Thursday, March 06, 2008

digital journalism begins to heat up

for the first few weeks, my digital journalism students and i read about and discussed online journalism and the various ethical issues and technical opportunities that surround it.

during the next few weeks, my students - including austin, brigid, emilia, jacob, laura, and miles - began blogging and flickring, recording various events and spaces across the USF campus.

today we began to map our progress.

if you click on the map above, you will be taken to the "real" map (hosted on laura's blog), where each pin can be clicked to find a blog post, flickr set, or other assorted material related to the geographic section of campus.

we're just beginning but already it's offered some excellent learning opportunities.

* by linking to our individual work through the collective blog, students can easily read each others' blog posts and look at each others' flickr sets and hopefully learn from one another. learning happens in many ways but my favorite is when students learn from students.

* it's nothing new for journalism students to think of campus as their "beat" but google maps' visualization of campus, where every building, every field of grass, every tree can be zoomed in and zoomed out, gives students a whole new perspective of the campus they think they know so well.

* the mapping software we are using, atlas, makes collaboration - between students, between classes - extremely easy. what's preventing the students enrolled in my class from working with other USF journalism classes taught by teresa moore and michael robertson?

* this project is totally scalable. today, near the end of class, the students and i were admiring our creation. then i clicked on the toolbar on the left side and began zooming out - first USF, then haight ashbury, then golden gate park, then san francisco, then the bay area. i let that sink in for a bit and then said something like "once we finish USF, let's make our beat golden gate park. and after that, let's make it the city."

i have high hopes for digital journalism in general and my digital journalism students in particular.


Debbie said...

I like this, it's very cool, I loved looking at the links around campus and checking out the shoe garden at Alamo Square, but I'm having a very hard time navigating -- every time I look at a link the map shifts away and I have to re-navigate back to campus! I am a spaz, I know, I always have a hard time with Google maps, but this time seems harder somehow.

david silver said...

hey debbie - the shoe garden at alamo square is cool, isn't it? brigid did a great job capturing a sweet little slice of our city.

i hear what you're saying about the navigation and will take this back to my students. we see this first map as an early prototype that we can tweak throughout the semester.

Irina G. said...

very cool. looking forward to reading stories about USF!

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Saw more about Atlas?

david silver said...

hey bryan - i'm about to leave town for a few days but i'll get back to your question when i return. essentially, my students and i find atlas mapping software to be extremely more easy to use and manipulate than google maps software. the folks at atlas have done an excellent job at creating an easy-to-use interface and a drag and drop method of annotated pins.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Very good to know, David. Will share that around.

Bon voyage, and looking forward to hearing more.