These were the electives for summer 2019. The page will be updated soon with the 2021 electives.

Students will choose from a variety of elective classes each morning Monday-Thursday while at SMI. Electives are designed to expose students to more specific topics outside their specialization.


Room    1094    Know Your Audience (Dania Alexandrino)
Room    1084    Journalism with a Heart (Myra Monroe)
Room    3324    Color Correction (Houston Wells)
Room    1070    Interviewing (Moni Basu)
Room    1076    Maximizing Your Potential (Andre Payne)


Room    1084    Covering the Controversy (Ted Bridis)
Room    1094    Sports Reporting in the Digital Age (Dennis Black)
Room    3324     Extra! Extra! Digital Storytelling with Adobe Spark (Allison Clark)
Room    1070    From Student to Star (Joe Humphrey)
Room    1078    Find Data, Understand Data, Visualize Data (Ethan Magoc)


Room    1070   Uplevel with Podcasting (Andrea Klunder)
Room    1076   Personal Branding (Herbert Lowe)
Room    1094   Opinion Writing (Ernest Hooper)
Room    1084   Free Speech in Public High Schools (Clay Calvert)
Studio              Weather Reporting and Anchoring (Jeff Huffman)


Room    1084   Google Search Hacks/Fact Finding (Ted Bridis)
Room    1076   Audio Storytelling: Making Sound Visual (Ryan Vasquez)
Room    1094   Leadership and Team Building (Mira Lowe)
Room    1070   Shorter, Tighter, Stronger: Creating Cooler Content (Ted Spiker)
Studio               Weather Reporting and Anchoring (Jeff Huffman)

Audio Storytelling: Making Sound Visual
Can you see with your ears? Of course not, but good audio storytellers can immerse you in a story so convincingly that you believe you’re right there with them. Learn what makes an audio story sound great and some tips and tools that will make you sound like a pro on your next radio story, podcast or documentary.

Color Correction
Want to learn more about color correction and color grading in Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the most popular editing applications in the professional video realm. Join a UF faculty member as he leads you on a step-by-step introduction to color. Beginners are welcome.

Covering the Controversy
Learn how to dive into heated topics at your high school and community with objectivity and sensitivity. Emphasis will be on how to remain neutral and think through all sides of an issue, as well as how to distinguish between a real story and an attempt to manipulate the media. Safety tips and best practices will also be discussed.

Find Data, Understand Data, Visualize Data
One thousand words of text. No visuals? No thanks. Along with photographs, data visualizations catch your reader’s attention and guide them through a story. Learn how to acquire datasets that complement or even drive your work, then see ways to decide between a chart, map or interactive. We’ll explore professional and student examples, plus free visualization tools you can use immediately. No coding experience is required — only your curiosity.

Free Speech in Public High Schools
Learn how the First Amendment protects free speech and free press rights of students in public high schools. The four major U.S. Supreme Court rulings affecting these rights will be discussed. Current issues – Can student-athletes take a knee during the playing of the national anthem without being punished? Can students post messages on social media while off campus and their own time without fearing punishment by their schools? – will be covered.

From Student to Star
Let’s talk about what transforms a student journalist into one who is a star. A nationally recognized high school journalism and yearbook adviser will offer 37 ways for you to believe, achieve, succeed and exceed. The advice will be good; the jokes, not so much.

Extra! Extra! Digital Storytelling with Adobe Spark
You reported the news, wrote a story and shot photos with your smartphone. That’s great! Now, we’ll teach you how to put it all together and produce a digital story you’ll deliver straight to your family and friends’ cellphones. With a focus on design, we’ll layout your words and images, write headlines and photo captions, and use pull quotes and other features that’ll keep your audience engaged. You’ll leave with a link to your work to share via text or email.

Google Search Hacks/Fact Finding
We all “Google it,” but how can we more effectively find quality information faster? Learn a variety of internet search hacks and tools to help you locate relevant research, government information, data and so much more. Take your fact-checking skills to the next level as we discuss how to verify everything from photographs and videos to social media posts and statistics. Get in touch with your inner detective as you learn how to evaluate sources critically and identify misinformation.

Interviewing may just be the most important tool we have in our quest to obtain information, clarify facts and see the world through a different lens. But often, we make the mistake of thinking of an interview as simply a series of questions. It can be so much more. In this session, we’ll discuss the elements of an effective interview, the dos and don’ts and how a good interview can elevate your story way past the who, what, when, where, why and how.

Journalism with a Heart
Explore reporting on social justice issues and stories that inspire. Learn how and where to uncover stories that raise awareness of issues such as poverty, racial inequality, women’s rights, disability awareness, homelessness, etc. Learn how to cover the story from all angles – and how to keep the heart of it while remaining neutral and presenting alternate views. Students will be equipped to cover these types of stories when they return home.

Know Your Audience
Whether in the rural Midwest or an East Coast metropolis or for a Hispanic community in South Florida or a Latino one in Los Angeles, understanding your audience matters as much as the who, what, when, where and why of your story. Learn tips to communicate instead of complicate – and to know which words and meanings are universal or regional.

Leadership and Team Building
Wanna be a baller, shot caller? Ready to be the best editor-in-chief of your school’s newspaper or yearbook, or the one who transforms its production studio? Learn from an experienced newsroom leader what it takes to improve collaboration, manage conflicts and establish vision, mission and goals – all so you can be a better leader in the fall and beyond.

Maximizing Your Potential
So you want to be a broadcast journalist? Here’s the truth: No one watches live TV anymore. But you can change that. In this workshop, students will learn how to not just be a producer, but to produce content with high potential to go viral. We’ll also talk about how to land internships and graduate from college with their dream job.

Opinion Writing
Learn about the editorial page as well as how social media and other digital communication are changing how the news industry handles opinions and commentaries.

Personal Branding
You have a voice and stories to tell. Learn how to let your audience know who you are, what you want, why you want it and where to find it. We will discuss how to craft and create cover letters, resumes and digital portfolios that showcase your work, and how to exploit social media to build an audience and show you’re ready to attract recruiters looking to hire you.

Shorter, Tighter, Stronger: Creating Cooler Content
Learn how to transform any kind of content—stories, social media, videos—into stronger, snack-sized pieces of content that engage with your audience. This elective will cover magazine-style approaches to presentation, alternative story forms, the science and strategy for writing short, and new ways to think about content.

Sports Reporting in the Digital Age
Social media has changed the way sports reporting happens. Today, many people watch sports games with the Twitter app open on their smartphones or tablets to read facts, updates, opinions – and even weigh in themselves. Fans expect instant information now. Learn how to offer it, and to do so without creating problems for your news operation.

Uplevel With Podcasting
To uplevel is to progress or improve to take inspired strategic action, creating greater capabilities. Podcast popularity is on the rise with major media companies (i.e. Spotify, Google, Pandora, etc.) and listeners alike. Creating your own show is a powerful way to making valuable connections, gain mentorship, and build a professional network. You’ll learn how to harness the power of audio by following your curiosity to find the best stories, ask the right questions, and create relationships with your guests and audience. We’ll cover exactly what you need to get started and how to bring your A-game when it comes to producing podcast interviews.

Weather Reporting and Anchoring
Whether it’s a sunny summer day or a hurricane barreling up the coast, the person who gives the weather forecast on a nightly newscast can be a trusted household name. But providing meteorology updates is never as easy as it looks on TV. Visit our studio, stand in front of a digital map with graphics that display weather patterns, and see if you have what it takes to reveal the five-day forecast on-camera to millions of people.