Easy ways to streamline the work process

Three online programs to keep the workload moving

Matthew LaPorte, Co-President

It used to be that week-long production cycles, hunkered down in a computer lab with gummy worms and Coca-Cola was a typical event for high school journalism staffs. While some of us advisers enjoy those late-nights of laughing, singing, and general staff morale building, for others, it is not feasible due to outside activities, or it is beyond the amount of time they are willing to commit to the program.

No matter the situation, a journalism program can still be successful without spending a prolonged amount of time after school. In fact, productivity can be at almost the exact same level outside of the four-walls of the school building by using a few readily available online tools. Here are three that can be introduced to your students and adopted at anytime.

1. Google Drive

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Google Drive is a free-service that offers several programs that are similar to your Microsoft Office suite. Not only can you create documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc. but all of this can be completed in a collaborative environment. Now, the best part of the program is the collaborative component. Multiple students can be logged into a single document to edit/revise in real-time, or they can leave comments on specific components of the written copy.


2. Cel.ly

Celly  Instant Group Text and Polls   Mobile Learning   Text to Screen-091939Celly is a text-based messaging service that allows for moderated conversation between users. The app was designed with schools in mind, so safeguards have been put in place to ensure that privacy is considered and offensive messages are stopped by a moderator/curator. Additionally, an archive of the communication is maintained for a prescribed number of texts. Now, advisers do not have to worry about sharing their cell phone numbers, but can still respond to questions that require immediate response.

3. Edmodo

edmodoEdmodo is a Learning-Management System (LMS) that is excellent for beginners. Advisers can create groups to host their students and then utilize this space as the “hub” of their classroom. Additionally, it can also be used as the medium to disseminate important information, maintain a class calendar, assign graded assignments, and a bevy of other uses. If you have not yet utilized an LMS, it is definitely time to start.


Now, while we cannot guarantee this will solve all of your problems, we hope this at least affords you a few more nights each year to enjoy a movie, or a sit-down dinner.


About Matthew LaPorte

Matthew LaPorte is the current adviser of the Southwest Shadow online news site and The Howl yearbook at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. He is also the co-President of SNSJ. One of his goals as a founding member of SNSJ is to help create a network of students and advisers who can share their expertise and share the benefits of participating in scholastic journalism in Southern Nevada. When he is not working, Matt enjoys heading off to The Pearl or to The Joint to relive his teenage years rocking out.