Web students target online goals to meet specific needs

Parkway+West+student++Jacob+Cupps+works+on+revamping+his+online+site.+

Alex Kretsinger

Parkway West student Jacob Cupps works on revamping his online site.

Fiona McAllister and Alex Kretsinger

Web students plan to revamp their online sites or start a website to increase readership and quality in the coming days at the MediaNowSTL camp. Instructors Chris Snider and Jason Wallestad encourage each student to choose a special project to fit their individual online sites.  They will then split the class in half depending on the level of each online site.

“[The project is] up to them because everyone’s at a different spot and some of them don’t even have a website,” Snider said. “Some of them have had a website for a long time and its really good and so its up to them individually to figure out what project fits the level and the needs of their school.”

The web class includes teaching students how to create an enticing online site and how to promote the site through social media. Parkway West student, Jacob Cupps, said that this is a weak point for his staff and something that needs more work.

“A lot of problems with our staff is that we don’t have a lot of readership yet because we just went online and no one knows we are online,” Cupps said. “They’ve emphasized a lot getting them to follow you on social media and having them share the stories and mentioning them in what you say and being really involved with the student body and even outside the student body with parents and teachers.”

Wallestad, SNO co-founder and high school journalism adviser, will teach a new concept to students about tailoring stories to fit the website, according to Snider.

“What’s really cool, that I had never even seen before, is Jason who’s teaching with me is really putting the focus on designing individually stories for your website,” Snider said. “Most peoples websites they just kinda dump their story on there and maybe a photo and maybe a video.”

Cupps said he hopes to leave the MediaNowSTL camp with new ideas and skills to teach to his staff.

Cupps said, “I think that bringing it back to my staff will be a good thing because a lot of them don’t really know how to do anything except copy and paste stuff into the text and run that on the site.”