Yes, I'm totally embarassed that I haven't posted since June...
Nevertheless I've been legitimately busy on tech projects in and out of the class room.
Here is a brief rundown:
-In August I attended "Programming for Journalists/Journalism for Programmers" at the Poynter Institute. It was my first visit to the center. I left with a much better understanding of how to integrate news apps in traditional storytelling, and ideas for how to create and teach classes that could be cross-listed in journalism and computing at RIT.
-This Fall I tried to put some of my new knowledge into practice in my "Reporting in Specialized Fields: Political Reporting" class. I had journalism, IT, and public policy students in my class. We were grateful to have a handful of local journalists come by to visit, including Jill Terreri of the Democrat and Chronicle, and Rachel Ward and Zack Seward of WXXI's Innovation Trail. RIT's resident Hacktivist, Remy DeCausemaker, was another key class asset. Remy taught a seminar on public records and demoed his project civx.us
The biggest challenge I had in this course was coming up with assignments that were fair for a group of people with different skill sets. I tried some group work, and required all students to maintain election blogs. I believe the class bonded over the NY governor's race, and their particular fondness for Jimmy McMillian and his "The Rent is 2 Damn High" Party.
Election night was a huge success. My class watched election resuls roll in at the Center for Student Innovation (CSI) along with students from political science and other CSI devotees. In a last minute frenzy, Remy and my student Nate Case, partnered with WXXI's Innovation Trail and designed a data tool linking the election results from the Monroe County Board of Elections live to the Innovation Trail website. You can read about all the details here in a blog post by Remy.
-The other course I taught this quarter was Newswriting. I had a great bunch of students - a good mix of freshmen journalism majors and upper level photojournalism majors. I'm doing a better job about talking about writing across platforms and not unconsciously focusing on newspapers. (We teach what we know best, right?...)
I incorporated a few more blog critiques this quarter, integrated social media along the way instead of devoting just one day to it, and substituted watching PBS Frontline's "Digital Nation" for one of my regular news quizzes. On the associated quiz I asked students if they multitasked while watching the show. Honestly, all but one said they did. The sole defector said she watched the show with her family :) (Small victories!)
-On the research front I made a ton of progress as well. The most exciting thing I have going is a grant proposal to the Knight Foundation to develop a model for large event coverage. The proposal, co-authored with Vic Perotti in the College of Business, involves developing a website/application that engages a crowd before, during and after an event. Our test event is RIT's "Imagine RIT" festival on May 7. Our proposal involves students from across campus including business, journalism, print media, computer science, design and animation majors. More to come on this....
-I also managed to crank out a journal and conference submission concerning my work on transnationalism. After adjusting to the new job and coping with life with two kids, I'm very proud - and rejuvenated - to resume this area of research. I've made some contacts in the local migrant community and I'm drafting a follow-up study to my dissertation.
No more excuses on not blogging more frequently! It is time to practice what I preach to my students. During Winter quarter, I vow to blog regularly and more often!