Brian Sweeney focuses on secondary literacy and humanities education. Recently, he has been innovating approaches to student journalism and news as advisor to “The Classic,” the award-winning student newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College. Brian is intensely interested in bringing scholastic journalism into the digital age as a means to promote the most essential literacy skills of 21st century life.
His leadership and innovative approaches to teaching students to use traditional and web 2.0 online journalism tools has garnered national attention and a number of awards. The Newsies! Awards, sponsored by Baruch College, named The Classic’s online news site the best in New York City; the paper also won awards for school news reporting, sports reporting, national news coverage, and multimedia storytelling. The Classic also won the First Amendment Press Freedom Award for protecting the rights of student journalists, an honor only six schools in the country received.
Brian was also named a finalist in Youth Journalism International’s Journalism Educator of the Year award.
A former middle school English teacher and literacy coach, he currently teaches just over 200 high school students a semester while advising the newspaper’s staff of over 70 students. His practice is deeply rooted in making use of technology to support best practices in teaching and learning, including using iPads, Google Drive, original YouTube videos, wikis, and more.
Brian brings an innovative vision and a problem-solving drive to schools and speaking engagements. He can help you devise structures for engaging students in rigorous reading and writing, support teachers in engaging with technology, and is especially sought after for helping schools design their own cutting-edge scholastic journalism programs.