faster.
  21. 21. 2. Student work travels faster.
  22. 22. 3. Student opportunities are greater.
  23. 23. 3. Student opportunities are greater.
  24. 24. 4. Feedback is more authentic.
  25. 25. 4. Feedback is more authentic.
  26. 26. 5. Costs are less.• After accounting for one-time expenses – equipment – software• Online is cheaper than print.• Hosting fee: $25 a month• Domain fee: $12 per year …versus ?? annually for printing
  27. 27. 6. Online is interactive.
  28. 28. 6. Online is interactive.
  29. 29. 6. Online is interactive.
  30. 30. 6. Online is interactive.
  31. 31. 6. Online is interactive.
  32. 32. 6. Online is interactive.
  33. 33. 7. Online has more room.• Space is unlimited• More students can publish more (frequently & in depth)• This year: – 50 videos – 500 + articles – 600 tweets – 2000 photos & illustrations
  34. 34. 8. Makes history more accessible.
  35. 35. 8. Makes history more accessible.Last year: This year:
  36. 36. 9. Creates a searchable database.
  37. 37. 10. Builds positive digital identities
  38. 38. 10. Builds positive digital identities
  39. 39. 10. Builds positive digital identities
  40. 40. 10. Builds positive digital identities All new staff created an online resume as their final project for second semester. Used free website: www.visualcv.com
  41. 41. Review of Benefits1. Reaches farther2. Travels faster3. Provides unexpected opportunities4. Allows authentic, immediate feedback5. Costs less6. Is interactive7. Has unlimited space8. Is searchable9. Offers accessible archives10. Builds positive digital identities
  42. 42. Parting thoughts• “I don’t think these are dark days. I think this is just what disruptive change feels like. The barrier has never been lower. You are all journalism entrepreneurs, innovators.” —Bill Gannon, Director of Online Operations, Lucasfilm LTD
  43. 43. Last word• How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation?• How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable? • Seth Godin, sethgodin.typepad.com
  44. 44. The end

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