Teaching Examples

NPPA Photojournalism Summit 2006
February 28, 2006, 1:55 pm
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I’ve been invited to give a Flash journalism workshop at the NPPA 60th Anniversary Photojournalism Summit, June 23-25, at the
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla. I’m very excited about this, because the National Press Photographers Association is the premier organization for U.S. photojournalists, and this is their biggest event of the year.

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Teacher’s guide to blogging
February 26, 2006, 1:45 pm
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The Guardian put up A teacher’s guide to blogging in January. It’s very brief, nicely done. The article is part of the larger Special Report: Weblogs from the renowned British newspaper, which has a fine Newsblog of its own.

I required journalism students to keep individual blogs last fall. I liked the results and will probably do it again the next time I teach the course.

Larry Pryor, who teaches in USC’s journalism program, wrote (PDF file) that he “began using a Weblog as a teaching tool in 1999.”

I won’t kid you — most of my students didn’t like it. By the end of the semester, they got really tired of writing two posts a week — even though they had chosen their own topics. But I thought, hey, if you don’t want to write two short news items a week, maybe you’re not cut out to be a journalist.

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Exploring QuackTrack
February 25, 2006, 5:06 pm
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Today I looked at QuackTrack — more specifically, QuackTrack’s list of blogs in the Journalism category. Journalism is a sub-category of Media. The only subcategory within Journalism is, interestingly to me, Photojournalism, where I discovered the engrossing blog PhotoJournalism, by Mark M. Hancock. (Today he has Mardi Gras pictures.) There are 43 blogs in Photojournalism, compared with 641 blogs in Journalism.

There are lots of sites where we can search for blogs by category and/or by tags. These include Technorati, Kinja (try a search for online journalism) and Google Blog Search.

I’m making a note of all this because there are times when I feel a need to check and see what’s happening off the radar, away from the big and better-known blogs that either discuss journalism or practice it, or both.

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Spotlight on a great multimedia package
February 25, 2006, 2:54 pm
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Today NPR did a radio story about one of my current favorite examples of great online multimedia, Folk Songs for the Five Points. I love this package not only because it’s different from anything else I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of multimedia) but also because it tells a story in a truly nonlinear way, a story about New York — specifically the Lower East Side, where I lived in 1982 when it was not yet the trendy boutique locale it later became. So maybe I have a bias, because I know these “songs”; they resonate in my memory and take me to a place that I once knew well.

I love so many things about this piece — the way it invites us to explore; the way it encourages us to listen before we read, before we see the photograph; and (sure, of course, absolutely) the way it uses Flash to do things we couldn’t do in print or broadcast media.

Folk Songs for the Five Points was produced for the Tenement Museum, not for or by a news organization.

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Color palettes for online sites
February 24, 2006, 5:34 pm
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Six years ago I concentrated on teaching my students the “browser-safe” palette. That’s not so important nowadays. But a lot of journalism students still don’t know anything about using color effectively.

The Color Scheme Generator is a great help.

I’ve used a lot of similar tools over the years, but this one is the best ever. I still see a need to introduce students to the color wheel and the idea of color as a science (rather than something we just cook up based on luck and personal preference), but there’s so much material to cover, I have to keep color theory to a very small portion of the course.

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Who says there’s no money in it?
February 24, 2006, 4:25 pm
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OhmyNews (English version here), the robust Korean citizen-journalism Web site, got US$11 million from Softbank, a Japanese investment firm. Softbank received a nearly 13 percent stake in OhmyNews in the deal. OhmyNews said it will start a Japanese-language news site (when? Don’t know).

Full story at Red Herring.

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Ray’s Excellent Flash Tips
February 23, 2006, 5:48 pm
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Ray Villalobos has started posting FREE Flash tutorials on his Web site. For example, here’s how to build a slideshow that loads photos or animations from an external source.

Ray is the director of multimedia for Mega Communications and former interactive designer for the Orlando Sentinel’s Web site. He’s going to share one new Flash tip with us every week! Wow!!

To view the video tutorial, you need to have the latest version of Quicktime or iTunes installed; most other players are not compatible.

See the list of all Ray’s latest Flash tips.

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