Adobe software helps award-winning Palo Alto journalism students shine

California’s Palo Alto High School (Paly) has enjoyed a rich legacy of excellence. Influenced by its proximity to Stanford University, the Silicon Valley business community, and San Francisco’s metropolitan culture, Paly has been continually recognized for its exemplary learning environment–particularly in the journalism program.

The largest high school program of its kind in the United States, Paly’s journalism department is a place where students have amazing opportunities to shine. Over the last quarter-century, the Paly journalism department has grown into a full-blown multimedia publishing concern to rival almost any organization, let alone a high school.

It started out as a small program with one six- to eight-page student newspaper. Every time registration swelled in a journalism class, a new one got added to the curriculum to expand areas of publishing interest. Today, the department has grown to include four additional journalism areas–broadcast, magazine, web, and sports.

To meet the demand, the principal increased staffing levels to four full-time journalism teachers. But the real story is how the students are becoming prepared to achieve higher levels of publishing accomplishments by using cutting-edge industry standard tools–which for us means Adobe’s Creative Suite. The suite helps better prepare students for the workplace after they graduate. The programs also offer students a mechanism to be proactive in a creative arena that is socially sanctioned as they move into higher education and career paths. Students engage with Adobe creative tools and technology to publish everything from news, opinions, and lifestyle features to sports analysis and music reviews interchangeably in print, broadcast, and on the web.

Published every three weeks, the Paly newspaper, The Campanile, boasts the greatest longevity of all Paly publications. Originally started in 1918 as a six-page monthly with eight students on staff, it has expanded to more than 26 pages with 70 student staff members who collaborate in integrated Adobe design and publishing workflows.

Most students are new to Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium tools when they start class, but after just a few sessions of basic training, they “get it.” The teachers prefer to front-load the software training process and then reinforce instruction daily in practical situations.

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