2015-16 Student News Challenge | Storychasers

2015-16 Student News Challenge

Please watch this video to learn about our 2015-16 Student News Challenge! A script of the video is also available below.

Steps to Join

  1. Watch our 4 minute introductory video.
  2. To take the challenge, submit this Google Form! (Remember you’ll need your student news website link and 30-60 second video link)
  3. Join our Google+ Community! (Ask questions, share student news posts, network with other teachers)

Eligibility and Terms

Digital backpacks will be sent to the first 50 eligible teachers who join the challenge. Any current PK-12 teacher or librarian, in a public or private school, around the world can join the Student News Challenge, but only current PK-12 teachers and librarians living in the United States or Canada are eligible to receive a “digital backpack” of equipment FREE by mail. (Our postal budget is limited!)


The Adobe Voice original version of this video is also available.

Video Script


The 2015-16 Student News Challenge is open to all teachers and librarians in public and private schools in the United States and Canada, who teach students in preK through 12th grade. Teachers and librarians living and working outside the United States and Canada can join the challenge, but are not eligible to receive a digital backpack of media equipment because our postage budget is limited.

In this video, we’ll address why you should have a student news program at school, how your students can participate in this challenge, and what you can receive if you sign up.


Why have a student news project? Every school and classroom needs to share stories about good student learning with parents and members of the community. By sharing these stories from school, we build bridges with constituents and open up windows for others to peer into our classrooms and our minds as we learn, collaborate, study and grow.

Students need real world opportunities to develop both traditional and digital literacies. Student news projects can give them chances to practice written and oral communication skills with both analog and digital tools.

Young people also need opportunities to practice digital citizenship with adult supervision. Your student news website can be a teacher-moderated space for students to meaningfully learn about the ethics of sharing text and images, respecting copyright, and many other issues important in our connected, digital age.


How can your students participate in the 2015-16 Student News Challenge sponsored by Storychasers? First, setup a class or school blog site to use for sharing news, updates, and student work. Commit to sharing at least one post PER WEEK during the school year. This website can be created using a variety of websites including Blogger, WordPress.com, KidBlog, EduBlogs, EasyBlog.org, or others.

Second, create a short, 30-90 second video explaining why you want to participate in the student news challenge. This can be a quick video you record with a smartphone, or a video you create with an app like Adobe Voice, which I’m using to make most of this video. Explain Everything, Puppet Pals, or something else can also be used. It doesn’t need to be fancy, complicated, or long. Just a few sentences about why you want to participate, or why you think student news is an important school activity.

Third, submit your information on a Google form we’ve created, including the link to your school news website and your video. Find the form on storychasers.org/snews. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, share a link to your video on DropBox and we’ll share it on our Storychasers YouTube channel for you. Visit storychasers.org/snews to link to the form and more information about this project.


What will you receive if you participate in the Student News Challenge? First of all, the first 50 teachers to register will receive by mail a digital backpack of digital storytelling equipment. This includes a Storychasers backpack, a 12 megapixel digital camera, a SD card, a digital audio recorder, and a USB headset with microphone. You and your students can use this equipment to supplement your classroom digital toolkit as student news producers.

Secondly, by participating you will receive amplification of and feedback on your students’ news posts on your website. A primary goal of this project is to showcase student news programs in different parts of the world. We encourage you to share student news posts on Twitter using the hashtag #snews1516, and encourage your own student journalists to write constructive feedback for other student authors participating in the challenge.

Third, by joining the student news challenge you and your students will have opportunities to participate in periodic Google Hangouts during the year, sharing experiences and tips for student news and media production. You’ll also receive support from Storychasers when you have questions.

Every classroom and school needs to share student news! Be a digital pioneer and join the 2015-16 Student News Challenge with Storychasers! Visit storychasers.org/snews to get started. We look forward to reading, watching, and sharing the great school news your students will share in the weeks and months to come!


This script is also available as a Google Doc. This video was created using Adobe Voice for iPad and iMovie for iPad by Wesley Fryer.

More Questions?

If you have more questions, submit them within our Google+ Community or use our electronic contact form.


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