Going Online workshops


The Going Online workshops are a series of online instructional events for journalism instructors who want to give their classes more of an online focus and who want to start or enhance news websites for their students to us.

These online workshops use a variety of means for exchanging information, ideas, suggestions, comments, questions, assignments and course material among the participants and the instructor. Those methods include email, online groups, video conferences and shared documents. Almost all of this information can be dealt with on your own time. The only scheduled events are the video conferences, and those are optional.

The format of the workshop can be three days, four days or ten days.

By email, we cover a different topic each day during the workshop period. Participants receive information, links, questions, instructions and assignments.

Participants also use a workshop forum to answer questions posed by the instructor, to exchange information and ideas, and to post questions for the instructor and other workshop participants.

Finally, there’s the online conference. For the 10-day workshops, participants and the instructor gather twice each week for an online conference to discuss topics and questions that might arise. For the three- and four-day workshops, there is one online conference.

Our goals for the workshops vary, but generally they are:

  • To establish a news website that your students can use.
  • To provide an understanding of online journalism.
  • To make you confident in administering the news website that we have established.
  • To give you information that you can use in teaching online journalism.
  • To make you and your students active members of the Interscholastic Online News Network.

Participants receive a certificate of complete at the end of the workshop.

The workshops are a product of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) and the Interscholastic Online News Network (ISONN) and the University of Tennessee.


The Intercollegiate Online News Network is an association of  individuals, educational units, news websites and companies that have come together to promote education in web journalism at both the high school and collegiate levels. One of the original and foremost purposes of ICONN is to help journalism teachers overcome technical challenges in starting news websites for their students

ICONN and its scholastic arm ISONN seek to do more than just help your publication have an online presence. Ours is the only organization that is devoted solely to developing and encouraging education in online journalism at the collegiate and scholastic level. As such,

  • we offer a number of workshops, teaching materials and other opportunities for members;
  • we are trying to build an association for people interested in teaching online journalism;
  • ISONN is an arm of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN), which gives it a strong connection to collegiate journalism education;
  • we are developing the ICONN NewsStream and the ISONN NewsStream, a news service for each network that will offer news and information to your site and will open the opportunity to have the work that your students do (stories, pictures, audio and video) appear on other ISONN sites around the nation. (See more information below.)

These are just a few of the things we’re about.

Joining ICONN or ISONN is easy. All you have to do is declare your site a member. Or you can fill out the form on the ICONN or ISONN websites. There are no membership or hosting fees.

And, you don’t have to choose between ISONN and my.hsj.org or any other organization. Even if you use my.hsj.org as your hosting service, your site can still be an unhosted member of ISONN and get all of the benefits of the organization.

ICONN and ISONN NewsStream

The idea of the news stream builds on the fact that in joining the network, member sites have agreed to share their originally produced content with other members. The ICONN and ISONN NewsStreams, which we expect to be fully operational in the fall of 2011, are a way of formalizing and operationalizing this agreement.

Much of the content from the network sites will be fed into a single site. There, editors will select content that is of interest to more than a local audience. They will enhance that content by various means — rewriting headlines to make them SEO (search engine optimization) friendly; gathering links; producing graphics and maps; etc. These enhanced stories will then be streamed out to the various ICONN and ISONN sites.

The news stream idea has at least two major benefits:

  • It will provide websites with a steady diet of fresh, relevant content for their viewers.
  • It opens the opportunity for individual students to have their work appear on more than their local websites.

There are other benefits as well. NewsStream editors can be in a variety of locations, and the opportunities for students throughout the network to become a NewsStream editor are immense. These editors will provide continuing examples of how to prepare and present content on the web. In addition, they can call upon network members to provide information about local news that is of national and international interest.

Jim StovallDirector of the workshop program

The workshops are directed by Dr. Jim Stovall, a faculty member of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Stovall is the executive director of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) and the Interscholastic Online News Network (ISONN). He is also the creator and editor of JPROF.com, a site for teaching journalism. He taught journalism at the University of Alabama for 25 years, from 1978 to 2003. He was a visiting professor at Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia, for three years before joining the faculty at UT in 2006.

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