This question comes up frequently: “I have some money to spend on photo equipment for my publication; what should I buy?”
Any answer depends on how much money you have to spend. I recently worked with a local camera dealer with this in mind and we came up with five packages of the best equipment for high school photojournalism ranging from a low end of about $300 to a top of just under $3,000. (Some of these prices include rebates that may not be current when you buy.)
The most affordable package is built around the Canon Powershot SX260 HS, a point and shoot camera that excels at the low light conditions your students will encounter covering school events. It is easy to learn and will do a decent job on sports.
Nikon SLRs are the choice if you have more money to spend. We chose Nikon equipment because of their performance and durability. We selected the Tamron f2.8 80-200 zoom lens on these packages because they offer great performance and a good price.
Each of the packages include cases, memory cards and insurance, something that I think is important when working with high school students.
My partner on this project was Dave Johnson of PhotoPro in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Even though you can save a few bucks by buying photo equipment at online superstores, a good full-service photo dealer can be competitive, and they offer advice and service you can’t get online. It’s impossible for most of us to keep current on what equipment is available now and in the near future. Dave’s advice on these packages was extremely valuable. So if you have a full-service dealer in your area, buy there; otherwise you can buy from PhotoPro online.
Package 1, $300- Canon SX260 camera: PP -278740
Package 2, $600 – Nikon 3100 Kit. PP- 278743
Package 3, $1375 – Nikon D5200 with two lenses PP- 278750
Package 4, $2,400 – Nikon D7000 with two lenses PP- 278753
Package 5, $2,700 – Nikon D7000 with f2.8 17-50mm and f2.8 70-200mm lenses PP- 278778
After a full year without a current Pulitzer winner to read, I am doubly excited about this week’s announcement that The Orphan Master’s Son has won the award. With all the news about Korea I have hoped to find something to let me get inside the heads of those who live there. Their thinking seem so incomprehensible judging from news development alone. This book promises to give some insight into that.
The opinion section if your newspaper of magazine is the place to perform many of the roles readers expect of a publication. The presentation linked here will show what these roles are and what publications need to do to become the leading voice of the student body.
The presentation develops in some detail a strategy for writing a staff editorial that will engage readers and win them over to your point of view.
You can download the presentation here: Lead with Opinion.
A handout explaining the editorial lead and a template for an effective editorial here. Writing staff editorials
InDesign can be intimidating, but over last two years I have seen two staffs with no previous experience do the layout on newspaper startups with just a little coaching. Here is what I’d recommend:
Researchers usually find that students flourish where there is stability in the school, with an experienced staff, clear expectations, small classes, and a rich curriculum.
In Kentucky, first state to implement and test the Common Core, student scores fell and achievement gaps widened.
This teacher in Connecticut foresees rough weather ahead as the state and federal government launch a massive experiment:
As I read through the list of speakers for next week’s IHSPA Fall Conference I became more and more excited. What a line-up director Paul Jensen has assembled!
The day begins with a keynote by reining Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Journalism Teacher of the year Aaron Manfull’s presentation, “Be a Game-Changer.” Aaron’s reputation gone viral in the past few years as both a dynamic speaker and leading expert on digital journalism. His publications at Francis Howell North in St. Charles Missouri have the top national awards and have truly been a game-changer at his school and on the national scene. As well as Aaron is known nationally and in Missouri, Iowa claims him as both a native son and devoted Hawkeye fan.
Aaron will also present session, “How to Move Your Publication Online” later in the day.
And there is more! Want a TV celebrity – the conference has that in Beth Malicki, anchor at KCRG TY9 in Cedar Rapids.
Want a Pulitzer winner? See Steven Berry’s presentation “Every Reporter is an Investigative Reporter.”
Other top journalism professionals include Patrick J. Riepe developer of the Hawk Central website, Liz Martin, photojournalist from the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Brittany Volk, designer for the Tampa Bay (Fla) Times, J.R. Ogden, community sports director for the Gazette and Lyle Muller, Director of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism.
Got conflict in your newsroom? See David Schwartz’s presentation for help with that.
Some of Iowa’s top journalism advisers, Ann Visser, Ginny Ordman, Betty Christian, Jonathan Rogers, Leslie Shipp, and Kyle Phillips, will be presenting.
College journalism will be well represented with Mark Witherspoon, adviser of the Daily at Iowa State University and several current and past members of Daily Iowan staff.
This line-up of talent offers the quality of expertise that I see at our national JEA / NSPA Conventions, so I hope scholastic journalism staffs in the midwest take advantage of this opportunity close at home.
Complete information about the program and registration are on the IHSPA website.
from The Opening Bell
The following articles from the National Education Association’s daily blog call our attention to two developments in Common Core Assessment.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition drafting short, long common core assessment
Education Week (9/18, Gewertz) reports that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition “is planning a significant shift: Instead of designing one test for all [states adopting the Common Core Standards], it will offer a choice of a longer and a shorter version. The pivot came in response to some states’ resistance to spending more time and money on testing for the common standards.” First computer based NAEP results released
The Cleburne (TX) Times-Review (9/18, Washington) continues coverage of the release this week of “the results of the Nation’s Report Card 2011 writing test for eighth- and 12th-graders–the first of its kind to be administered by computer” by the National Assessment Governing Board.
CNN (9/18, Krache) reports that the results indicate that “girls are better than boys” at writing, noting that this year, for the first time ever, “students were able to take advantage of editing software and other writing tools, such as spell check and a thesaurus, as they crafted their writing samples. … According to the board, performances varied by race, ethnicity, gender, school location and other factors, such as parents’ educational attainment. But the most notable achievement gap was between males and females in both eighth and 12th grades.” Eighth grade girls’ average score was 160, while boys’ averaged 140.
Where do these developments lead us?
As groups like Smarter Balance and testing companies enter the market with their assessment products, the broad common core standards begin to narrow to just those being assessed by the test. Journalism educators need to make their voices heard and call for genuine product, real world assessment based on the work our student publish continually.
Likewise, we need to push for further analysis of the NAEP assessment to find out how students prepared in our journalism programs compare to students in other programs. Journalism teachers believe that their classes and publications prepare students to be better writers by making increasing their fluency, by familiarizing them with word-processing and proofing tools, and by making them comfortable with revision. My students regularly write me to say that their preparation in writing has pushed them well beyond their college classmates. It would be nice to have this confirmed by the NAEP Assessment.