Journalism Interactive Teachathon: Learn 10 Things in 70 Minutes!

The #JiConf (Journalism Interactive)Teachathon has people who have to teach something in ten minutes!  

  1. Grading With an iPadDoug Ward, University of Kansas:  Doug uses iAnnotate to embed his feedback as voice notes in student work.  He can also do markup with a stylus or add typed notes.  ”Students appreciated it — it felt personal to them, and they’d thank me for taking the time to ‘speak to them’.”  It syncs with Dropbox, too.  
  2. Teaching Data Visualization Through Coffee PricesJake Batsell of SMU: “Introducing students to data journalism can be intimidating…especially when you show them these awe-inspiring examples from the NY Times or ProPublica.”  Batsell teaches an exercise from “Producing Online News.”  Students collect data on coffee prices and enter it into an Excel spreadsheet and then use Google Fusion Tables to visualize it.  Batsell divides students into small groups and then incentivizes them with small prizes — the best visualization gets recognition (and Starbucks giftcards).  Adding on to that, the students use Google Forms to crowdsource the coffee price information — students create a form, then tweet the link to the form asking friends what the price of their favorite coffee is — and then that data ends up in a spreadsheet that drives the visualization.  Class time is for polishing and troubleshooting only — no additional reporting. 
  3. Adobe Premiere for Final Cut UsersAlysia Steele, University of Mississippi  Before you import any assets, you have to click on “Default Scale To Frame Size” — automatically makes images fit the frame size.  You can make subclips and drag them directly on the timeline. Make audio bigger by doubleclicking on it if you find the audio hard to see in the default UI.  Doing so also brings up a context-sensitive menu with audio tools.  Unlinking audio and video: Just rightclick on the file and click “Unlink”  
  4. Rate Your Online ReputationMarie Shanahan, UConn: Social media means that the distance between journalists and the audience (or a source or a hiring manager) is smaller than ever before, and first impressions can be hard to overcome. Q: What’s on your first page of results?  Some find they are invisible — the results aren’t about them, or their name is very common.   Or the results are about someone else, a famous person with a similar name.   Some students are avid broadcasters on social media — in person they’re polite, but online they’re opinionated, obscene, and in one sad case, sexist and racist.  They think that they can delete those accounts on graduation and that that will fix things — it won’t.  ”Stunning Lack Of Privacy!”  Students find that stuff about them is collected in public databases — addresses, FB pictures, family members.  Much is made public without your consent (kind of turning the tables on journalists, in a way).  
  5. Show, Don’t Tell!  Justin Karp, UMD/ABC7 Washington DC  All the easy infographic tools you’ll ever need.  Kids love show and tell — and things haven’t changed.  Look how much people put on Instagram!  Data visualization toolsTableau Public iCharts  Mapping tools: Google Maps/Fusion Tables, ESRI, BatchGeo 
  6. What Do You Do When Your First Hackathon Fails?  Gary Kebbel, University of Nebraska  Don’t think about multidisciplinary teams — we want nondisciplinary teams.  Multidisciplinary teams just puts people with different skills at the same table so they can work alone together.  You want the designer talking about coding and the coder talking about journalism.  What I thought would work: we offered $3k in prizes, bought lots of food, collaborated with campus IT — and FOUR PEOPLE SHOWED UP.  The prize wasn’t a big draw.  The title “hackathon” scared attendees they wanted away.  Having the event on Friday and Saturday required too much commitment.  Marketing needs to be longer than six weeks and participants need to be personally recruited.  (We also held it on a weekend with a college football team).  We’re changing:  Not calling it a Hackathon.  Partnering with the campus IT to market.  Break goals into mini contests spread throughout the semesters.  Create a statewide conference to showcase student projects.  Plan the conference as part of the state press association’s annual conference. 
  7. The Top Apps For Mobile Reporting Allissa Richardson Bowie State University Research & Reference:  Opera Mini    Writing: iAWriter  Photography: Snapseed  1stVideo  Ustream  Audio: Voddio  Geotagging: Foursquare  Storing it all:  Dropbox and Adobe Revel   Social: iSocialConnect
  8. Why UX Design MattersMichael Humphrey, Colorado State  Can you imagine feeling about a news product the way you do about your phone?  The Journalism UX Honeycomb Ask the question: What does the user want?   
  9. Meograph for 4D Storytelling Ginny Whitehouse, Eastern Kentucky University  Meograph does audio/video/text mapping.  It’s online and it’s free!  Students have called the developer with issues and he answers them personally, which the students are surprised by and love (we’re used to being ignored by tech companies).   Meograph makes it easy to add photos, videos, audio, and timelines to map.  Users click “play” to see the whole story.  (LW: this is really difficult to make work in Fusion Tables). 
  10. K3D: A New Distance Ed Tool Dave Carlson, University of Florida  K3D @gigabit1 uses the XBox Kinect as a low-cost distance education tool. Carlson creates personal avatars of himself and students that then appear in virtual environments, much like Second Life.  Students can control the view — looking at the professor from back or front, or moving around virtual environments or real ones that are being captured by the Kinect.  You can transport students to wherever they wish to be.  Sessions can be shared — you can turn over control to students and then the class is watching them.  Total cost for this system is about $600 — $200 for a Kinect, and $400 for a Windows laptop.  The software is free.  
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About Me

Lisa Williams

Founder of | Winner of Knight News Challenge | Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab | Cambridge, MA | @lisawilliams on Twitter | lisawilliams on Github