• Digital Journalism

    Fairhope Middle School

    Digital Journalism

    Course Syllabus


    Mr. Terry Norris                     

    Email: tnorris@bcbe.org



    Course Description:

    Digital Journalism is designed for students who want to master basic skills in the areas of storyboarding, interviewing techniques, videography, video editing, video production, and publishing video content to the Internet. Reading, writing, mathematics, and communication skills are reinforced throughout this course through assignments, project design, and class interaction/collaboration. 


    Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite required.


    Software/Apps Required:  Students do not need to purchase any software or apps.  We will use in-house video and computer equipment to create, edit, produce and publish video content.  We will use Google Apps for Education and approved apps found in the ibaldwin.org web store to complete assignments, create projects, and take quizzes/tests.


    Course Goals:  To be able to safely function in a computer-based environment with regards to equipment, digital citizenry, and Internet considerations; to be able to plan, edit, produce and publish the school’s news in a video format; to be able to develop, create and produce video segments that cover the entire aspects of Fairhope Middle School students’ experiences.


    Essential Questions:  How do I safely operate computer and video equipment?  Why is being a good digital citizen important?  How do I understand Internet activity and its impact on my future?  How do I develop, plan, and execute a basic interview?  How do I create, produce, and publish video content to the Internet?


    Course Outline:

    Computer Safety

    Digital Citizenship

    Journalism Basics

    Interview Basics

    Broadcasting Basics

    Videography Basics

    Making Videos

    Editing Videos

    Producing Videos

    Publishing Videos


    Culminating Products:  Each topic will require the student to complete an assignment that indicates basic mastery.  Collectively, the students will produce a daily video news broadcast.  The course final exam will be comprehensive.


    Career and Technical Student Organizations:  Students enrolled in Digital Journalism will have the opportunity to join and participate in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) student organization. 


    Expectations and Essential Student Functions:  

    1. Be prepared. You must be on time AND ready to learn. Your Chromebook must be charged.  You must complete the readings and assignments, both in and outside of class. If you are not prepared, your grade will be negatively impacted.
    2. Listen. You must listen to know what to do.
    3. Follow directions. You must follow directions to know how to do something.
    4. Stay on task. You must stay on task so you can complete your assignments.
    5. Be respectful. Even if our viewpoints differ, we’re going to respect ourselves and others.
    6. Give your best effort. You may not be able to control the outcome, but you can control your effort.
    7. Accept responsibility. You should always seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
    8. Never quit. As long as you keep trying, anything is possible.
    9. Participate/Work with others. You must ask questions, participate, and communicate in order to be successful.
    10. Use proper English. You’re in class—not hanging out with your friends. Your language, spoken and written, should reflect your environment. We will use complete sentences.
    11. Follow school rules. Dress code, cell phones, tardiness, food/drink in class, and all other school rules still apply. We will follow them.



    • Grades will be posted in iNOW. If you have a specific question about a grade, please email me, or come see me before or after school so I will have time to adequately address your concern.
    • Projects – 60% Quizzes/Tests/Assignments – 40%   
    • A comprehensive exam will be given at the end of the semester.


    Materials Needed:

    • Chromebook and charger
    • Agenda/calendar: An agenda/calendar should be used daily to keep up with assignments, tests, etc. This agenda/calendar can be paper or electronic.
    • Printer/Copy paper (1 pack)
    • Black or blue pen
    • Pencils and sharpener


    Consequences for Minor Instances of Misconduct:

    1. Student Conference/Warning
    2. Break/Lunch Detention
    3. Parent Contact
    4. Office referral


    At-Home Work:

    Students will likely always have something they need to study, practice, or complete at home.  This work may include work not finished in class, a reading assignment, online practice, project completion, or studying for a test or quiz.


    Late/Make-up Work Policy:

    • Assignment due dates will be strictly enforced.
    • You are responsible for assignments/assessments missed due to an excused If you are absent for any reason, you should check our Google Classroom, ask a classmate, or email/see me to verify the work you have missed. The make-up policy for missed assignments due to an excused absence is three days from your return date.
    • Missed work due to absence will be entered into INOW as an “I” to indicate that the assignment needs to be completed. The “I” averages as a “0” but is then replaced with the appropriate grade after the work is made up within the 3-day period. If work is not completed and turned in, the grade becomes a permanent “0”.
    • During the first semester, late work will be graded accordingly: 1 day late = 75% credit; 2 days late = 50% credit; 3 days late = 0% credit.  During the second semester, no late work is accepted and will result in a grade of “0”.


    Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty: The Internet makes it very easy to copy and paste text and claim it as our own. This is plagiarism in its worst form; however, plagiarism actually includes anytime you take information from someone else and include it in your work without giving credit (even if you put it into your own words). Throughout this class, you will learn how to properly credit your sources to avoid plagiarizing. Blatant plagiarism (the copy and paste type) will result in an automatic zero on any assignment.  School policies regarding academic dishonesty/cheating also apply.  I may not catch every single case of plagiarism or cheating, but I will catch many of them if they occur. Remember, Google is my friend, too! 


    Internet Access for Grades & Course Content:

    As indicated above, grades can be accessed on the “iNOW Home Portal”, but any student that does not have Internet access at home may request a printed progress report at any time. Students will access our online Google Classroom regularly. Weekly schedules, assignments, project rubrics, due dates, and other course information can be found in Google Classroom.


    Communication is Key to Success!  I encourage students and parents to email me regarding any questions. Email is the fastest form of communication.  If there is anything parents would like for me to know about their child, or if parents have any questions or concerns during the school year, please feel free to email me at tnorris@bcbe.org , tnorris@ibaldwin.org or call the school at 928-2573.  I will get back with you as soon as possible.  I look forward to working with you for a successful and fulfilling semester.



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