SNN offers young people an exciting learning experience

By Danielle Cornick
Roncalli High School
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

SchoolNet News Network gives students a chance to share their ideas on the Internet. On Thursday, July 8th ,Beth Ryan, the coordinator of SchoolNet News, conducted a seminar called And Now the News... Journalism in the classroom.

"The goal of SNN is to bring media, journalism and the Internet into the classroom to teach students communication, research and analytical skills" Ryan said. SNN is a national online journalism project, developed by STEM~ Net and sponsored by Canada's SchoolNet. SNN teaches students how the media works, and allows students to publish and broadcast their work online.

A new edition of SNN is published each month on the Web. The site is continually updating their stories, photos, video and audio segments, and they are always looking for ways to improve their site, says Ryan

"This is not about the Internet. It is about a new way of communicating. The Internet is just a tool" says Ryan. The program motivates students to express themselves to a wider audience. Students learn to think critically and express their thoughts in writing. They use technology as a tool for communicating ideas and news.

One participant of this year's Hook, Line and Net conference–Debra Sparkes- Mercer said "I am very interested in bringing this back to my teachers. I would also love to have Beth Ryan speak to my school."

On the web site, just look at the In the Classroom section for ideas on bringing SNN and journalism into the curriculum. Also if your students would like to have individual attention from an established journalist, sign them up for SNN's Media Mentors program.

Ryan believes that the SchoolNet News Network can be a valuable tool for educators. It will capture the students' attention and engage them in the learning process. It will give students the skills and knowledge they need to function in a technologically- advanced world.