Friday, January 19, 2007

spring semester around the corner

spring semester begins on monday and i'll be teaching two classes: digital journalism and media internship. i hope to blog about both courses throughout spring semester. i spent a lot of winter break thinking, brainstorming, and reading books and blogs about digital journalism and the syllabus is nearly finished!

students enrolled in digital journalism can expect to learn about web-based tools for gathering and assessing news and stories (like blogs, RSS, and wikis). students can also expect to learn about web-based tools for creating and distributing news and stories (like blogs, flickr, facebook, and youtube).

we'll be reading two books (plus a packet with all kinds of goodies). the first is dan gillmor's we the media: grassroots journalism by the people, for the people (o'reilly media, 2006; but also here for free). the second is kevin howley's community media: people, places, and communication technologies (cambridge university press, 2005).

at this point, the class has seven students, the perfect number, i think, for a group blog. one of my teaching goals this semester is to learn more about how to encourage students to both blog and comment on fellow students' blogs. i know i can assign this, but i'm hoping it will happen organically instead. i want them to post because they want to, not because they have to.

students will be required to learn - in class, out of class, alone, and in groups - many web-based tools including atlas, blogs, facebook, flickr, RSS, wikipedia, and youtube. some of these tools i know well; some less so; some none. i hope it will be a real each one, teach one learning environment.

i'm excited about using atlas and spent a portion of yesterday taking pictures of campus so that i could test the new atlas feature ... multiple pin colors! in the map below, red pins represent photographs of USF buildings (and a bench); green pins signify green spaces. (please note: last night, when i put together the map, the images and hyperlinks were working; this morning, strangely, everything is broken; i'll fix later.)

one of the many things i like about working with digital maps is the ease of scaling. i like, for example, how you can mouseclick the "-" button (on the left side of the map) to get a view of USF campus, the panhandle, golden gate park, the city, the bay area, etc. i like how you can continue to click to see california, the west coast, north america, earth. the very process is, i believe, pedagogical; it teaches.

i hope other classes with other students will map other campuses. on tuesday, i drove down to palo alto to meet with my friends and stanford university librarians, shinjoung yeo and james jacobs (of, among many things, and radical reference), and howard rheingold, who, in addition to being author of this and this and this, is also teaching digital journalism this year at stanford. i hope we'll do something jointly in the near future. i think it would be great to have teams of students from all over san francisco and the bay area annotating their campuses, their neighborhoods, their city.

but first things first - i still need to finish my syllabus.


Rick Burnes said...

David, we caused this problem last night with an update that improved support for foreign characters. It's fixed now. Sorry about that. -- Rick

Jennifer said...

Teaching with blogs - FUN! That's one of the things I hope to study next year at the UW *fingers crossed*, albeit from a more theoretical viewpoint :)

david silver said...

rick - thanks for the update. good to see it working again.

david silver said...

hey jennifer!

when do you find out about admissions?

if and when you return to UW, you should look up (and get involved) with what the simpson center for the humanities is doing as part of HASTAC. also, in english, prof tom foster (whose book RCCS reviewed here) does some really interesting work with respect to technology, new media, and the body.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

So wonderful does Digital Journalism sound that I would sit in on it myself, but it would frighten the children. Seriously, it sounds like a voyage of exploration. Nothing you can't try because there's no sure and certain model. That's what I tell the students. Now is a great time to enter a world which you can help *shape.*