Students in the Website Boost Camp, taught by Tracy Anderson, the magazine and website adviser for Ann Arbor Community High School, are learning how to create a vibrant, eye-catching website to showcase the work of journalists at their school.
Anderson said, “The goal for the whole class is for them to leave on Thursday super excited with a great website for them to bring to their communities.”
According to Anderson, this week, students will discover new techniques to use when building their website.
“(On Monday), we are working on getting them to conceptualize both the content and the design,” Anderson said. She said students are looking at professional sites to figure out what they like and don’t like about them.
Kara Wagenknecht, an Iowa City student, said she came to MIPA because her state lacked a camp with comparable experiences.
“I chose this class because it wasn’t offered in any camps in my state so I had to come out of state and I’m trying to make new friends,” Wagenknecht said. “I want to learn how to make my website better and more functional.”
Anderson said the ability for youth to create a platform where they can share their art is becoming increasingly important.
“I honestly think that more students need to really be engaged and thinking intelligently about their website both in terms of design and content,” she said, “and we need to bring [innovation] to websites, especially with tariffs that are happening with paper and printing.”
Anderson referred to the recent tariffs being applied to paper and printing that threaten the paper journalism industry. To combat that increase, many schools, she said, are turning away from physical newspapers and magazines and pivoting toward digital journalism, such as websites. This change is the reason Anderson said she views website building as an important skill for the youth at the MIPA Summer Workshop.
She said, “They can create a platform for other journalists to put their work out there.”