Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Turning Student-Led Presentations into Blog Posts

Ever since the idea of turning student-led presentation posts into blog posts was conceived last year, there's been quite a lot of confusion about the process. This post shall serve as a guide to teach interns how to properly convert a Google Slides presentations to a Blogger post. 
  1. Use the same title. 
  2. Give yourself credit in the intro paragraph. 
  3. Write a paragraph per slide or however many as deemed appropriate.
  4. Write down what is said verbally; don't simply copy and paste from the presentation. 
  5. Link the presentation. 
  6. Upload visuals to make the blog post more interesting. 
The reason why interns can't simply link their presentation is that, following presentation etiquette, there should be few words per slide since the presenter should be elaborating on the bullet points rather than reading off of the slide. This also gives interns the chance to add anything helpful that may have been omitted while presenting. 

If you need any additional help converting your skills presentation into a blog post, feel free to ask for assistance from anyone on the DCI Website team. 

Website Team

The Digital Communications Internship Website team manages the website, tweaks the template code, writes posts, formulates ideas, and encourages other interns to contribute to it. Members of this team must be proficient in writing and copy editing. Preferably, they would have skills in coding (HTML and CSS). 

Since the website is for DCI and all about DCI, posts should reflect it. (Note that we are not posting about events and such; that content is reserved for the AUSD social media pages.) This website is usually where prospective and new interns go when they want to learn more about the program. 

Managing the Website

If any problems arise, the Website Team will be ready to solve it, from formatting problems to template glitches to grammar errors.

Tweaking the Template Code

Getting into the blog's nitty-gritty foundational code is only necessary every so often. So far, the only instance I've run across that requires this is creating a new page; the website's pages bar is maxed out currently, so any new pages will spill over into an undesirable and incomplete second row. 

To fix this, first, go to blogger.com and click on "Theme" on the sidebar. That'll bring you to this page above. Next, click the "Edit HTML" button. 

You will see a big box full of code. The code for the navigation bar will be near the top. Check that it contains the new page you added. (It will be at the bottom of the list.)

Since the list is tagged with the id "topBar", hit Ctrl+F or Command+F and search "#topBar" to find the internal CSS block that controls the navigation bar contents. Reduce the width in #topBar ul until all the pages can fit on one row. (Reduce it in increments so that you can find that perfect sweet spot; if you make the width too small, there will be space left over and the bar will look asymmetrical.) 

There may be more problems regarding the website's template code in the future, so it would be very helpful to learn some HTML and CSS if you haven't already. 

Writing Posts, Formulating Ideas, and Encouraging Others to Contribute
These three tasks all fall under writing and gathering info. Interns on the Website Team are responsible for coming up with post ideas (at least a few per month). There are three options regarding the creation of posts. 

  1. Write it entirely yourself.
  2. Collaborate with other DCI interns. For example, you can gather multiple quotes from others while writing the intro and conclusion, titling the post, and inserting pictures yourself. 
  3. Ask other members to write posts. Usually, this option should only be used when members themselves lack enough knowledge to complete it themselves. The Student-Led Presentation and Team Guide posts will be written this way. 
After all your hard work writing a blog post, don't forget to run it through Grammarly! You can also ask fellow Website Team members to help review before publishing. 

More Tips

In the blog post editor, set the font and size to Arial Normal. 
Always make pictures "X-Large" since the template scales photos to fit the width of the article. If the image is too small in the editor, it will appear pixelated when enlarged. 

Guide to DCI

Every Digital Communications Intern should learn these basic rules and tactics. There is also some extra but necessary info in here, too. 

No Repeats
When covering an event, don't send in two of the same or almost the same photo. Having both serves no purpose and can be bothersome at times. 

Always wipe the lens before taking photos. 
This five-second act can save your photos and minimize blurriness. 

Take photos from different angles and areas. 
If multiple people are covering an event, make sure not to take your photos in the same place so that we will have an interesting variety of shots. Even if you are at an event by yourself, it's great to walk around and take photos from different perspectives. Also, be sure to take a wide, medium, and close shot. 

Cover everyone who contributed.
We want to thank everyone who made an event possible and share their efforts through our photos. Make sure you get equal coverage of everyone. For example, at a football game, you can cover the fans, snack shack volunteers, referees, cheerleaders, and staff members on the sidelines. 

Take photos of staff members. 
It's amazing how the Arcadia Unified School District staff not only make everything going on in the district possible but also attend events in their own time. 

Our meetings will be from 3:15-4:15 PM in the Library Media Center, though the ending time can vary based on the meeting plan. Unfortunately, eating and drinking are not allowed in there. 

Mr. Foran
Mr. Foran is the Arcadia Unified School District's Public Communications Officer and has been working here for over five years. His name is pronounced "FUR-ann". He is our boss!

Ms. Nuuvali
Ms. Nuuvali is the Arcadia Unified School District's Public Information Officer and has been working with us for around a year. Her name is pronounced "noo-VAH-lee". She is also our boss and assistant to Mr. Foran. 

Post on Twitter
Post on Twitter while you're at an event! It's not only quick and easy but is also an effective way to get news out fast. (Everyone in DCI needs to have a Twitter profile and follow everyone else in DCI. You can find the list of interns on Mr. Foran's Twitter profile.)

Have a positive social media presence. 
Don't post anything you wouldn't want the Arcadia Unified staff or colleges to see. 

In addition to staying professional online, you should maintain good behavior everywhere else, with or without the DCI badge. 

Press Passes
Every DCI intern who passes probation receives a press pass that grants him or her special access to cover events. The benefits include being able to get closer to the main attraction and free entry to events. 

USC High School Journalism Day

Every year, Arcadia High school is invited to the USC High School Journalism Day which takes place on a select Friday in USC's Annenberg School of Journalism. There, attendees learn about journalism, public relations, cinematography, photography, and more. 

Dos and Don'ts of Social Media
Don't post anything inappropriate on your account. 

After an event, a caption must be written. 
It is the responsibility of those who cover an event to write the caption. If there are multiple people who covered an event, you all can decide who writes it or work on it together. Finish writing a quality caption as soon as possible. Also, while you're at an event, it would be very helpful to gather information about it for the caption so that it can contain all necessary info—and then some. You can learn more about writing captions here

Fill out the task list after an event. 
You need to fill it out to get credit for attending. 

Make a LinkedIn account. 
LinkedIn is a professional social media website that can help you earn a job. At the very least, it's a great way to keep track of your professional experience and achievements. 

We have cameras you can borrow. Make sure to take good care of them.
You can find the cameras in the ASB office. (Go through the door on the right, walk forward, go through the left door to enter the area behind the counter, and enter the small room on the right. The table beside the wall is where the cameras will be located.) Sign in and check that the camera and the bag have everything inside before taking it. (It should contain the camera, SD card, lens, and battery.) While you are using the camera, treat it like it's your own! Take good care of it. When you return to put it away, make sure to charge the battery and sign out. 

Student-Led Presentations
Skilled individuals may teach other interns about one particular topic. For example, in the past, we have had presentations on graphic design, event coverage, iMovie, caption writing, and parts of a camera. 

You can easily create a high-quality video using Apple's iMovie, free on some iPhones. 

"It" Versus "They"
Make sure your pronouns align with the subject; check if they should be singular or plural. 

E.g. Our football team won the game this past Friday. They will face Crescenta Valley next week.
We use the word "it" instead of "they" because "team" is singular. Even though it is made up of multiple people, the word "team" itself is singular.  
In DCI, we have many teams, each with a manager, that handle a specific part of our duties. Social media teams (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WeChat) post about events. The Podcast and Video teams stay true to their namesake, creating podcasts and videos, respectively. The Website team manages the DCI blog. (This website, the one you're reading right now!) The news writing team writes for the local paper, the Arcadia Weekly (a great chance to be professionally published), as the newsletter team walks around Arcadia to distribute, well, the newsletter. 

Use Mr. Foran's favorite app, Bitmoji. 
Nothing more to say. 

Always be on time to events! If it's a special event such as Senior Night, come early because there will be photos before the game. Also, upload photos by 9PM (unless the event goes past that time). Write a caption as soon as possible as well. 

If you'd like to learn more about DCI's rules, tips, and other facts, feel free to ask Mr. Foran, Ms. Nuuvali, or any current DCI intern. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DCI's Darius Jing Earns $20,000 Foot Locker Scholarship

We are very proud of DCI's own Darius Jing, who is headed to Yale in the fall, as he recently earned a $20,000 college scholarship courtesy of Foot Locker. Darius spent two years as an intern, along with many other leadership roles on campus, and volunteer work in the community. Watch this inspirational video below about his surprise scholarship announcement and his wise advice for students. Way to go Darius! Read more about our distinguished alumni here.

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