How Students Use HS Insider

We are interested in stories about what it is like to be a teenager in Southern California, developments on campus and issues that matter to students.

There are many ways to join the HS Insider program. Here are four ways schools have participated:

1) A school newspaper and journalism program find a larger audience and network: Students and teachers use HS Insider to post work from their school’s newspaper that they think would appeal to a larger audience, and as a way to connect to more schools and learn about what is happening on their campuses.

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Example: At Foothill Technology School in Ventura, the editor-in-chief of the school’s online news site collected permission slips for all the editors and writers and posted their work on HS Insider. Stories included a piece on an Air Guitar challenge and juniors threatening funding by opting out of Common Core.

2) English, social studies and other classes integrate HS Insider into their curriculum: Students and teachers outside of journalism classes use HS Insider as an incentive for assignments, a way to provide their students with a larger platform for their work and to gain new technology skills. These stories have included personal essays, creative writing, poetry and other forms of expression.

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Example: At LA River School in Lincoln Heights, an English and History teacher assigned students to submit creative assignments and personal narratives. The students published their stories on HS Insider, including one on being the first in her family to graduate from college and the need for more soccer fields in North East LA.

3) Students expand their journalism opportunities with dedicated HS Insider Clubs: Highly motivated students create independent systems that can supplement journalism or debate programs or stand on their own.

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Example: At Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, students created a club within their journalism class dedicated to creating content for HS Insider. The stories focused on first-person opinion pieces and video content. The club had one student president who sent out weekly story budgets and managed multiple videographers and writers. At the end of the year, students elected a new club leader. Stories included a video about the school’s sailing team and profiles of local artists at their school.

4) Independent students interested in video or reporting find an advisor and submit stories: Some students want to work independently, and that works for us as well. We just want to make sure that your school knows you are contributing. If there is already a program on your campus, the student can ask the advisor to sign off on your work.

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Example: At Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, a student who had already received video training through a program at a local YMCA wanted to continue to develop his skills and reporting. He found an advisor and produced a video on a homeless blanket drive that received recognition from the White House and high-level sports videos such as this one on the girls team going to the basketball semifinals.