Student Publications Going Digital

By Tricia Smith

Whitney Details has more than 750 friends on Facebook.

Details may, at first glance, appear to be a popular high school student, but the Facebook profile actually belongs to the yearbook staff of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif. The staff has used the popular social networking site as a promotional tool for more than a year to post updates about the yearbook and request photos or written anecdotes from the student body.

Many schools are supplementing their print publications by using the Internet, updating the traditional yearbook for a generation accustomed to multimedia. Some high schools also have similar online profiles and websites for their newspapers and other publications.

Social networking pages such as the one Whitney uses can help keep students and school staff members informed of school events like plays and fundraisers and allow student feedback and comments on yearbooks and newspapers.

“The key to keeping yearbooks relevant is constant monitoring of our readers’ wants and needs, since those change often,” says Sarah Nichols, the faculty advisor for Whitney Details. “Right now, our readers are showing us that they want to be part of the creation process and want a book that reflects their lives outside of school just as much as within it.”

Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Brown agrees that social networking sites can be a beneficial supplement to school print publications. 

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