Tag Archives: iPad

EdTechTeachers, Journalism, iPads, and More

I gave a presentation at EdTechTeacher’s iPad Summit 2013 Boston today, about the work that my colleague Sterling Worrell and I have been doing with our journalism course, entitled iPad at the Center: A Student Journalist’s Most Versatile Tool.

For both those in attendance, many thanks again, and those who wish they were, here are some notes.

Slides are available on slideshare and include the instructional Five Shot Sequence with A Roll video used in the presentation. However, here is the student created report on the school schedule.

Our journalism course is a workshop environment, that functions as project based learning experience for all students. The course runs in a true hybrid or blended way with a ratio of 65% face-to-face classroom contact and 35% online contact.

The purpose of the course is creation and management of digital content to be published for an online news site. Our main goal is to generate as much publishable content as possible.

All students receive an iPad to use 24/7 for the duration of the course. The iPads are pre-loaded with a handful of apps, but students can add apps independently. The iPad affords each student with a single device to capture and craft text, audio, and video. While it may not be the best tool for any one of those individual mediums, it is a multimedia Swiss Army knife.

All content is created as text plus, meaning text plus photography, text, plus video, etc. We use a self-hosted WordPress installation for news site, as well as Flickr, and Vimeo primarily to manage student generated content. Student leaders function in editorial positions, managing all content and student reporters. Students are given instruction about digital workflow and management.

In lieu of a textbook, we incorporate News University, from the Poynter Institute, a professional development source for practicing journalists. Sequencing of NewsU modules helps move students from consumption to production behaviors and habits of mind. All models of journalism for class are elevated, professional with occasional collegiate exemplars.

In addition to being a project based method of learning, journalism provides a platform for students to write with real purpose for authentic audiences.

In fact, local news outlets will repurpose student content, especially sports stories. Most small publications lack the resources to cover the breadth of high school sports events but have a readership eager to read about them. Plus, sports journalism has a high churn rate, meaning students that write for the sports beat get multiple reps with faster turnaround, honing their skills.

Using iPads affords a deep exploration and experience with digital literacies focused within the domain of journalism. It also presents the opportunity to discuss various contexts of our work, personal and private, proprietary and public, as well as the ethical implications for students and journalists.

Again, many thanks to all those that attended.

Learning I Value: A Video Product & Process

As part of MOOCMOOC one of the tasks was to make a video about the kind of learning we value most. It took a longer than I hoped for me to be able to do it, but I still wanted to do it, regardless. I reframed things a little, although that is kind of the point often, now isn’t it?

I had to steal minutes here and there to put it together, but once I was able to get a good run at the work things started to come together quickly. While the task allowed for more time, keeping things short and simple is always a challenge. I was trying to cut it down to a single minute but that would have actually taken longer, and I didn’t want any more delays.

In the spirit of another MOOC, DS106, here is the method behind the making. Made all with an iPad, tried playing around here a little. I started just kind of playing around and sketching some ideas in the app Paper 53, just thinking really. While playing, it occurred to me that that rough, sketched look could work on its own.

From there it was a matter of shooting a little bit of footage. I opted for some quick and dirty B-Roll type stuff that just came to mind. Being primarily for the MOOCMOOC community of online collaborators, it seemed appropriate to I include myself with a basic A-Roll talking head shot.

Lately, I have been opting for the app Pinnacle, formerly Avid Studio, to edit video over iMovie. Using Pinnacle allows for dropping in a separate audio track for narration over the B-Roll with relative ease. It is a small but significant feature that iMovie does not have.

Finally, since I mention jazz, metaphorically, it seemed almost necessary that I drop some in to score a portion. For speed sake and because my iPad’s memory is practically full, rather than download something and try to cut it, made something quick in GarageBand. It is kind of amazing how someone with little to no musical talent, like myself, can string together a handful of instrumental loops, tinker a bit, and create something that isn’t half bad.

The real trick is getting the audio out of GarageBand and into Pinnacle. As expected, Apple doesn’t necessarily play well with others, especially if they have a competing product. So it is a couple of touches to export audio from GarageBand into iMovie, which is actually what I did. Then exporting the audio from iMovie, unfortunately as a video file, allowed me to kick it into the Camera Roll, where I could easily pull it into Pinnacle. At that point, I could use it as just another audio track. A little fine tuning and I had my own original score. A minor workaround that I thought was worth sharing.