New journalism app to feature Paly publications

Emma van der Veen, Author

Students will soon be able to download a new Palo Alto High School journalism iOS application called “Paly Journalism”. The app was developed by Stanford University’s Transformative Learning Technologies Lab in conjunction with the Paly journalism program.

According to a press release from study leader Chris Proctor, the app will allow students to contribute to a student-only online forum where articles from The Paly Voice, Verde Magazine, Viking Magazine and The Campanile can be discussed.

Proctor, a former Paly English teacher and current PhD student in education at Stanford, says that the app will be part of a field study, and that the app will be donated to the Paly journalism program if it is found successful.

“The field trial will run through winter break; during this time we hope to gain a large base of users reading Paly journalism content on the app and discussing the stories through comments,” Proctor said.

Proctor worked on developing the app with Paly seniors Daniel Li and Adrienne Kwok and juniors Norman Karr, Saurin Holdheim, Julia Qiao and Stephanie Lee. Journalism advisers Paul Kandell and Esther Wojcicki provided additional support.

“I chose to get involved because I was interested in helping to develop a real app,” Karr said. “It was pretty cool as it brought together all the Paly Publications [that gave permission] into one place.”

The development of the app was fueled by a Stanford research study on schools’ relations to their “digital campuses,” according to the press release. The release statement adds that while these spaces are important for learning and allowing students to express their own opinions, they are often discouraged by schools as they are feared as distractions from learning in the classroom.

“My hypothesis is that supporting powerful student identities in those spaces will be one way schools can structure them as safe and effective spaces for learning,” Proctor said. “I see Paly’s student journalism program as potentially an excellent example of this dynamic; the app is designed to increase the impact of Paly’s student journalism on the school community by increasing readership and reader engagement.”

Editor’s note: Previously, this article stated that the app had already been released on the App Store, which is incorrect.