JBar and JSchool Tech


At the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, we believe that learning isn’t limited to the classroom. In fact, one of the best places to brush up on a variety of technical skills and learn something new isn’t in a classroom at all.

The J-School's JBar is the place to be for anyone seeking technical help at any level. Whether you’ve mastered InDesign or haven’t worked with the Adobe Suite, digital media specialist Heather Lawrenz will be able to help. A wide variety of programs are covered at the JBar, including InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, XD and even Microsoft Word. Scheduled training sessions are held regularly, or you can stop by between classes to quickly learn something new.

The JBar was installed on Sept. 14 and 15, 2018, and has since served as a valuable resource for any student looking to improve their skills. Its design was inspired by the Apple Genius Bar and the University of South Carolina Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s digital lounge, but with a traditional twist. The tile front of the bar was specifically chosen to resemble the stone walls of Stauffer-Flint. This blend of tradition and modernity describes the JBar, which offers sessions that teach both basic skills that everyone should learn as well as creative new designs and techniques.

In addition to pre-scheduled sessions, Lawrenz is also available at the JBar to quickly go over skills with students who drop by, adding a level of convenience for those with busy schedules. The JBar’s central location in the Clarkson Gallery allows others to see what’s being worked on, fostering an open and creative environment.

To learn more about the JBar or sign up for a session, please visit the J-School Tech Website.

Spring 2020 Updates

The JBar and JSchool Tech will operate remotely for the Spring 2020 semester. Students are encouraged to learn online with Heather. Here's how:

Pop in to Heather's open Skype meeting. It is like the JBar, but you might see a cat. This is where you can ask a quick question or get help. Other JBar/JTech info:
Teams will still meet (just online)! Sign up today.
Topics are also meeting online. This is a great time to join our groups:

Creative Break: Tune out the bad news for a few minutes and practice some mindful motivation: The JST Creative Break is a short daily challenge designed to help you cope by creating. Heather will release a daily challenge each morning (M-F) beginning March 23. These short challenges in a variety (and often your choice) of Adobe tools will allow you to keep practicing, learning and creating. Participate whenever and however you want, share on social media (#jstcreativebreak) and post in our group Slack channel. Signing up just means you will get the daily email on the challenge.​ Participate when you want. Sign up here.

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