Vlogging and Journalism tech

Moderation state
Grant Applicant
Erin LeFevers/NTHS
Grant Co-applicants
Grant Category
Grant Date

NTHS is looking to add Journalism back into the elective offerings in the near future.  In the meantime, Tess and I are looking at ways to increase opportunities for students to experience "real" world/21st writing and presentation.  The equipment we are requesting would be added to the Yeti mics and the green screen available in the library.  We are both creating units for next year (possibly the end of this year) that would have students writing journalistic-like articles that can be posted to the school's social media, as well as possibly having our classes take turns writing and publishing a digital newspaper for the school.  The other project currently in the works is a video recording/vlogging.  This project would have students work on investigation and interviewing skills.  They can also create videos for the weekly announcements.

Benefits of Program

This program has many benefits.  One of the biggest is that students will have the opportunity to use and produce quality vlogs.  Currently, students are using phones to create announcements or other presentations.  This is fine, but it usually entails them holding the phone and recording at a poor angle.  Students using the vlogging equipment can sit comfortably and record looking straight into the camera.  The vlog studio also comes with a teleprompter, allowing for a more natural reading than what is currently happening.  Bringing in more journalistic focus in their writing--to produce high-quality vlogs--supports the students in strengthening their writing skills.  Journalistic writing focuses on an active writing voice that also has students supporting claims with specific details.  The local radio station 101.5 also will allow students to create and send PSA spots for them to air on the radio.  The added audience allows the students to experience a real-world example of what they are learning in class.

Success of Program

As English teachers, we understand that there are a number of writing genres and anyone can succeed in at least one writing style.  Too often, the only writing students participate in is an essay or report writing.  While this type is needed for students to succeed in academia, it does not support students who believe they cannot write.  When we have had projects that focus on different styles of writing--breaking from a traditional essay--we notice that many of our struggling students perk up and jump into the project.  We want to continue this practice but also have students work with the right tools.  Vlogging and other journalistic writing styles are what students see daily and are considered 21st-century skills.  With this equipment, we should see higher quality presentations and better writing/presentation skills in our classes.  Writing/presentation are two of the five California State Common Core Standards.


Tess and I are working on revamping our units in order to include more opportunities for students to be able to produce "real-world" writing projects.  For example, in my English 11 class, students would be able to create a vlog about the research paper they write for their first-semester final.  I am currently reworking my units so that there are two summative assignments--one in the academic realm (essay or research paper) and one in the 21st-century realm (vlog, PSA, interview, etc.).  Tess incorporates a number of projects within her classes already, the new equipment would allow her students to create more professional projects.  

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Yes, Tess and I are hoping that the other English teachers will be interested in using the equipment to enhance the presentations they already include in their units as well as add more opportunities for them to build more projects into their units.  The Social Studies dept can also use the equipment when they do their mock elections and historical research reports.

For the most part, the project will sustain itself because it is basic recording equipment. The camera might need a new battery in a few years, depending on the use and how quickly the battery becomes un-rechargeable. The I-pad will be able to be updated on the internet for several years. If the project becomes as successful as we would like, then we will need more equipment in a few years.
Amount Funded
Individual Budget Items(s)
$749 - Pod caster starter kit
$754 - Ipad
$699 - Nikon Z30
$150 - Accessory kit for Nikon Z30
Other funding sources

I talked with the librarian, who is also our LITE, and she said that there might be some tech money at the end of the year if it is not spent on other needed items for the site.