Pages Navigation Menu

A free summer seminar for experienced high school journalism advisers

From the 23 teachers who attended this workshop in July 2019, we have included Solutions Journalism Story Ideas, other Story Ideas for a whole range of topics and Tech Examples of something they learned, many of these for data visualization, plus some resources anyone can use in the future for these topics.

Using Marco Polo for communication, bonding

As I spoke with many of you in our time together at Kent, the discussion of how I use the Marco Polo app came up several times.

I know many of you use apps for communicating with your staffs, but I want to throw my two cents in about this “walkie-talkie” style of communication.

Marco Polo allows you to add individuals, form groups out of them, and have individual/group conversations. It’s like using the video feature on Snapchat, but the videos on Marco Polo don’t go away once you’ve viewed them.

Here are the top reasons I choose to use this app with my students:

1. I was having some teamwork issues with another group last year. I made it a requirement that everyone get Marco Polo, which allowed for some fun team-building. In one night, we had over 1,400 polos back and forth. The next day, the entire dynamic of the group was altered. It remained that way the rest of the season. Marco Polo became a place (outside of school) where my team could interact and have fun with one another. This ultimately made them closer at school as well.

2. If I need to show students how to do something quickly, I can do that. The videos never go away (unless I delete them), so students can go back and watch something again if needed.

3. I can speak to a student one-on-one about their work. The student may go back and watch the message again if they do not understand.

4. If a journalist is covering a story, and finds they need help, it’s easy to reach out. We had this several times last year. Maybe a journalist is covering a story in the gym, but they are having issues with a microphone, they can call down and have someone come take a look at the equipment. Overall, the app makes us more efficient.

5. In a pinch, we’ve conducted interviews on Marco Polo. We have a large portion of our students who use this app, so the chances that a source has it, and can meet via video is pretty good. This allows my journalists to go back and get accurate quotes from their sources.

Here is a step-by-step guide and video to help you get started.

I am careful about how many apps I ask students to download, as I don’t like apps on my phone which go unused. This one has proven beneficial.

468 ad