CONTACT: Sigurd Saethre, ss [at] mediebedriftene.no
LEADING in the TEACHING of DOING a digital school magazine
Norway has a new Digital School Magazine Guide, thanks to Avis I Skolen, which is helping teachers all over the country do school news on a digital platform.
In the spring of 2011, Avis I Skolen decided to act on the opportunity for education inherent in a new Media and Information elective course, recently introduced into the Norwegian school system, whose purpose is to “improve students’ ability to convey information and provide knowledge,” according to Sigurd Saethre of Avis I Skolen, which is part of the country’s media association. His team with educators to design a curriculum that fits into the course. It released teaching materials in June of 2012, and launched the programme in classrooms this fall, becoming the first provider of relevant content for the new programme..
According to the government’s guide to the new elective course, “working to produce an online newspaper or school paper will almost automatically cover all the target areas of learning in the curriculum.” The Avis I Skolen initiative helps teachers accomplish this.
At the programme’s core is a pair of printed booklets: one for pupils in eighth grade (aged 13), and one for teachers. They offer instructions on how to plan and organise a digital newspaper, “from start to finished product.” The student book, which is 48 pages long and will be used for three years, includes sections on planning and organisation, content production, journalism, debate and participation, video, copyright and images, and ethics. The Digital School Magazine Guide also includes a free publishing programme (also known as a Content Management System, or CSM, i.e. Scribus.net), in which users are registered at different levels of access depending on whether they are writers or editors.
Currently there are more than 60 schools across Norway making digital newspapers through the Avis I Skolen programme, including three out of every five schools in Oslo. Each school contributes 600 Norwegian Crowns (~90 Euros) toward the price of the booklets, which initially cost 100,000 Euros. So far, 20,000 Euros have been earned back. Next year, Avis I Skolen plans to implement the project in grades 8, 9 and 10, and hopes to explore the possibility of internationalising the initiative.