Journo Adviser

Exploring the worlds where teaching, advising, and coding coincide.

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Jason Wallestad

Why music teachers matter

April 2, 2014

An elementary school orchestra makes a terrible sound, and any parent who tells you otherwise is a liar. But as my daughter’s orchestra conductor led his beginners through a simple song in their first ever concert last year, he smiled broadly, kept the beat with emphatic arms, and seemed to hear only beautiful sounds.

What parents don’t want to hear at parent-teacher conferences

March 30, 2014

When my wife and I sat down at our daughter’s 5th grade parent-teacher conference last week, we hoped to get a sense that the teacher understood our daughter and her strengths and weaknesses.  But we didn’t.  Instead, the teacher provided us with a litany of numbers and test results the school and the education-testing industry Read More

Ten tips for using categories and tags on your WordPress news site

March 25, 2014

#1: Multimedia should be a state of mind, not a category.  Don’t fall into the habit of thinking of Multimedia as a category that’s separate from other categories on your site. For an online news staff, using multimedia should mean offering readers more than just text stories –– they should be adding video clips, photo Read More

Tools vs. Skills: Rethinking WordPress and the focus of modern scholastic journalism

August 27, 2013

Our students use a lot of tools in their work as journalists; they use physical tools such as computers, phones, recording devices, card readers, and cameras, but they also use software tools such as InDesign, PhotoShop, and Microsoft Word. It seems that in the last five years, there’s been a veritable explosion of new tools Read More

Developing an authentic and effective grading system in a journalism class

April 8, 2013

Every year I struggle with how to grade my journalism students –– they all have different responsibilities and assignments, and there just isn’t an easy formula for grading all the things they do.  Some students write, some take pictures, some design pages, some copyedit, and some lead and coordinate –– none of it translates easily Read More

10 social media strategies for next year’s staff

March 21, 2013

One of the conversations I’ll be having with my new editorial leaders this spring in preparation for next year is how we can use social media more effectively.  While my students spend their time using social media for their personal lives, that use hasn’t translated into them always using it effectively for our publications.  Too Read More

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