I would like to see my middle school (8th grade) students launch a school blog designed for the other students on campus. I envision it taking on the form of a student newspaper that tackes student issues and contains: staff interviews, student created resources dealing with positive character traits, podcasts with daily announcements, surveys, etc. The possibilities are endless... While I can envision it, I would prefer my students be able to view some student-run blogs or wikis that are already in use so that they can see what other students have put together. If you are working with students in this capacity please pass along any information that you believe might of benefit. Thanks so much!

Tags: blogs, newspaper, student, student-run, wikis

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Steve, for the reasons you mentioned... everything, in the end, will need to be ultimately approved by me as I represent the final security valve for the school and the district. I am working to set-up an Quality Control Team (made up of students) that will work with me to handle both what is posted by the class and the comments submitted by the student-body.
I agree with Steve that a wiki would not pass as a school website.

My suggestion for Matt is to use a two wiki system as an "online writing studio ==> publishing venue" combination. Within the closed wiki, articles could be moderated, shaped, peer edited, and discussed by the journalism (English) teacher and students. This wiki offers a safe (for Ss and Ts) creative space without so much worry about public scrutiny.

Once a candidate for publication, an article could be ported over to the public wiki which might still be locked except for possibly allowing comments. The school's website could include a link to this wiki just like they would link to the latest copy of the school newspaper.

Matt, I agree with you about the importance of accessibility for wikis, but this would be a different type of application for a different purpose. The heavily moderated wiki could serve to ratchet up the quality standards of students' written work, as school newspapers have traditionally done.

One problem with having students publish their draft works in a public wiki is that it misrepresents the effort and process that goes into creating a finished written product. Authors generally do not create their drafts of significant work in public without any sort of editorial assistance. If we're serious about facilitating high-quality writing, I think it is only fair to provide the supports that writers have relied on in the past.
We will be working within wikis to manage our ideas... and then using the blog to post the final work.
Ironically, our yearbook teacher is also our software lead teacher... who refuses to embrace wikis and blogs... Go figure!
Matt, for all of the reasons you mentioned I am eager to see what the students put together. I am also interested in them putting together a history page of sorts -- using a wiki (possibly even linking it to Wikipedia).

Hi Peter

Don't know if you can help me with this?

 

My Masters students want to publish their weekly findings in the form of an online newspaper. ie front cover story, back cover story, etc. They want to act as expert journalists and editors on each week's domain based on desk research and industrial expert interviews. Something that looks like a real print edition but online so that they can e-distribute it across the campus. Do you know of any free, education sympathetic providers out there. They want to add photos, etc, etc

Many thanks

Ed

Yes, go to wikispaces.com.  E mail me if you have more questions.  patrick.kutkey@evergreenps.org

Thanks for the input Patrick - have you created online newspapers using wikispaces?  If so, I would love to see what you have...

 

Pete 

I haven't created an online newspaper, but I think it would work quite well. I have had several groups of students create a 'how to' site on using a program called RPG Maker.  I am on the Plus Plan which allows for no ads and a private wiki, so that you can control who has write access. This was provided at no charge by wikispaces. I can't remember if this was a one time only deal, but I have found their support to be very friendly and I bet they would upgrade you at no charge if you asked nicely.

Ed,

 

If you are looking for something that actually appears as newspaper might than I am not sure I have the answer for you.  I have heard of some sites that may provide that type of formatting but my mind is blanking on them at the moment - I'll check my resources today and get back to you.

 

I ended up using Edublogs as the newspaper base which cost me a nominal amount ($40 a year so I could be ad-free).  However, my bigger issue was that I had the wrong students and the wrong class to launch an online newspaper.  Some of my students could write, some could handle the technical end of the class - neither could do both.  Additionally, they saw this class as their "fun" hour...  I was a bit too ambitious in my first year teaching technology.  Three years later I think I am in a better place to put an online paper in place...  This clearly won't be an issue for you as your students want to do this and they are well clear of their pubescent years... : ) and the cost is minimal if you want to go through a blog platform.

 

The other option, as Patrick mentions in his comment, is Wikispaces.  Here you will also run into the issues of ads but can pay for an ad-free site with an upgrade.  I have used Wikispaces and love them - however, I have no idea how a online newspaper might look on a wiki.      

 

Hope this helps in some way

 

Pete

 

 

As Patrick and Peter have suggested, wikispaces is a good place for this work. Higher Ed does not qualify for free ad-free sites as far as I know.

I don't know a lot about this web host, but here is an example of an online newspaper that is done by the journalism class in the high school where I work:  http://my.hsj.org/Schools/Newspaper/tabid/100/view/frontpage/newspa...

Your students could probably get some ideas from here.  If you want more information you can email the teacher who is listed on the page.

 

Also, one of our fourth grade teachers has a weekly student created blog.  Each week two students are assigned as roving reporter and roving photographer.  They work together to create pictures or video of the weekly happenings in class and share it on the class blog.  Though this isn't as extensive as what you have in mind, there may be some ideas here for middle school students:  http://randallclass2.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

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