Adviser Update Adviser Update Winter 2018 | Page 18

Best of Both Worlds A WEBSITE FOR BREAKING NEWS, A PRINT MAGAZINE FOR IN-DEPTH STORIES By Jill Ocone, CJE S ince I took over the reins of the journalism program at Manchester Township High School in 2007, our student journalists have historically produced both Déjà vu, our 224-page yearbook, and at least three printed issues of our newspaper, The Talon, each year. We lacked the capacity to go online for a variety of reasons. My students were already saddled with an immense workload filled with responsibilities for both publications. Add to the equation a gamut of technological barriers, and going online was just not an option. However, last year, our school switched to a semester block schedule that upended our program. Both district and school administration worked with me and my student journalists to iron out the kinks. Together, we’ve rebuilt the journalism program to incorporate real-world, hands- on skills into the curriculum and the classroom on a year-long, every-other-day schedule. The arrival of a new digital platform presented itself at the right time, and the result has created growth in the classroom as my students are finally able to develop 21st century journalistic skill sets. As the possibility of going digital became a reality, our student editorial staff decided the time had come to examine how the