County 10 was invited to assist Lander Middle School (LMS) students today as they learned more about journalism. Students kept notes and asked insightful questions about how news outlets identify their audiences and how best to select the tools and media that will help them to deliver content to those audiences.
Notably: During the presentation and open Q&A, on the topic of “meeting an audience where they spend their time”, the middle schoolers were contemplating delivery of their news to other student’s mobile phones or Chromebooks. The aspiring reporters were informally surveyed about the apps that they and their friends use for receiving content. Of the 25 students, only a couple admitted to a Facebook or Twitter account. Most all shared that they have used Snapchat and Instagram, but the most enthusiastic response came when asked about Tik Tok. From a hardware perspective, almost half of the students raised their hands when asked if they had a smart speaker (e.g., Alexa or Google) in their home. These trendsetters contemplated whether these platforms and devices could be used to share news and information with fellow students?
It’s all part of LMS’s FLEX program. Students select an academic area of interest and service learning projects that they have a passion for. This group, led by Social Studies teacher Casey Swift and Language Arts teacher Erica Parker, has shown an interest in launching a school newsletter. Over the coming weeks and months, their efforts will begin to manifest into an actual news source designed to share ongoings at their school with their peers.
County 10 owes a big ‘thank you’ to Mr. Swift for sharing his bright and energetic group with us today. With these sharp minds steering the future of journalism we’ve every reason to be optimistic.