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Helping students to relate better to the world around them using stories. Telling stories in a journalistic way. The goal of our session is to showcase multiple examples of intiatives that are helping K-12 students to relate better to the world around them by telling stories using jouranlism-like skills, whether by that name or not.

Here is a list of some of our presenters. Click on their name to go to their detailed wiki page.


  • Dare Brawley is a senior at Poughkeepsie Day School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and editor of her schools feminist magazine. The magazine grew out of a class she took called The Ophelia Project which studied how researchers are combatting the way girls lose self confidence as they grew through adolescence. The mission of the magazine is to provide an outlet for independent thinking and fiercly smart girls ages 12 to 18 and to produce a public which reflects alternative values and views from those of the popular media. She will talk about the ways that print and online journalism allows students who would normally not feel comfortable and having a setting where they can have a voice and opinion outlet. VIDEO:

  • Diana Laufenberg is at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. They are one-to-one, high-tech laptop high school. She will look at their election-day project from 2008. Last year the election was all the rage in Philadelphia. Students used their cell phones and a call-in podcast to collect stories. Kids were sending photos from their phones into Flickr, posting simultaneous video from polling lines. She'll focus on the idea of students as their own recorder of history using tools they have in their own pocket, to be their own recorders of history and journalism.

  • Michael McSweeney is at a 1,200-student high school and English department coordinator. He uses wikis and web 2.0 technologies to get student work to a wider audience. He has focused in on journalism for its emphasis on asking good questions and getting kids out into the world interacting with people. He sees this as having a place in the core of any English curriculum and is now introducing journalism study into our core grade 11 class. "We're looking at that study culminating in a podcast project that let's kids produce an audio on some feature in our home town." He will share what he accomplished last year with a pilot student group and describe how to bring it across a larger group. VIDEO:

  • Diana-Mitsu-Klos runs the high-school journalism initiatives of the American Society of News Editors in Reston, Va. [ (HOME PAGE)]. Youth journalism projects include which is free and the largest online host of teen news. Also, the is the most heavily visited youth journalism education site on the Web. Klos joined ASNE in 1996 and has worked for news organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. Along with the high-school journalism project, she also supervises programs focused on journalism credibility, strengthening the ties between college journalism professors and daily newspapers, and training editors from abroad. Prior to joining ASNE in 1996, she was managing editor of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal. She has also worked for the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, and The Daily Journal in Vineland, N.J.

  • Sara Platanitis, is an English and journalism teacher at Holyoke High School in Holyoke, Mass. She will discuss how her student journalists use Flip cameras with their work. After reviving the school's award-winning newspaper, The Herald, from a multiple-year publishing hiatus, Platanitis was chosen as one of 35 journalism educators from across the United States to participate in the prestigious Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Platanitis worked as a media-literacy consultant for PBS and as a journalist and photographer before becoming a teacher. Platanitis holds a bachelor^Ys degree in English literature from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a master's degree in English literature from Western New England College. VIDEO:

  • Melissa Wantz -- (Melissa's RJI-Collaboratory page)is a journalism and English teacher at a suburban Ventura, Calif. high school. As a first-year advisor she is helping 28 students restart journalism at the school for the first time since 2004. The Foothill Dragon Press launched October 1, 2009, as a 100% online forum. Students are using all the free technology they can find "because we started with no funding and no financial support from the district." Technologies include Joomla!, an open-source (free) content management system that is very flexible and sleek and offers a lot of bells and whistles in terms of site interactivity and organization. Additionally, the publication uses Twitter and Facebook to push the news into student spaces and attract nontraditional readers. She'll talk about how students use the class Ning site for non-deadline assignments, and how the various other technologies fit into the curriculum and work flow. VIDEO:

  • Alan Weintraut, teaches AP English Language & Composition, journalism and IB film studies at Annandale, Va., High School. He's a past director and board member of Project Renewal Inc. He advised the student media program and speaks at local, state and national journalism conventions. In the past, he managed a children's nonprofit, a homeless shelter and worked in communications for a AFL-CIO labor union. (Alan's LinkedIn profile) VIDEO:

  • (NOT ATTENDING) -- Lynn Washington, runs the Convergent Media Magnet program at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia SC. The program combines newspaper, broadcast, yearbook and graphic design. The program is the brainchild of a colleague, Lynn Washington, who teaches at RNE. She wrote the grant after seeing the NewsPlex (international journalism training facility) at the University of SC, located at SC ETV.

  • (NOT ATTENDING) -- Dean Miller is the new director of The Center for News Literacy, formed in 2007 and has about $2 million from Ford, Knight and McCormick foundations to create a news-literacy curriculumum and spread it to the high-school and college level. He will present video of a local high-school teacher, one of their early students of news literacy. They have 1,200 students in the fall semester. It is taught as an undergraudate course and then there is a summer program program to help high-school teachers to learn how they can teach news-literacy during their academic years as either a stand-alone course or as drop-in units in an English, History or civics curriculum. The Ford Foundation grant is pushing to move the curriculum out across the country. There are four new Universities offer news-literacy this year. There is confusion between news literacy and media literacy. The course as they are building it is a critical-thinking rubric applied specificially to sorting out and finding reliable news in teh digital age, information with which you can make personal and civic decisions safey. It is not a journalism course per se, it is more of a critical thinking and media consumer course. Dean say one idea they teach at Stony Brook is that in a digital age everyone is a publisher so an emphasis is what is your role in the digital age when you pass things on to your friends. For example, what if you passed along summaries of the health-care bill that is fraught with errors. "We may be teaching people who will never be journalists per se in the future, but we will all be publishers," says Miller. VIDEO: